Solutions Partner

Strategies to capture political spending

Newspapers have an opportunity to capture a larger share of the political spending pie


Every two years, political campaigns and PACs open the floodgates and spend ever increasing amounts on advertising, most of it on video.  Newspapers have not benefited enough from this spending largeness because print and online banners are out of favor with political media buyers, while video increasingly dominates.    

In 2020, of the $8.0 billion spent on political advertising, video made up 70%, while newspapers accounted for only 7%.  Within video, digital — with its ability to target and track — is rapidly winning share from broadcast TV and cable, growing from 19% of video spending in 2018 to 34% in the current 2022 cycle.  Connected TV (CTV) is driving this growth, but opportunities exist for websites offering video advertising. Source: AdImpact and Cross Screen Media.

An Adlistics team recently attended the American Association of Political Consultants’ Pollies conference and saw firsthand the opportunity for video media providers.  With over 500 political consultants, media buyers and media vendors in attendance, it was clear that broadcast TV, cable and digital video, including Connected TV (Hulu, Roku, etc.), will play the starring role in the political media show. 

How can newspapers position their media offering to capture a greater share of political spending?  Newspaper readers are known to vote and skew older, versus a younger skewing CTV audience.  Both points are attractive to political media buyers.  But how to create a marketable media package?

Newspapers will need to offer video advertising at scale.  Pre-roll video inventory is available, but because text content continues to far exceed video, pre-roll inventory is limited.  Outstream video ads that play in text articles can deliver the volumes needed to justify the attention of a political media buyer.

A second challenge is the time-intensive process facing media buyers to manually plan, negotiate and buy from newspapers.  The political media buyers we spoke with at the Pollies conference, whether on the left or right, all agreed they would only consider media that they could quickly plan and place at scale.  Having to manually negotiate separate insertion orders with individual publications, large and small, would be hard to justify. 

Adlistics is developing a product specifically designed to open the political market to newspapers.  Our Digital Video Ad Network offers newspapers a standardized outstream, in-article video ad unit.  Media buyers use Adlistics, a self-service media buying platform, to find publications in their voting district, review their audience profile, and then create and submit insertion orders for the in-article video ad units.  With the ability to plan and deliver a campaign in minutes, political media buyers are now able to a reach a valuable audience throughout their voting district using their preferred media video format.  

Please contact John Silva, director of sales, at for more information.