Advertising in any medium entails two costs: The cost of producing the ad and the cost of distributing the ad; that is getting it seen and/or heard by potential customers. While both costs are necessary, they are not necessarily proportional. The per-unit production price for a direct-mail piece may be pennies, but the postage price to mail each one will generally exceed their production cost. Radio advertisements are typically less expensive to produce than video promotions, since the they usually require less equipment, fewer people and less time in post-production; however the price of airtime for both can be quite steep — many times over what it cost to produce your ad. Operating terrestrial and satellite radio stations is expensive — even more so for terrestrial and cable TV channels. They pay lots of money for their airtime, so they charge you lots of money for their airtime.

Currently, there is one medium for audio advertising where the distribution cost can be less than the production price: Internet radio. There are easily over one million different broadcast (live) and podcast (pre-recorded) programs that can be heard on Internet radio “channels” every day. While most of these programs are hosted by folks whose faces won’t be found on billboards or magazine covers, each still garners thousands and thousands of listeners. Because neither the shows nor the hosts are household names — yet — time on the shows can be purchased for a few cents (or less) per listener. Also the on-demand nature of podcasts doesn’t restrict you to budgeting for a particular day or time slot. Furthermore, the audience can be targeted by topic, lifestyle or even geographically.

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