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Political ad spending is entering 'a phase we've never seen': expert

The 2020 general presidential election may be more than a year away, but political advertising is sure to grow as we approach fall 2019.

Data from Advertising Analytics anticipates more than $10 billion in political ad spending going into 2020, with $6 billion dollars in the 2019-2020 cycle alone. While most of those ad dollars are set to be used for traditional broadcast media, $3.26 billion, Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise points to the rise in digital spending. Some $1.6 billion is expected to be spent for digital videos, more than the $8.6 million spent in 2018.

Wise spoke about how more candidates are turning to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and online research hubs like Google.

“The best part about digital and social within digital is the one-to-one marketing that you can do,” he said on Yahoo Finance’s On The Move. “These candidates are now hiring PHD’s. They’re hiring statisticians. It’s a level of complexity that we’ve never seen before.”

One 2020 hopeful that Wise is most impressed with is tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

“Andrew Yang is running a magnificent campaign,” Wise said and saying how he was the best at relating to potential voters. “The media is paying no attention to him so he has to do this grass roots, digital. He is being very smart about it.”

In fact, according to numbers from SimilarWeb, Yang is among the top three Democratic presidential candidates when it comes to web traffic to candidates' campaign websites, attracting about 875,000 visits to his page from the first debate through July 26.

Wise also applauded former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden for his use of text messages, adding that Biden is the only Democratic candidate to reach donors via text.

Following Trump’s digital stride

Wise also went on to credit President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign influence on how other candidates use social media platforms.

“I think people are using social platforms. That’s what Trump was a genius at in 2016 and I think now we have two dozen Democratic candidates who are closely watching and moving in that direction,” he said.

“Marketing is about paid, owed, and earned. So much is focused on ‘paid’ which is TV commercials, ads on line. But ‘owned and earned’ are huge and what we saw was candidate Trump got so much earned media, it was worth billions and billions of dollars for free,” Wise added.

Marabia Smith is a producer for Yahoo Finance On the Move.

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