How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on the Radio? A Basic Guide

In 2019, over 272 million Americans listened to the radio each week. With such a massive audience at their disposal, it’s easy to see why radio advertisers are working harder than ever to generate meaningful ads for radio.

If you’re looking to break into radio advertising, you may be wondering “How much does it cost to advertise on the radio?”. We’ll answer that question and more as we dive into the expansive world of radio advertising. 

How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on the Radio?

In 2019, advertisers across the United States spent over $129 billion on a variety of media advertisements. While this may seem like a lot of money, the ad market is only continuing to expand each year!

Whether you’re a small business or a major corporation, you don’t need a major budget to buy radio advertisements. Radio ad pricing is broken down into the following categories. 

Pricing By Number of Listeners 

Many radio stations have a pricing system that correlates to the number of listeners at any given time. For this system, prices are calculated the cost to reach a thousand listeners.

You can calculate the price per thousand listeners of your ad by dividing the total cost of the ad by the total number of listeners and then multiply your results by 1,000. To break it down, a radio ad that cost a total of $200 and ran for a total of 20,000 listeners would have an overall ad rate of $10 per thousand listeners. 

Pricing By City 

Radio ad pricing can also vary based on the city that you’re looking to advertise in. For example, a 30-second radio ad spot in Chicago, Illinois may cost upwards of $300 while that same radio ad spot would only cost $100 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The point is, the city you’re looking to advertise in could have a great effect on the amount of money you’ll be spending. 

Pricing By Station or Provider 

Individual radio stations actually have a lot of autonomy when it comes to setting their own prices. A major difference in pricing can be seen between local small-town radio stations and nationally known stations. 

Pricing can also vary based on the length of your ad and the time of day you wish to run it. Pricing may also be based on a weekly or monthly subscription model instead of a per ad basis. 

Online radio advertising also offers a major market that is ready to be tapped. Pricing for online radio stations can vary with providers such as Spotify charging anywhere from $250 to $25,000 for various subscription models. Some stations such as Sirius XM require a minimum of $10,000 per week for advertising. 

Benefits of Radio Advertising 

The benefits of radio advertising are truly endless. Radio has long been a major player in the advertising space and remains a great resource for companies today. We hope we’ve answered your burning question of “how much does it cost to advertise on the radio?”. 

If you’re wondering if radio advertising is right for your business, be sure to check out additional resources and information to learn the ins and outs of the radio advertising market! 

Author: SHABL

Rob has been traveling the world and living abroad for over a decade. The goal was to stop having a boring life and it turned into something far greater. He's worked with national tourism boards and been mentioned in National Geographic. These days he lives abroad and loves business, technology, the tropical lifestyle, good food and travel.

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