Chicago Radio Advertising FAQ

Chicago Radio Advertising FAQ

Radio is an incredibly powerful advertising tool. Even in a world filled with digital communications, radio still reaches more individuals than any other media platform. Additionally, radio’s format captures an audience’s attention during critical moments, like when they’re in the car and more likely to pay attention. It also allows you to include a substantial amount of information in its ads compared to print or even TV. 

Here is an overview of some of radio advertising’s basic questions to help you understand if your business can benefit from using radio ads.

How Much Do Radio Ads Cost?

In general, radio advertising costs depend on the ad’s length. Other factors, like location, also affect its cost, as well as its time slot and the station you’re airing through. Despite these expense factors, most radio advertising costs fall between $200 and $5,000 per week, with production costs ranging from $300 to $1,000. 

However, this does not mean radio ads are generally expensive. You can keep costs low by focusing on three essential aspects of your radio ad:

  • Placement
  • Length
  • Production

Keeping production simple and in-house will cut down costs dramatically. Airing your ads during less expensive times will also help you maintain your budget, especially if your ad is shorter and takes up less air time.

How Many People Will Hear the Ad?

Over 92% of people in the United States, age 12 and up, listen to the radio every week. Radio has an audience of over 235 million listeners. However, determining how many people your specific ad will reach will depend on a few factors, including:

  • The time of day your ad airs on the radio.
  • The size of the area it’s airing to.
  • How often it airs during the day.
  • How many radio stations air your ad. 

When Is the Best Time to Advertise?

Usually, the most popular times to air a radio ad are in the morning rush hour (between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.) and evening rush hour (between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.). Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., there is usually mid-level listenership. The time slot from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. has different listenership levels, reaching unique audiences. Adult contemporary and sports stations have high listening rates during nighttime hours. Before purchasing a time slot, consider when your target audience listens. The best time slot for your business is the one that reaches your audience.

The pandemic has also affected radio listening trends. Midday became a popular listening time for a lot of people stuck at home during lockdown. Drivetime listenership has decreased accordingly. However, listenership will likely return to its normal trends as the pandemic is brought under control.

If your target audience is active at non-peak, you’ll be able to advertise at a much lower cost. Investing in advertising during evenings and weekends leads to a more cost-efficient strategy.

Who Listens to Radio?

Radio brings many different types of listeners, though it is difficult to say exactly who listens to which radio station. There are station genres that typically attract similar audiences across the nation. For instance:

  • Those under 35 usually listen during peak hours and are most likely to tune into the Top 40 and Alternative music. 
  • People between 25 and 55 years old typically listen during peak hours and evenings and tune into the Rock stations.
  • Anyone over 40 years old listening during peak hours and evenings often tune into Oldie music stations.

How Do You Create a Radio Ad?

There are numerous ways you can create a radio ad. 

  • Partner with a media company that provides experienced account managers to walk you through the process and create something unique to work for your business!
  • The radio station can create the ad for you if you provide them a script. 
  • You can hire a production company, but you will need to pay a premium cost for them to do everything for you. 
  • Or you can keep it in-house and create your script and hire a freelance voice actor. 

Even though all these options require the same general steps, the process that each one takes and the costs involved will vary depending on the method you choose.

How Can You Measure Your Radio Ad’s Performance?

Once you create a radio ad, it is vital that you start tracking your ad’s performance and how much traffic it is bringing to your businesses. Tracking ultimately helps you plan your future radio ads, allowing you to save money and boost sales in the process. 

Best of all, there are many ways you can measure your ad’s performance, including:

  • Creating a website or a telephone number specific to the ad to calculate how many people react to it.
  • Talking to customers to see if they learned of your business through your radio ad.
  • Tracking your sales after your ad runs to give you a sense of how well it performed.

Radio ads are a terrific way to reach new customers and increase brand awareness and sales.  It’s a more cost-effective advertising method than most other mediums and may be just the investment you need to see the results you and your company want. Plus, if you are genuinely looking to make a powerful statement, consider a radio host endorsement. It can be a huge opportunity to attract your target market fast and get you significant results.

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