Media and Uni Students | YESmarketing.com.au

Radio as a marketing channel

What is a 30-second radio commercial?

This is generally a 30-second commercial designed to engage sales, idea’s, information and concepts for retail outlets and some brands distributed via the ‘airwaves’ of radio stations on AM or FM. This is now extending to Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music and other streaming services. (Pandora left Australia in June 2017 after 4 years)

(*digital radio is now available in all Cap cities, but uptake in receivers is low. Digital gives ‘both’ AM and FM players a level playing field in terms of quality that the signal is broadcast on)

What lengths can a radio commercial be?

It does change by stations in Australia, but generally, 80-90% of all commercials are 30 seconds long. The other durations of commercials are:

15 second and 60 second

All other recognised lengths are generally negotiated with the individual stations. They can be:

05 second radio commercials
10 second radio commercials
15 second radio commercials
30 second radio commercials
45 second radio commercials
60 second radio commercials
90 second radio commercials

Most non-conforming radio commercials (ie commercials outside the standard 30-second time frame) are charged at a higher rate. Eg a 15-second radio commercial is charged at 75% of the 30-second rate.

Most stations have a 5 and 10-second ads that are generally referred to as 'promotional liners' and not commercials. These are generally heard in the context of:
Coming up next weather for XYZ Solar Hot Water systems, why pay more? Call 1800 123 456

Approx. rates for 1 x 30 second recorded commercial spot on various radio stations

Sydney

Rate per 30 second ‘recorded’ commercial

2GB

$750

Kiis FM

$700

2DAY

$550

Triple M

$500

NOVA

$650

Smooth

$500

2CH

$200

MacQuarie Sport

$200

2SM

$100

Melbourne

Rate per 30 second ‘recorded’ commercial

3AW

$850

FOX

$750

GOLD

$650

Triple M

$500

NOVA

$500

Smooth

$500

Kiis FM

$400

SEN

$350

Mac Sport

$100

Brisbane

Rate per 30 second ‘recorded’ commercial

97.3

$550

B105

$350

Triple M

$350

NOVA

$400

4KQ

$200

4BC

$200

How are voices selected for radio commercials?

Generally, there is a hardcore group of ‘great voice over talent’ that are currently employed on Australian radio and that is approximately 200 voices. They are defined as ‘professional’ voice over artists and derive the majority of their income from straight voice-over work on radio, or TV. 

See our friends at radioCommercials.com.au - Click here for samples

How many radio stations are in Australia?

Currently, we have over 250 commercial licenses, but it does change from year to year as more licenses are released, but if you go to the industry body that represents all commercial radio stations in Australia, you can get valuable information:

How much does a radio commercial cost to make?

Let me break that into two areas. If your commercial is to be played in a metropolitan market (All Capital Cities) the standard cost for a 30 second commercial to be:

Written, edited, approved by client, sent to production, voiced, music bed added if required, mixed and then submitted to the radio station, approximately $400 - $600

If the commercial is to be made and played in non-metropolitan markets (provincial and regional markets), the same commercial is approximately $200 - $300

How much to advertise on radio in Australia?

Ahhh my best and brightest, the 64 million dollar question. The simple answer is, it varies and it varies a lot. Influencing factors include:

  • What state are you in

  • What station has the best format

  • What station rates the highest

  • Variations between the number of minutes of commercials a station run per hour
    This can vary from 4 minutes [ 8 x 30-second ads] to 14 minutes [28 x 30 sec ads]

    But generally, all these factors come down to a ‘thing’ called CPM (Cost per thousand). How many listeners does the station have and how many thousands of people listen.

    'Audience' is measured in a number of ways on radio. 'Share' of the audience. This is a percentage of the total 'Time spent listening' to a radio station and its percentage share of the total time spent listening to all commercial radio stations. 

    'Averages' are the average number of listeners per hour to the station, and finally 'Cume' (cumulative audience listening to a radio station). This is the total number of listeners coming in and out of a station every 15 minutes.

    As a general rule, FM stations have a higher 'Cume' than AM stations (FM listeners tend to dial twiddle and flick when commercials come on). AM stations tend to have a higher 'share' of TSL (Time spent listening) as this audience don’t change stations as often

  • http://radiotoday.com.au/survey-shakeup-how-cume-numbers-can-flip-a-survey-result-on-its-head/

    In Australian radio, survey day has traditionally been about who’s first past the post. That is, which station or daypart holds the greatest average audience share of listening (as a percentage).

    Ratings are a key part of the marketing side of radio, with advertising being one of, if not the most important cog in the commercial radio machine.

    In Australia, advertisers and agencies have always bought advertising on radio based on share, not cume.

    But in the UK, and other parts of the world, cumulative audience data (cume) is the key measurement when it comes to gauging success.

