Digital ad spending in the 2016 US presidential election is expected to increase 20 per cent on the last campaign, breaking $1bn (£639m) for the first time as more and more potential voters are reached online and by mobile.
The figures come from a new report by Borrell Associates, a firm that tracks ad spending in various sectors. The total ad spend for the election cycle is expected to reach $11.4bn by the time the final votes have been counted.
In addition to the money spent on the Democratic and Republican presidential nominee's campaigns, around half of the projected ad spend will go on smaller scale elections, including governors, members of congress, senators, state legislative districts and regional and city governments.
Focusing on digital spending, most is expected to be spent in presidential campaigns, followed by House candidates who are predicted to spend over $176.6m on digital, and city and local elections, who are likely to spend around $134.6m all told.
While digital spending still only represents around 10 per cent of total ad spending in the various campaigns, compared to the 30 to 50 per cent of budgets that other ad categories may earmark, the study's authors expect this to change rapidly as digital and mobile become increasingly central to marketing strategies. Digital spending is expected to double by the midterm elections in 2018, and hit almost $3.3bn by the next presidential election in 2020.