KSA, UAE and Egypt have the highest FM radio advertising rates in region

The advertising rate for regional local FM stations average at US $88 for 30-second ad slots during peak time. The rates are minuscule compared to advertising rates in major capitals such as London, states a report from The Arab Advisors Group.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  May 15, 2005

Egypt has the highest average peak rate for FM radio advertising rates compared to other Arab countries, according to a report by the Arab Advisors Group. However, its rates are still relatively low by international standards; a 30-second spot on the UK’s Virgin London 105.8 FM, for example, costs as much as US$ 1,146 during the peak hours of 6:00 to 10:00 am on a Tuesday. The contrast becomes even more marked when Virgin Radio’s peak rate is compared to the Arab world’s regional average peak of US $88. Owing to the fact that commercial advertising is most important for FM radio stations to generate profits, the firm recommends that stations provide compelling and relevant content by producing or buying interesting programmes and music (or sometimes broadcasting content without paying royalties on it as happens with quite a few stations in the Arab World). It adds that stations must also price their advertisements appropriately, taking into account factors such as time of day, cost, and competition. “FM radio advertising rates are set according to a number of factors that are mainly tied to the numbers of listeners,” says Nadine Usta, Arab Advisors research analyst and the author of the report. “The most important factor is the time of day; unlike TV, the radio can be listened to in the car, at work, or at home, giving advertisers different times in which to target audiences (for example, during traffic rush hours). The peak listening time can be defined as the time of day which has the largest audience and, therefore, is associated with the highest advertising rates,” she continues. “Our analysis shows that the region’s FM radio advertising rates are highest during the morning hours of 8 am to 9 am, followed by the evening hours of 6pm to 7 pm. This implies that generally accepted peak listening times in the region are in the mornings before the majority of people go to work, and for some time in the evenings when they are at home or in their car,” adds Usta.

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