Big Data

Election Tech Infographic: How much it will cost to buy the US presidency in 2016

The digital revolution is changing how presidential campaigns reach and activate voters. New research breaks down the $16.5 billion that campaigns will spend for the 2016 election.

Image: NowSourcing for El Toro

Money can't buy a successful campaign, but can buy a lot of attention. In the 2016 election, media companies are flush with campaign, PAC, and private interest cash. Ad dollars are spent everywhere from local papers, to national TV and radio, to the web. For this campaign, more and more money is spent on mobile digital advertising and marketing—exactly how much was broken out in a new infographic that research company NowSourcing has created for data targeting startup El Toro.

SEE: Best practices for using social media in business (Tech Pro Research)

Here are three big takeaways from NowSourcing's election media research:

  1. Broadcast television and other legacy media dominate campaign still ad spending.

In broadcast media, money buys time. Time for candidates to test issues and messaging, and to increase their brand awareness. NowSourcing's data reveals that a big chunk of change is still dropped on legacy media advertising; nearly $6 billion this year will be spent on broadcast TV, another $1 billion on cable television, $848 million on newspapers, and $827 million on radio advertising.

  1. Digital spending—particularly on mobile—is the best way to reach millennials.

NowSourcing claims Millennials spend 71% of their mobile time on social media, and prioritize social media over other content. Millennials aren't the largest demographic of media consumers, but they are some of the most engaged. And money flow backs up the trend towards digital. Campaign digital ad spending alone has grown from just over $22 million in the 2008 campaign, to an expected $1 billion spend in 2016, according to NowSourcing. Digital ad spends are increasing because digital platforms offer better targeting and metrics. If broadcast media is a race for time, digital is a race for attention.

3) All politics—and advertising—is local.

While the amount of money spent on national campaigns is undeniable, money spent on local campaigns is unignorable. NowSourcing reports that campaigns will spend over $1.5 billion in advertising for on House races, and nearly $600 on Senate campaigns in 2016. The states with the most advertising money spent are: California $1.2 billion, Texas $896 million, Florida $800 million, Virginia $459 million, and Colorado $259 million in political advertising.

Here's a look at the full infographic:

Image: NowSourcing for El Toro

Read more

Young people talk about election on social media. Well, duh. (CNET)


Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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