How Much Political Will Radio Get In 2018?


The total political advertising pie in 2018 will be $8.5 billion, according to a new report from Borrell and Associates. That’s an increase of 2.5% over 2014 and over $3 billion more than the estimate for 2017. So the big question is, how does Borrell predict radio will do next year? Let’s find out.

Of the $8.5 billion spent in political advertising in 2014, radio took in 7.5% or $619.26 million. Broadcast TV took home a whopping 57.8% ($4.8 billion) of the total in 2014, while digital was less than 1% ($71 million). Fast forward to 2018. Borrell projects that radio will take in less than its share from 2014, $564 million, only 6.6% of the total $8.5 billion on the table and a decline of nearly 9% from 2014.

Broadcast TV takes a big hit, according to the Borrell report, declining to 39.5% from 57.8% in 2014. That’s a decline of 30% and a loss of over $1 billion. The big winner, thanks to Google and Facebook, is digital, jumping over 2500% from 2014. Borrell projects that $1.9 billion of political advertising will be spent in online in 2018. If that pans out, digital would go from less than 1% of the ad spend share in 2014, to more than 22% of the share.

A few other predictions from the Borrell report:
– nearly half of all political advertising in 2018 will be placed programmatically.
– due to fake news, digital ad fraud, and Russian interference, locally owned radio, TV, and newspapers will be looked upon more favorably.


  1. When radio learns to write some compelling copy for the local candidates, it might be in a position to garner some political business.
    Whereas: “I am a man of deep personal faith while my opponent is a Satan-worshipping infidel who eats babies.” is not going to move that project ahead all that much.
    Oh sure, it does work! 🙂

  2. I happen to think that Gordon Burrell is a brilliant researcher and predictor. Let me suggest that radio is the only medium with 1000 outlets promoting the Republican agenda. If I was a Republican I wouldn’t buy time on those stations because I’m covered! If I’m a Democrat, I wouldn’t buy those stations because it’s a hostile environment for my message. Let me predict that in 2018 radio will get less than 5% and online, with its crooked measurement system will get over 30%


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