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Advertising Rates & Media Ratings: Radio

How to Calculate Rates

To calculate radio ad rates, take the SQAD cost-per-point (in US$) for market and multiply it by the Arbitron rating for the program that airs at the same time. That will equal the cost of the ad.

SQAD cost-per-point 
x Arbitron rating 
= (relative) radio ad cost

Step 1: Get SQAD cost-per-point

  • For summary data, consult the Thumbnail Media Planner (print, Park Library reference, HF5415.3 .T48).
  • For more specific data (by daypart and media market), consult the SRDS radio advertising source (print, at Davis Library reference, call number HF5905 .S74). This is generally listed in a few pages at the front of the book.
  • Dayparts are defined as: AM (6 - 10 a.m.), Day (10 - 3 p.m.), PM (3 - 7 p.m.) and Evening (7 p.m. - 12 a.m.).

Step 2: Get Arbitron ratings data from one of the following:

  • RADIO ONLINE ® provides Arbitron ratings by media market.
  • Check the Radio County Coverage reports in the Park Library. They are from 2009-2010.
  • offers free, current ratings. ONLY for stations that subscribe to Arbitron, so not all stations are included. 

Note: UNC does not have access to the full data collected by Arbitron. This proprietary data is only available to Arbitron clients.

Books to Help Calculate Ad Rates

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Radio Market Rankings