Costs of Radio Advertising in Australia: What’s Your ROI?

radio advertising

A study by Edison Research found that in the first quarter of 2020, 82 per cent of Australians still used their radios for news and entertainment. Even when the COVID-19 pandemic hit its peak in the country, radio usage remained strong, although Aussies’ listening habits changed.

In-car listening, which used to be the biggest contributor to radio usage, expectedly dipped since people couldn’t travel anymore. However, more Australians started turning on their radio at home while doing chores and other household activities.

So, what do these statistics show you? They tell you that radio is still a widely used medium, a potentially lucrative advertising platform.

If you’re a business owner planning to leverage the broad reach of radio to tap into more people, it’s important to know the costs involved in this strategy to estimate your expenses and potential revenues. Read on to find out how radio advertising costs are calculated and how much you need to invest to achieve your desired results.

How much does radio advertising cost in Australia?

Radio advertising costs are calculated per spot, meaning you pay each time the station runs your ad. Let’s say you want your ad to air three times a day for two weeks. That means you’ll have to pay for 42 radio spots. If a single radio spot costs $100, then you’ll need $4,200 for your 2-week radio ad campaign.

That’s a very rough estimate, though, since the price of radio spots varies greatly based on various factors. Some common factors include location, the length of your ad, time slot and the day of the week when your ad is played.


Advertising is more expensive in larger markets like Melbourne and Sydney, with a typical 30-second ad schedule costing around $8,000 a week. These locations, however, give your ads the most reach and exposure. For smaller markets, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 a week.

Ad Length

The average radio spot is 30 seconds, although you can run 15- or 60-second ads. Naturally, the shorter your ad the cheaper it is however loads are applied for shorter ads.

If you’re planning to run your ad multiple times a day, we recommend shortening them to 15-second spots to prevent ad fatigue in your listeners. Ad fatigue is when people lose interest in or grow annoyed with an ad because they’ve seen it too often.

On the flip side, you can opt for 30- or 60-second ads if you’re running them only once or twice a day. The length gives you the opportunity to promote your products or services in detail and connect more deeply with the listeners.

Time of the Day

Radio advertising rates are also calculated based on the daypart or the time slot you’re buying a spot in. Dayparts are divided into breakfast, morning, afternoon, drive and evening.

The breakfast and drive times are the most expensive ones since they’re peak listening hours. These times of day are when people are coming to and from work, which is when they’re most likely to tune in to their favourite radio stations.

Day of the Week

Radio spots for weekdays are pricier compared to weekends. This is because more people are in their cars listening to the radio during the middle of the week. Many Aussies also like to turn on the radio while working to put on some white noise.

The best way to maximise your ad spend is to choose a schedule that matches the listening habits of your audience. For example, if you’re targeting older adults, early morning is when they like to listen to the radio, so this is the best time to run your ads.

Invest in Radio Advertising Today

To get a more concrete picture of how much your planned radio ad campaign costs, you can enquire with Media Crew. Media Crew can give you a quote for the ad length, daypart, and day of the week you want for your radio spot, so you can make adjustments to your campaign to make sure you’re within budget.

If you want to learn more about radio advertising, Media Crew is here to guide you. We’re a full-service advertising agency, helping businesses connect with their target audiences in the most cost-efficient way.

Fill out our online form to get a quote for your radio advertising campaign.

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