History of Radio Advertising

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Uncover The History of Radio Advertising

Advertising and Broadcasting Go Hand-In-Hand

Radio advertising has been a part of radio broadcasting since the beginning of the 20th century, when radio became a recognized medium of communication. In those times, most radio stations were owned by businessmen, who used their stations to promote their own businesses.

Announcements that were aired to raise public awareness about business activities or products were essentially considered commercials, but these were not paid commercials.

The first paid radio ads were aired in the year 1922. Many people believe that the earliest radio commercial was the WEAF “toll broadcasting” program developed by AT&T. It was introduced in August, 1922, and it offered businesses the opportunity to advertise their products and services by sponsoring radio programs. Real estate company Queensboro Corporation from New York became the first sponsor, and it paid a total of $100.00 for a 10-minute advertisement to promote the sale of Long Island apartments.
In the following years, radio commercials began to gain popularity in the US.

By the year 1930, almost 90% of all the radio stations in the country were broadcasting commercials, and they were able to generate enough revenue to support their operational costs.

Due to the increase in demand for radio ads, radio stations began to pre-record commercials instead of presenting them live. This created lots of career opportunities for Americans who possessed voice talent as well as those who were skilled in writing radio commercial scripts.

Radio Advertising Campaings

Radio advertising campaigns refer to the use of radio media to advertise products and services. Radio advertising has been one of the most effective ways to promote products and services, because the use of speech tends to be more precise in passing a message, in comparison to other forms of advertising that utilize print media. Hearing and speaking are the first senses that people exhibit during their developmental stages. These abilities of expression come before the ability to read or write, and therefore, radio advertising is a preferred medium of advertising among many advertisers and businesses.

How Radio Advertisements Work

In radio advertising, radio agencies or stations receive advertisements from their clients before bilaterally deciding on the structure and modalities of the advertisements, including the financial rates. They will also decide on the radio commercial scripts that will be appropriate for the advertisements, so the ads will be more appealing to the intended audiences. The advertising agency then delegates the advertising job to a voice actor and a producer for the final production of the advertisement. To capture the listeners’ attention, the advertisements may incorporate the use of music, funny voices, character voices, or even celebrity voices.

While radio faces a lot of competition for other traditional advertising channels such as television and print, not to mention new media like the Internet and mobile ads, radio remains a stronghold as you’ll see in the market research from the Report on the Voice-Over Industry.


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