The pandemic helped to increase the demand for video streaming services as many people looked for ways to entertain themselves while stuck at home. The shift in viewing from traditional linear television to video on demand has led political campaigns to change their strategies, as seen in this month’s midterm elections.

“People are watching and consuming content in a lot of different places that they didn’t in past elections,” Mark Failla, director of political ad sales at D2 Media Sales, said in this interview with Beet.TV. “A lot of over-the-top services and connected TV is now a big part of what the media buyers are buying in this election cycle.”

D2 Media is a partnership between the two major satellite television companies, DIRECTV and Dish Network, to provide political advertisers with broad reach throughout the country. DIRECTV Stream and Dish’s Sling TV give campaigns a way to reach consumers who have connected their TVs to the internet.

“With CTV and stream attracting more political spend, we’re looking at overall political spend now of what’s approaching $8.5 billion dollars this year,” Failla said. “We also saw a lot more spend earlier in the year in the primaries because of very competitive primary races in most states.”

A big portion of that spending went into CTV and addressable advertising, Failla said.

“Believe me, TV and cable is always going to be a huge part of the media buy, but connected TV and addressable TV gives you a much better way to be efficient in your media buy as well,” he said.

In the future, he expects to see campaigns harness more voter and polling data to help customize their TV ads for different constituencies. Failla cited Pennsylvania as an example of a battleground state with notable differences among local regions.

“In a state like Pennsylvania, suburban households in Philadelphia are far different than suburban households that are in Western Pennsylvania between Erie and Pittsburgh,” he said. “There’s some huge differences and campaigns are using data to understand those audiences better and to be able to better target them.”