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How to Find Advertising Rates: Radio

This guide offers information on finding advertising rates for television and radio.

Estimating Radio Ad Rates

Mint colored vintage radio

Find out how to calculate radio advertising rates by using the sources on this page!


Photo by Fernando Candeias

Radio Advertising Rates

For radio ad rates, take the SQAD cost-per-point (in US$) for a market and multiply it by the Nielsen Audio rating (also called the Arbitron rating) for the station. That will equal the cost of the ad.

To find the SQAD cost-per-point:

  • Go to SRDS Media Solutions 
  • Click Broadcast in the top menu
  • Click SQAD Spot Radio Cost-per-Point Estimates
  • Find the regional market you are researching (alphabetical by city) and click the link. The SQAD Spot Radio Cost-Per-Point Estimates contains the daypart and the corresponding SQAD cost-per-point amount for the market.
    • ​The dayparts are defined as: AM (6 - 10 AM), Day (10 - 3 PM), PM (3 - 7 PM) and Evening (7 PM - 12 AM)

To find the Nielsen Audio rating for the radio station:

  • Go to the Arbitron website
  • Create a free account. Select your DMA and then Go. 
  • The reports display the Average Quarter-Hour Persons: "The average number of persons listening to a particular station for at least five minutes during a 15-minute period" for different stations​ in that market.

There are some rating estimates in Media Market Guide behind the Reference Desk and in the Reference Collection. You may also be able to find ad costs on individual radio station websites.