Marketing: What Is the Cost Value of Radio Time?

Many marketers are intimidated by video and audio and don’t use these powerful communication channels enough. National television advertising is expensive, of course, and only one out of a hundred marketers has the budget for it. For everyone else, there’s spot television and radio advertising (including in-store radio).

Radio offers a broader reach for less cash than other media in the United States (and many other nations as well); marketers would usually do very well to buy radio due to this incredible reach/value combination.

If you’re targeting adults, your audience is probably served fairly well by radio ads. However, younger listeners are tending to tune out radio in favor of their own playlists, which they download from the web and play on MP3 players, cellphones, tablets, and computers. Consequently, traditional radio no longer reaches the under-30 crowd as well as it used to, but web radio can be used effectively instead.

You can target radio advertising quite narrowly — both by type of audience and by geographic area. This fact helps make radio a very good buy. The general lack of appreciation for this medium also helps by keeping ad prices artificially low.

Radio ads are cheaper than television and newspaper ads in the United States. Radio programmers don’t charge more for advertising slots, partly because of the problem that people may not be paying any attention to the radio they have on in the background. But a well-designed ad can often capture folks’ attention for a few seconds.

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