Internet Users Turn to TV to Learn About Political Candidates - eMarketer

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Internet Users Turn to TV to Learn About Political Candidates

Ad spending on broadcast TV is strong

November 18, 2015

While digital consumers are spending less time with TV overall, they still rely on it to learn about political candidates, according to October 2015 research.

Ways in Which US Internet Users Research and Learn About Political Candidates Prior to Elections, Oct 2015 (% of respondents)

According to market research company Lab42, TV news and TV debates are still the primary ways in which US internet users research and learn about political candidates prior to elections. In fact, more than two-thirds of respondents said they rely on TV news sources and television debates to learn more about political candidates.

While traditional media ranked higher, more than half of respondents said they use digital channels like search or social for political information purposes.

US National vs. State/Local Political Contest Ad Spending, by Media, 2015-2016 (millions and % of total)

Given consumer behavior and attitudes, it’s not surprising that political advertisers would put the majority of their money toward TV. August data from Borrell Associates found that roughly 61% of national, state and local political ad dollars are going to broadcast and cable TV.

Additionally, eMarketer estimates that TV will continue to outpace digital video in incremental spending growth through 2018. In 2016, for example, eMarketer projections show TV with almost double the new dollars going to digital video channels, due chiefly to advertising surrounding the upcoming US presidential election that year.

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