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National 2016 Likely Voter Survey Highlights Key Shifts In Electorate’s TV, Online, Mobile, Video, and Gaming Habits

January 29, 2016

Survey Provides Deepest Insights Yet Into Best Practices for Targeting and Engaging Likely Voters

LOS ANGELES – January 29, 2016 – With the first votes of the 2016 Presidential primary season less than one week away, Rubicon Project (NYSE: RUBI), which operates one of the largest advertising marketplaces in the world, has released the findings from a new national survey of likely voters that provides insights into how voters are shaping their decisions and where they go to consume news and campaign information. The survey examined the content consumption habits of 1,500 likely voters in the U.S. 2016 general presidential election.

Over the course of the next 10 months it is projected that campaigns and super PACs will spend more than $10 billion targeting and engaging likely voters — how they allocate those dollars will be mission critical in shaping the opinions of the electorate. The research unveiled today provides a clear roadmap for campaigns and candidates seeking to reach likely voters where and when they consume information that ultimately will shape their voting decisions.

“2016 presents a real opportunity for innovation and change in how campaigns and candidates reach the always connected voter,” commented Dallas Lawrence, Senior Vice President at Rubicon Project. “Spending billions of dollars on TV advertising like we have witnessed from candidates and super PACs for the past 30 years just isn’t going to move the needle this election cycle as much as in the past.”

Key findings from the national survey include:

TV isn’t Dead, it’s Just Not Dominant: Likely voters today spend an equal amount or more time online than watching TV, with highly coveted independent voters being nearly twice as likely to spend more time online than in front of their television.

Skip It: Nearly half of all likely voters say they now use a DVR for most of their TV watching and two-thirds report skipping commercials all or most of the time” when watching recorded programming.

Penetrating the Second Screen is Key: Nearly half of the likely electorate have a second screen on “always or most of the time” when watching TV and about one-third of baby boomers have a second device screen open always or most of the time while watching TV.

When Voters are Online They Go to Video: More than one-third of likely voters report watching online videos daily with four out of ten democratic and independent voters watching videos daily online.

Gamers Matter: Half of all likely voters play games weekly on their mobile devices. More than one-third of likely democrat and a quarter of independent voters are getting their game(s) on daily.

Total Recall on Digital Devices: Nearly a third of the electorate reported being able to recall seeing a specific digital political advertisement so far this cycle.

Voters are Compelled to Click: More than a third (36%) of those who have seen a political ad have taken a positive action such as clicking through to the content or providing an email address. Engagement with digital ads on a mobile device is nearly twice as strong, with 3 in 5 (64%) of those that have seen a digital political ad on mobile taking action.

Dallas Lawrence continued, “What we’re seeing, and what we will continue to see, is an important shift in where and how voters are spending their time and ultimately where they are consuming the content that shapes their voting behavior. Smart campaigns seeking a competitive advantage in what will be the most costly and hotly contested election season in American history would be wise to recognize that the electorate is no longer sitting passively in front of the television waiting for a one way broadcast engagement. They are online, mobile, playing games, consuming massive amounts of video content, and looking for the right message from the right candidate at the right time to inform and ultimately persuade their perceptions about the race.”

For further information on this study or insight into additional data please click here.

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Survey Methodology

Rubicon Project engaged global polling firm Penn Schoen Berland to conduct 1,500 interviews (MOE ±2.53%) among likely voters in the US 2016 General Presidential election. The survey sample includes 597 (MOE ±4.01%) likely General election voters who identify as Democrats, 479 (MOE ±4.48%) as Republicans, and 398 (MOE ±4.91%) as Independents. The interviews were conducted from January 8th to January 12th, 2016.


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