Democrat or Republican, We Can All Agree on Mobile This Season

For over 60 years TV has dominated political advertising, with a projected $10 billion to be spent across broadcast and cable TV for the 2016 election season. However, in today’s Internet of Things-driven world, and as time spent on mobile continues to grow, there’s a major shift in both how and where politicians are spending their money. For example, the 2012 election saw about $160 million spent on digital ads, whereas, already this year, digital spending is on pace to surpass $1 billion.

Mobile is a big reason for the jump in digital ad spend

The industry continues to see major growth in daily time spent on mobile apps like Facebook, Instagram, Candy Crush and (how can we forget?) Pokémon Go. As the #1 platform for time spent in a mobile app, we see this trend impacting our own business at Pandora. In fact, according to Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report, Americans now consume over 5.5 hours of digital media every day, with 65% estimated to be on a mobile devices. That's a 30% increase from 2012.
At the time of the 2012 election, mobile advertising was still in its infancy, with most marketers and agencies still investing primarily in desktop digital advertising. Heading into the 2016 Presidential election, the U.S. consumer is now more mobile-obsessed than ever before, and marketers have figured out new and effective ways of reaching consumers on their mobile devices.

Political campaigns have taken note of this trend and are pouring more of their media dollars into mobile advertising to connect with voters.

In addition to reaching a larger, more engaged audience, mobile advertising has also become more targeted and affordable. Digital and mobile advertising is no longer reserved for well-funded presidential and statewide campaigns, but with the progression of advertising technology, it’s becoming more and more affordable for local campaigns to start taking advantage of this mobile trend as well.

Due to the explosion in audio and video platforms, both in terms of consumption and technical capabilities, campaigns now have a big opportunity to re-use ads that they’ve already created for TV and Radio for their mobile ad campaigns, which not only helps reduce overall costs, but also expands their reach to get in front of more potential voters. Many publishers, including us here at Pandora, have invested heavily in platform optimization to be able to offer effective cross platform GOTV (Get Out The Vote) solutions to reach voters anytime, anywhere.

Mobile offers a unique opportunity for political campaigns

Mobile advertising offers political campaigns a unique opportunity to speak directly to specific voter groups and offer more message personalization for their campaigns compared to radio, cable or broadcast television. Using mobile advertising, political campaigns can accelerate rapid response advertising, and can send updates around policies, donation requests, volunteer opportunities or even provide information on how to find local polling stations.

Mobile usage will continue to change the dynamics of how political campaigns connect with voters and those candidates. It’s safe to say the political campaigns that leverage mobile will have a winning advantage on Election Day.

Want to learn more about how to go digital with your ads on Pandora? Click here.