New Data Shows TV Plus Streaming Provides the Most Bang for Political Ad Bucks

Reaching the modern voter requires balance – and news is not enough.

Political ad spend continues to shatter records. The ’22 midterm season has already broken an all-time high for an off-year congressional election with an estimated $9.7 billion spent on TV and digital platforms. Advertisers looking to sway voters need to identify where they can optimize their budgets and allocate funding accordingly — it’s all about balance.

Pro tip: Follow the audiences wherever they consume video and optimize campaigns accordingly.

Effectv analyzed data from more than 200 political advertising campaigns in the first half of ‘22 during the primaries and found that more than half of “frequent voter” households reached with streaming were incremental to traditional TV — meaning they would not have been reached with TV alone. The findings also challenge the traditional approach of focusing only on news programming to reach a broad audience, revealing that streaming impressions are nearly twice as likely to be seen in “light news viewing households” compared to traditional TV.

Overall, political advertisers relying solely on TV – or only news – are likely to be missing out on reaching voters. Advertisers will see the most success, according to the research, by optimizing their media plans across both TV and streaming to achieve the greatest reach.

These insights also identified a formula that strikes a balance between TV and streaming advertising for maximized reach: Effectv recommends that political advertisers allocate around 10-20 percent of their TV investment to ad-supported streaming, with the remaining investment allocated to traditional TV.

Although traditional TV continues to be foundational to media plans due to its scale, streaming is becoming an increasingly important element in political advertising, providing valuable incremental audiences and extending reach to households of likely voters. Download Effectv’s infographic, TV + Streaming are Perfect Running Mates, to learn how TV and streaming work together to deliver winning results.

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