Remnant Radio Ads – Choosing The Right Media Buyer

As Internet advertising continues to make inroads into the mainstream, new opportunities are opening up for advertisers -but not where you might expect. Radio has long been seen as the “poor man’s alternative” to TV advertising,

but with the way that the Internet has changed the advertising landscape, it now offers more than just a cut-rate alternative to other media. As advertiser interest continues to shift to the wired world, demand for radio airtime continues to decline, and thus remnant radio ads have become a viable option for advertisers looking for a wide reach on a tight budget.

Remnant radio ads are the radio industry’s dirty little secret: airtime is a perishable commodity, and when it expires, stations are forced to use it for PSAs or other zero-profit purposes. Rather than simply let this happen, stations will try to turn a profit off of their unsold airtime by marking it down åat a steep discount.

Before the Internet advertising phenomenon, the amount of remnant airtime inventory available was too insignificant for advertisers to rely on, but nowadays, remnant radio ads offer advertisers a reliable and effective way to reach the listening public without paying full price for airtime. Remnant radio ads offer a win-win situation for both parties: advertisers get to save money on advertising, and stations turn a profit they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Of course, remnant radio airtime isn’t a “fire-and-forget” solution to advertising: taking full advantage of it still requires some savvy. First of all,

while cutting out the middleman is normally just good business sense, trying to buy airtime by yourself instead of through a media buyer is a bad idea: stations prefer to sell remnant airtime in bulk to media buyers, and if you try to buy from them directly, odds are good that the price you’ll pay will be far from optimal. That’s right – hiring a media buyer can actually save you money on airtime!

However, not all media buyers are created equal: some will offer you better deals than others, and figuring out which is which is much trickier than just comparing price quotes. Which is a better deal – a 50-cent bag of potato chips that holds only five chips, or a 5-dollar bag of potato chips that holds over a hundred?

The 5-dollar bag may be more expensive, but the price per chip is much lower than with the 50-cent bag. You’ll run into this same situation all the time when buying airtime: different spots will give you different numbers of impressions, and you won’t be able to tell how many impressions you’ll get just by looking at the price tag. Buying your airtime on the cheap can end up costing you dearly in the long run if you’re not getting the impressions you need to make your investment worthwhile.

One last thing to consider: radio may lack the visual punch of TV and Business advertising, but it can be even more effective at sticking in your audience’s minds. Ever found yourself singing a song you heard on the radio, even if you weren’t deliberately trying to learn the words to it?

It’s the same idea here. Repetition is the key: if you run your ads repeatedly over a period of time, listeners will eventually remember it even if they aren’t actively paying attention. For this reason, you need to be ready for a long-term investment in radio advertising, and remnant radio advertising can help you fit such an ambitious plan into your advertising budget.

A good litmus test for whether you should trust a particular media buyer with your money is whether they offer airtime on a CPM (cost per thousand) basis.

With CPM pricing, the price you pay is based on the number of impressions you receive, ensuring that your radio ads will get you the results you want out of your advertising investment.

5 thoughts on “Remnant Radio Ads – Choosing The Right Media Buyer

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