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2024 Political Ad Spending Surpasses 2020 by $200 Million

Maddy Troy

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According to AdImpact, an ad-tracking firm, the 2024 federal election cycle is already surpassing the 2020 cycle by $200 million. As of May 26, a total of $382.65 million has been spent in the current cycle, compared to $182.99 million during the 2020 election cycle.

According to Inside Radio, AdImpact’s latest update states, “Spending has been more consistent in the current cycle than in 2020 across the board, as there has been a wide variety of competitive elections already in 2023.”

The increase in spending can be attributed to a larger number of candidates in the field. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who announced his presidential bid this month, has already spent $5 million on ad buys. Most of these ads were targeted at early state voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, with a focus on the Boston and Des Moines markets.

Overall, AdImpact reveals that the 2024 presidential contest is already outpacing spending from four years ago by almost a third. At this point in the 2020 presidential election cycle, $24 million had been spent, whereas $37.1 million has been spent so far in the current race.

Former President Donald Trump and his affiliated political action committee, MAGA Inc., have collectively spent $15.7 million. Another Republican issue group supportive of Trump has also made significant expenditures. Never Back Down and MAGA Inc. have each spent at least $10.8 million. Trump and groups aligned with him account for 71% of all presidential spending thus far. Additionally, two other Republican advertisers, Perry Johnson and Vivek Ramaswamy, have each spent over one million dollars.

In contrast, President Biden has invested $3.7 million in ad buys. While the presidential race garners most of the attention, 2023 has witnessed five elections with ad spending exceeding $10 million. This contrasts with just one such occurrence in 2019. The most expensive race was the Wisconsin Supreme Court Race, which saw over $40 million in spending. The Philadelphia mayor’s race primary ranked second, with $36 million spent, followed by the Chicago mayoral contest. The Kentucky gubernatorial primary and the Jacksonville, FL primary also exceeded $10 million in ad spending.

AdImpact’s report also reveals an increase in issue spending during 2023, although at a slower rate compared to candidate spending. A total of $145 million has been spent on issue ads thus far in the current cycle, marking a 97% increase from four years ago. This is lower than the 172% increase in spending on standard election ads, which rose from $88 million to $239 million. Healthcare issues have experienced significant growth, with spending in this area rising by $11.9 million between 2019 and 2023.

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Media Business

Curtis LeGeyt: NAB ‘Depend on AM’ Radio Campaign ‘Played Crucial Role’ in Support for Congressional Bill

“We are making significant progress, but our work is far from over.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Curtis LeGeyt
(Photo: Jay Mallin NAB)

The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act continues to wait to be voted on by both houses of Congress. NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt believes an initiative from the organization played a paramount role in garnering support for the legislation.

In a story authored by the executive for Radio Ink, he made the case that the “Depend on AM” campaign released by the organization was pivotal for Congressional support for the industry.

“The NAB’s Depend on AM campaign has played a crucial role in rallying this support. We’ve emphasized the importance of AM radio not just as a cultural, news and sports hub, but also as the resilient lifeline during emergencies, offering unmatched reach and reliability,” LeGeyt wrote. “This legislation ensures that AM radio remains accessible to all Americans, especially during public safety crises. We are making significant progress, but our work is far from over.”

Curtis LeGeyt claimed more than 250 members of the House of Representatives and 62 Senators have backed the bill that would require automakers to include AM radios in new and electric vehicle models or require manufacturers to inform customers the new model was not equipped with the band.

The NAB has been a vocal proponent of the bill’s passage, with LeGeyt testifying in front of Congress in support of the legislation.

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Media Business

Local News Becoming Less Prevalent on Radio, New RTDNA Study Shows

68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Barrett News Media

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RTDNA logo

Local news has been a focal point for radio stations for decades. But that may be fading away, a new RTDNA study shows.

65% of commercial stations still air local news in 2024, down slightly from 66.2% in 2023. Non-commercial stations have dropped 12% points in the past two years, down to just 60.7% airing local news.

However, the disconnect appears to come from locally owned stations versus non-locally owned. 68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Not only are there drops in the number of stations broadcasting local news, but the airtime those updates occupy has also shrunk, according to the RTDNA study.

“The biggest drop in average minutes came in large markets, suggesting that fewer all news or news/talk stations there filled out the Survey this year,” the study states. “Medium markets are down a bit; small markets dropped an average of over 20 minutes per weekday.”

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Media Business

YouTube Largest Podcast Discovery Platform By Wide Margin, Westwood One Study Shows

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the YouTube logo displayed on a phone

In the span of three years, YouTube has gone from the third most popular podcast discovery platform to the top spot, a Westwood One study suggests.

In a study of more than 600 weekly podcast listeners, 31% say YouTube is the most utilized podcast listening platform. 21% say they use Spotify most frequently, while 12% claimed Apple Podcasts was their go-to destination.

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

YouTube’s podcast listening profile is slightly more male-dominated and also younger than the typical Apple Podcasts audience, according to the results from Westwood One Audio Active Group.

Naturally, the majority of Apple and Spotify users utilize smartphones to access their favorite podcasts, while 38% of YouTube’s audience uses computers and televisions for their favorite shows.

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