OPB Advertising

If you reside in the Portland metro area and wake up to the radio tuned to an OPB station, you may have noticed that it's pledge week where the radio station tries to encourage passive listeners to convert into active subscribers. Have you ever wondered if the minimum $5 donation actually does anything? Well, by itself it doesn't. Collectively with tens of thousands subscribers it could; though not as much as partner (business) sponsorships bring in.

OPB's media kit states that "OPB Radio dedicates no more than 3 minutes per hour to sponsorship spots, while commercial radio airs eight to 15 minutes (or more) of commercials per hour." Just in today's 6-7am time slot, I heard sponsorship messages from 13 advertisers. This roughly translates to $455/3 minutes per hour in revenue. That set of ad sponsors generates about $9k/month if only advertising on weekdays for the month. It's still relatively inexpensive, though, advertisers like Angie's List need to book weeks or months of radio time to gain the mindshare and exposure that established partner advertisers already have, such as Fred Meyer, Visa, or

Now, take into consideration that primetime radio is a lot like primetime television with a scaling ad rate based on what shows are on and when. In the morning's broadcast, during one of the pledge interruptions, OPB said that the three most expensive programs that are syndicated by NPR (costing roughly $1 million per year in broadcasting fees), are the Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and the Weekend Edition slots; which are KBBI's most expensive ad slots. One could surmise that the advertising model is about the same from one public radio station to the next. It's a model that works, why fix it?

Anyhow. Ad slots for the aformentioned slots range from $20 to $35 per mention. There are only a couple slots where advertising is not allowed: BBC World Service and PRI's The World.


OPB Media Kit
OPB Auditor Report 2010-2009
KBBI Alaska Public Radio
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