Cost of Radio Advertising
Shout-out to staff writer Maggie Aland for her articles on radio advertising!
Super helpful! 🙂
However, I still have some questions I hope some people may be able to answer:
1. How long is the lead time normally?
2. If you’re locked with a contract, will your rates still be affected? (In newspaper advertising, the rate in the contract is static)
3. Securing an ad is not easy, and it usually goes to the highest bidder?
If possible, can anyone provide some rate cards samples?
I worked a short stint as a radio account exec and preferred to have about 30 days lead time in order to write and confirm the copy, record the ad, get approval, and get the spot into the schedule. However, there were sometimes time-sensitive ads and we could do them in as short as a few days (RUSH!).
I’m not sure what you mean by locked into a contract — your contract should specify your rates and the number of spots you get (and often what time or segment your radio ads play in). Those prices shouldn’t change during the course of your contract.
However, sometimes the station will have specials, such as trying to get sponsors for a new show (at a specific time slot, like M-F at 6:30 a.m.) and you can often get good rates. Ask your ad exec if they have any specials. They’ll often be willing to work within your budget. Also, you’ll be better pricing by working directly with the station that best fits your target audience, than working with an ad agency (as they will have a markup) — unless you have a huge budget, like political ads, and want to blitz the airways, shotgun style.
As far as a rate card, I no longer have one (we tended to keep the overall rates mum) while promoting ‘packages’). In our small town radio station, packages of say 50 spots a week would run between $300-$500 a month, but if a person wanted only 10 spots a week, they’d pay more like $50-$100/week. Packages are definitely the better way to go.
I do hope others will chime in with examples of big-city rates for you.
Laura, Staff Writer