Political Ad Spend Across CTV, OTT Surges


How important are “over the top” platforms — including increasingly important “AVOD” options — and Connected TV channels for those seeking to win their respective political races in November?

Just ask video ad platform SpotX. It’s seen more than a 900% increase in political advertising spend across its platform of OTT and CTV channels since April 2020.

The increase represents a broader shift of viewers and advertisers toward streaming platforms. According to Nielsen, streaming grew to more than 25% of total TV minutes viewed in the second quarter of 2020 alone, compared to 19% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

With the number of cord-cutters and “cord-nevers” accelerated by COVID-19, SpotX provides a platform to advertisers to reach audiences across OTT and CTV that are no longer accessible on traditional TV.

At the same time, SpotX believes it has the good to enable politicians to scale advertising with growing inventory across OTT and CTV.

In fact, OTT and CTV advertising inventory increased by nearly 75% on SpotX’s platform in September, as compared to April 2020.

This inventory is restructured by SpotX based on creative approval times, allowing programmatic campaigns to immediately launch on a demand side platform (DSP) with scale while removing the pain point of waiting for approvals from each individual publisher.

“OTT and CTV are emerging as the most influential medium for political candidates leading up to the 2020 election,” said SpotX Director of Political & Government Affairs Allan Welch. “Each election year, we see political ad spend explode following Labor Day and this year, we have noticed a tremendous increase of political advertising across all OTT screens and streams as political advertising on social media has been deprioritized in comparison with the 2016 presidential election year.”

Beyond video ad campaigns about specific candidates, this year’s election cycle has brought new initiatives into the forefront. One such trend includes the addition of advertisements about mail-in ballots, with groups from both sides of the aisle arguing for and against mail-in voting.

Other hot political topics for OTT/CTV viewers include “get out the vote” initiatives, social justice reform, the COVID-19 response, and climate change.

In addition to enhanced scale and reach, SpotX’s platform offers candidates high quality
targeting metrics and data with quick turnaround speeds. The company has created a political data group that enables media buyers to deploy voter segments with precision beyond party affiliation and demographics.