    After his first survey in Australia, former Absolute Radio host Christian O’Connell told Radio Today that he felt ratings Down Under were “sharper” and that the stakes were higher.

    Fellow British expat and NOVA Entertainment group program director Paul Jackson often points to cume numbers on survey day when speaking with Radio Today, as a sign that all may not be what it seems, or at least what a share rating may suggest.

    In fact, if you look closely at key metro markets, measuring cume numbers often paints quite a different story and can reveal a completely different leaderboard.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is Jackson’s stations that tend to dominate the market when it comes to cume.

    Below, Radio Today compares the cume and share results for the Top 5 stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from Survey #7.


    Sydney

    Nova 96.9 is #1 in Sydney on cume with 986,000 ears. Despite losing -19K listeners, it’s almost 100,000 ahead of its nearest rivals KIIS FM with 903,000 (+40K).

    2GB, which streams ahead in share, doesn’t even make the Top 5 when it comes to cume. It has 587,000 listeners and fell by -90K in Survey #7.

    None of this is particularly surprising, and it reinforces the idea that listeners of 2GB are fiercely loyal and are engaging more often, but that there are less of them overall (and falling).


    Melbourne

    Melbourne paints a similar story, with traditional #1 share station 3AW not figuring in the Top 5 cume stations.

    3AW has 668,000 listeners, and despite gaining +31K this survey remains outside the frontrunners and below ABC Melbourne with 982,000.

    Fox FM are streaks ahead of its competitors with over a million cume listeners. Nova 100, who don’t traditionally figure when it comes to the top share stations, is in equal second place with Gold104.3.


    Brisbane

    If cume was the key measurement in Brisbane, Nova 106.9 would be celebrating a big win this survey instead of Triple M.

    Nova is top of the pile, with 577,000 cume audience (-23K) ahead of Hit105 with 498,000, then 97.3FM with 493,000, and finally share winners Triple M with 413,000.

  • I’ll use some very simple numbers to explain the theory.

    Example only

    In a market of 10,000 people (listeners), you have 10 radio stations. The top 3 stations have the following numbers listening to them:

    Station 1 – 5,000 listeners

    Station 2 – 3,000 listeners

    Station 3 – 1,000 listeners

    Cost to advertise:

    Station 1 – 5,000 listeners             $500 per 30 second ad, or $100 CPM (cost per thousand)

    Station 2 – 3,000 listeners             $300 per 30 second ad, or $100 CPM (cost per thousand)

    Station 3 – 1,000 listeners             $100 per 30 second ad, or $100 CPM (cost per thousand)

    What can happen is the top rating station, or best-marketed station can charge more than the average CPM for commercials on their station, so in this case Station 1 could charge $120 CPM and therefore the cost for 1 x 30-second radio commercial would be $600, not $500.

    Station 2 may stay at the average of $100 CPM

    Station 3 may be lower than the average $100 CPM at $75 and therefore the cost for 1 x 30-second radio commercial would be $75, not $100

    What is the difference between AM and FM radio

    Up until the 1980’s ALL commercial radio stations were AM. The word ‘AM’ is derived from the definition of ‘how’ the signal is carried (broadcast) through the airwaves.

    AM is defined as ‘Amplitude Modulated’

    FM is defined by ‘Frequency Modulation’

    How many words in a 30-second radio commercial?
    Approximately 75 to 85 words depending on 'pace' of reading.
    "Brand" ads may be slightly slower with fewer words and more defined, 
    "Retail" ads may have more words to create and generate a sense of urgency. 

    How many words in a 15-second radio commercial?
    Approximately 38 to 42 words?

    Can I have any other length radio commercial?
    Yes, but most stations accept 15 and 30-second ads. For more information on whether you can run other length radio ads, please speak to your radio station.
    Other length ads are 05, 10, 45 and 60-second ads.

    Is a phone number one word? 
    NO. For 0412 345 678, it’s in fact 10 words, one for each number
    (zero, four one, two...three, four, five, six, seven, eight)

    Do you recommend using a phone number in commercials?
    Generally, NO. Unless you have a cool number to remember 13 13 13
    To remember a normal phone number, you would have to say twice (‘cause who can ever remember a phone number after hearing once?) and use a lot of words up.

    Should I use my web address in my commercials?
    Generally, YES. People remember web page better than a phone number.

    Is a price one word? 
    NO. For $3,456, it’s in fact 8 words, one for each number.
    (three thousand, four hundred and fifty six dollars)

    How many voices can I have in any ad or commercial
    As many as you want. You normally get charged per voice.
    Our experience shows that 80% of all ads are single voice commercials. 
    The other 20% is made up of 2 and 3 voice ads.

