Report: Radio Has One Of The Lowest CPMs In Major Media.


More evidence that advertisers undervalue radio comes from an unlikely source – the Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA). The trade group released an analysis conducted by financial advisory firm Solomon Partners that benchmarks the media with the highest and lowest CPMs (cost per thousand impressions). With a median CPM of $6.75 for a 30-second spot, radio has one of the lowest costs among major media channels.


The median CPM for primetime broadcast TV (excluding primetime) is nearly three times higher than for radio, clocking in at $20. And primetime broadcast TV is more than five times as costly as radio with a median CPM of $36.00. The median CPMs for cable TV range from $12 when prime is excluded to $19 for primetime.


It is newspapers that own the distinction of being the most expensive medium overall with a median CPM at $46.82.


And what about out of home, the media channel that put out the report? The Solomon Partners data shows out-of-home media ranges from transit shelters on the low-end with a median CPM of $2.18, to digital place-based media buys on the high end at $7.50.


While radio is shown to be among the most cost-efficient of any media, the more narrowly targeted (and currently sexier) podcasting ad channel is more than three times as expensive with an average CPM of $23.33 for a 60-second ad. The report doesn’t say whether that encompasses both host read ads, for which advertisers pay a significant premium, and less expensive announcer read ads.


Over-the-top video ads (OTT) are the most expensive digital ad media with a median CPM of $30, compared to about $10 for mobile and desktop video. On the low end is general display at $2.27 and mobile display at $2.21.


The report, as first reported by MediaPost, doesn’t include social media advertising costs. It is based on publicly traded media company regulatory filings, news reports, research and other industry sources as of January 2022.

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