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Data Powers Political

NEW YORK — With strong tallies in the last two election cycles, the total political TV ad pie could reach $3 billion in 2016, thanks to addressability and targeting, especially with cable spot buys.

That was a key takeaway from a wide-ranging panel on addressability during the “Advanced Advertising: Profiting from a Targeted Audience” event.

“This category has historically been about five to 10 years behind the rest of the business,” Comcast Spotlight vice president Dan Sinagoga told moderator Kent Gibbons, executive editor of Multichannel News. “But in this space it’s way ahead. No one uses more data to improve their results.”

The scoreboard is starting to reflect that shift. Comcast stats show the total political ad haul hit $4 billion in 2012 and 2014. The 2016 prediction is $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion, $3 billion of that on TV.

One hot sector is spot cable, due to how late in races targeted inventory is needed. About 75% of all buys come after July 4, with the bulk happening post-Labor Day.