Then-candidate Donald Trump frustrated many media executives in 2016 by spending less than expected on the outlets where political ads were traditionally found. Now as President Trump seeks re-election, his campaign is again doing things differently. That’s led to what’s believed to be its first ad buy on a podcast. The Trump Make America Great Again Committee was listed by Laura Ingraham as one of the sponsors of her PodcastOne show on Tuesday. “I want to thank all of our sponsors for supporting this show: Brush Hero, SeroVital and The Trump Make America Great Again Committee. They help provide this podcast free for you every week,” Ingraham told listeners. After nearly two decades in talk radio, Ingraham relaunched her show as a daily podcast in January.
The 2020 presidential campaign is already gearing up as a breakout moment for podcasting as a crowded field of Democrats has delivered a bigger opportunity for shows to book candidates as guests. But the medium has grown too since the last election cycle. Edison Research says 51% of Americans have listened to a podcast compared to 36 % in 2016. But what may be of interest to campaign ad buyers is the even stronger reach among young adults which traditionally have been tougher to target with traditional political ads. Edison says 39% of 25-54 year olds and 40% of 12-24 year olds report listening to a podcast each month.
The Trump campaign may be especially actively on digital media in 2020. Bully Pulpit Interactive data shows it has already spent about $8 million on Facebook and Google advertising, far outpacing his Democratic challengers.