    Do I have to have music under my ad?
    NO. But this sometimes help set the mood and tone for the commercial

    What is a cold ad?
    This is simply a commercial recorded with voice only, and no music or sound effects

    Do radio commercials need to be approved?
    Short answer is NO. There are no statutory approval processes that exist in TV to get radio commercials approved.

     

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TV

    How many words in a 30 second TV commercial?
    Approximately 75 to 85 words depending on 'pace' of read.
    "Brand" ads may be slightly slower with less words and more defined, 
    "Retail" ads may have more words to create and generate a sense of urgency. 

    How many words in a 15 second  TV commercial?
    Approximately 38 to 42 words?

    Can I have any other length of TV commercial?
    Yes, but most stations accept 15 and 30 second ads. For more information on whether you can run other length radio ads, please speak to your radio station.
    Other length ads are 05, 10, 45 and 60 second ads.

    What’s an advertorial TV commercial?
    This is generally a live TV commercial that runs over 60 seconds. These come from a combination of ‘advertising’ and ‘editorial’. So it is a TV commercial that implies it has station endorsement and is normally hosted by a TV presenter with client.

    Is a phone number one word? 
    NO. For 0412 345 678, it’s in fact 10 words, one for each number
    (zero, four one, two...three, four, five, six, seven, eight)

    Do you recommend using a phone number in commercials?
    Generally, NO. Unless you have a cool number to remember 13 13 13
    To remember a normal phone number, you would have to say twice (‘cause who can ever remember a phone number after hearing once?) and use a lot of words up.
    But in say this, you can put this information on the screen while the voice over is talking about your business.  This is called a ‘super’, or basically, the information is ‘superimposed’ on the TV ad.

    Should I use my web address in my commercials?
    Generally, YES. People remember web page better than a phone number. This is normally the last thing with phone and address on the TV commercial.

    Is a price one word? 
    NO. For $3,456, it’s in fact 8 words, one for each number.
    (three thousand, four hundred and fifty six dollars)

    How many voices can I have in any ad or commercial
    As many as you want. You normally get charged per voice.
    Our experience shows that 80% of all ads are single voice commercials. 
    The other 20% is made up of 2 and 3 voice ads.

    Do I have to have music under my ad?
    NO. But this sometimes help set the mood and tone for the commercial

    What is a cold ad?
    This is simply a commercial recorded with voice only, and no music or sound effects

    I hear TV ads are shorter than radio?
    That’s correct. Radio commercials are exactly 30 seconds. TV commercials are 1 second shorted on all length ads. So a 30 second TV commercial is 29 second long.

    Why are TV ads shorter?
    This is so the TV stations can ‘cue’ the commercials easily for on air. So a 30 second TV commercial has 0.5 seconds blank at the front of the TV ad and 0.5 seconds blank at the end of the TV ad

    Are TV ads louder than radio?
    I know you think the TV ads are always louder than the program you are watch and we all reach for the remote. There is new sound level protocol in TV called an OP59 what ‘levels’ the TV commercial out.

    What is OP-59?

    OP-59 has been added to the Free TV OP-48. It refers to a new loudness metering standard. From January 1st  2013, you have been required to meter your TVC to be compliant for both Australia & New Zealand TV commercials.

    Has OP-59 replaced OP-48?

    NO. OP-59 is a supporting practice created by Free TV, to assist in measuring compliance with OP-48. This is technical and you should never need to know this as the production company who makes the TV ad will be across all this.

    Do TV commercials need to be approved?
    YES. There is a statutory approval process that exist in TV called CAD to get your TV commercial approved.

    About CAD
    Commercials Advice provides classification and information services to advertisers, agencies and production houses in relation to television commercials and infomercials. The Code provides that television commercials (including infomercials) and community service announcements must be classified before they can be broadcast, CAD strongly recommends that television commercials are submitted to CAD to be classified before they are submitted for broadcast.

    It is important to note that CAD does not provide legal advice. It is the responsibility of each advertiser and or its advertising agency to ensure that their commercial/s comply with all relevant laws and regulatory requirements.

    For more information about CAD's services, classification procedures and television production guidelines please download a copy of the Classification Handbook.

    CAD requires a minimum of two (2) working days prior to your Required By date. Ads containing complex claims or those requiring a detailed review and infomercials will take longer. Processing of submissions received after 5pm will commence the following day.

    CAD requires a minimum of two working days, upon receipt of all your TVC materials, to process your application.  However, same day turnaround can be arranged through CAD.  An additional 100 percent of the normally applicable rate will be charged when advertisements are submitted requiring same day classification.  Same day service is in no way guaranteed until it is confirmed by CAD.

     

    A document compiled by:
    Darryl Durrant - Head of Media and Strategy at YESmarketing.com.au Email