How Much Does Radio Advertising Cost? 

Let's get started with the following advantageous facts about radio advertising:

  • It is affordable. With radio you get a lot of bang for your buck.
  • Radio reaches big audiences both diverse and/or narrowly targeted.
  • Radio allows you to get creative with how you deliver your message. Creative messaging increases brand recall and memorability.


How much does radio advertising cost?

As with any commodity (a new house, new car, etc.) when it comes to radio ads the first answer to the question, "How much does radio advertising cost." is, "It depends."

Right? A new Ferrari will cost you more than a new Corolla. But remember…they can both get you to work!

Prospective advertisers should be prepared to answer a handful of questions that will help determine the cost of their radio advertising.

This quick read will help fill in the blanks and answer the original question, "How Much Does Radio Advertising Cost?"

Factors That Determine the Cost of Radio Ads

Here are some of the questions that any prospective advertiser should be ready to answer:

  • In what city do you want to advertise?
  • On which radio station(s)? (if you aren't sure, that's cool, we'll help you answer below)
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Age range of ideal customers
  • Minimum income needed to afford your product or service
  • Homeowners or renters (if relevant)
  • For how many weeks do you want your ad to run? If you are promoting a concert or, say, a grass seed for the fall planting you may have a very tightly defined window in which your ads should run. A grocery store, on the other hand, will want to run year-round.
  • What is your ad budget? You can get more ads by buying in volume.


These next questions will also influence the cost of your radio ad buy, but will be answered by you and your radio account executive as you move along in the process.

  • How long a commercial do you need?
  • Are you looking for a regular announcer voice to read it or do you want a celebrity spokesperson or radio host?

Also note, ad prices will be higher for primetime slots and popular programs than for overnight commercials or lower rated shows.

Determining Which Radio Stations Are Best to Grow Your Business

To answer this, let's go back to your ideal customer. What does your ideal customer look like. How old is she? What's her annual household income? Are we talking families or young adults or retired folks?

The more information you can provide about your target customer, the better a radio fit you can find. McDonalds wants everyone from ages 1-100 to visit them, thus, McDonalds advertises to all sizes, ages, races, income levels of people. Meanwhile, a local, residential electrician wants only homeowners, often in a particular income range.

Once you have created a profile of your ideal customer, radio salespeople are trained to show you the size of their listening audiences and prices of commercials in your target demographic. If you're selling Harleys, you'll probably look at rock, talk, and country radio stations. If you own a store with baby clothes you'll likely want young moms, so you'll want to contact Top 40 or soft hits radio stations.

Radio is proven to be the most effective channel for targeting specific consumer demographics and lifestyles at an affordable price.

What Length Should My Commercial Be?

Commercials come in various forms, but the standard ads are 30-seconds, 15-seconds, and 60-seconds long. You radio salesperson will work with you to help develop the best length commercials to satisfy your needs.

Your Advertising Budget

Don't be afraid to share your goals for your business or your advertising budget with your radio salesperson. Knowing how much you have available to spend will help a good radio salesperson craft an effective ad schedule to either get your ad campaign off the ground or complement an already existing campaign.

When executed properly, radio commercials can help grow a business's ROI. It's proven true for hundreds of thousands of companies that use radio advertising as a key component to their marketing strategies. It's affordable and, done correctly, can help new advertisers go from crawl-to-walk-to-run over time.

Production Costs to Make a Commercial

Most radio stations work with their advertisers to craft their message, record it, and produce it - at a reasonable price. These cost savings provided by radio make it more affordable than other media and allow you to allocate more of your ad budget to more on-air commercials rather than costs of making of the commercial itself.

That's right, unlike television, newspaper or magazine ads that can cost anywhere from $1,000-$100,000 to produce, radio has production staffs, recording studios, and marketing experts who will help you craft your message, voice it, add sound effects and/or music - for minimal cost.

In isolated cases there might be fees associated with producing a commercial -- for instance, if you want to use a celebrity spokesperson. Radio advertising also offers businesses the unique chance to have their product endorsed by a specific person well-known in the community—a radio personality. Because of their reach and authority, radio personalities hold a certain sway over listeners. 77% of listeners reported being willing to try a brand or product endorsed by their favorite radio personality.

Still, for the most part, nearly all produced ads cost our advertisers cost next to nothing!

The Radio Advantage

Yes, social media has continued to rise in popularity, but Americans still love our good ol' tried-and-true forms of media as well!

Radio advertising is a powerful tool that can:

Increase bottom line revenue

Drive large increases in website traffic

Reach new prospective customers

Increase foot traffic

Amplify brand awareness

In today's rapidly changing marketplace it is critical that you have a marketing strategy that allows you to concentrate your resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Radio is everywhere and it's free to the consumer (no monthly fees). Because you can listen in your car, on the beach, raking leaves, while in the shower, etc. radio advertisers have a leg up on other forms of marketing that require a prospective consumer to be tied down - whether it's in front of a TV set, a computer terminal, or with a newspaper or magazine in hand.

CMG Can Help

Radio advertising done right can provide solutions to not only survive but flourish in these challenging economic times. To truly take advantage of the best radio marketing strategies, you need the best marketing company: CMG.

CMG's experienced and dedicated staffs will help you tailor a customized radio strategy that will grow your business by attracting new customers and reminding former customers why they did business with you in the first place.

Contact CMG when you're ready to increase your traffic flow and move your sales needle in a positive direction.

Facebook Marketing Partner
Google Ads Partner
graphical user interface, text, chat or text message
optimize 360 logo
logo, icon
logo, company name
graphical user interface, application, Word
logo, company name
logo, company name
a drawing of a face
Facebook Marketing Partner
Google Ads Partner
graphical user interface, text, chat or text message
optimize 360 logo
logo, icon
logo, company name
graphical user interface, application, Word
logo, company name
logo, company name
a drawing of a face

Our Partners and Publishers

When it comes to your digital marketing, we only partner with the top leaders in the industry to help get you the best results possible. Because we're a part of CMG, digital advertising with us is credible, accessible, data-driven and transparent.