Multiscreen Campaigns Deliver for Political Advertisers

Based on data insights from a dozen political advertiser campaigns with over 500 million impressions delivered, Effectv found that traditional TV and streaming work better together to deliver audiences and reach voters.

Traditional TV Drives Majority of the Reach

With its breadth of ad-supported content, traditional TV continues to be the foundation for political advertisers to reach voters. Among political campaigns analyzed, 72% of households were reached exclusively through traditional TV, 21% of households were reached on both traditional TV and streaming, and 6% of households were reached exclusively through streaming.1 While TV does the heavy lifting in terms of driving reach, streaming provides valuable incremental audiences.

Streaming Adds Incremental Reach

For most streaming capable households, streaming services are used in combination with cable TV services.2 In fact, research shows that 78% of households stream video content,3 with viewers preferring the TV screen for streaming content.4 It’s no surprise then that a traditional TV campaign with a streaming component adds incremental reach for political advertisers. Across campaigns analyzed, 19% of households reached by streaming were incremental to traditional TV. This suggests that streaming is instrumental to a video marketing strategy because it reaches households traditional TV doesn’t.

Incrementality increases as greater investment is allocated to streaming. For one candidate with 20% of their video investment in streaming, 29% of the households reached by streaming were incremental to traditional TV.1 Our research shows that advertisers achieve optimal reach when they allocate 10-40%5 of investment to streaming with the remaining investment to traditional TV. However, when more than 40% of campaign budget is allocated to streaming, there are diminishing returns on the campaign reach as the reach from traditional TV is sacrificed for the frequency on streaming.4

Streaming Delivers Hard-To-Reach HHs

Streaming is especially important for reaching those hard-to-reach TV households important to political advertisers – “light news” viewing households, “non-news” viewing households, and “no TV” households. Across political advertisers analyzed, streaming impressions were 2X more likely to be seen within these households. 38% of streaming impressions went to “light news,” “non-news” and “no TV” households, compared to 18% for TV.1

In Summary

We know that viewers are using both traditional TV and streaming services to watch premium video content and advertisers should take note. TV is still the best way to reach a large amount of people in a short amount of time and streaming helps to extend that reach. To most effectively reach voters, political advertisers should incorporate both traditional TV and streaming to build stronger campaigns.


“Non-Cable News / Light Cable News Viewer” households are defined as those in the bottom 1/3 of total news programming viewing. “News” is defined as Cable news viewership of Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN. “No TV” households are Xfinity customers without cable TV.

1. Comcast Aggregated Viewership Data combined with Ad Exposure Data. Cross-Platform Insights campaigns range from July through Election Day 2020 and 2021.
2. Nielsen NPower. Q1 2021. SVOD Subscribing Households.
3. Nielsen Npower. Q1 2021 National Total Streaming reach; Streaming-capable HHs.
4. Comcast Advertising, A Powerful Duo: The Linear + Streaming Evolution. Third-Party Research Study using Happydemics (2021).
5. Effectv’s The TV Viewership Report: Comcast Viewership Data combined with Ad Exposure Data. Results from 20k+ Effectv multiscreen campaigns, 2H’21.