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How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Billboard?

A good rule of thumb is in New York Billboards cost up to $20,000, and in Los Angeles Billboard Prices up to $25,000. In Chicago, billboards will cost from up to $15,000; San Francisco billboards’ cost up to $12,000;  in Philadelphia billboards up to $11,000/month.

How Much Does A Billboard Cost In Specific Markets

BillboardsBillboard Prices
New York Billboard Cost$4,000 to $25,000/month
Los Angeles Billboard Cost$3,000 to $25,000/month
Chicago Billboards Cost$3,000 to $15,000/month
San Francisco Billboards Cost$3,000 to $12,000/month
Philadelphia Billboards Cost$1,500 to $12,000/month

Note: The production fee will usually be 50 cents per square foot for the vinyl. Therefore, the production fee will be $450 for a 14′ by 48′ billboard, $250 for a 10.5’ by 36′ billboard, and $64 for an 8′ by 16′ poster.

Factors Affecting Prices

  • Location

Where the Billboard is located is the number one factor affecting pricing.  Billboards are priced very similar to the way Real Estate is priced.  For instance, a Billboard in Rural Market like Arkansas would be very inexpensive, probably less than $500 for a month.   Similarly, a Billboard in a densely populated city like Los Angeles would be probably 20x that price at around $10,000.  If you want to know what the Billboard costs, the first question is where is the Billboard located.

Location is the number one demand driver for Billboard prices.

  • Impressions

Impressions are the Cost Basis for Billboard Advertising Prices.  Geopath is a not-for-profit organization that uses data, technology and media research to compute the weekly impressions received by billboard ads. Out of home advertising companies pay Geopath for the ratings. Geopath impressions derive from a complete formula that factors in:

  • The position of the billboard in relation to the road
  • Traffic volumes
  • The number of people in each car

Not every out of home advertising company is a Geopath subscriber, but most large out of home advertising companies are.

The typical billboard sells for a CPM, or cost per thousand impressions, of $5.21, according to PJ SOLOMON. A freeway billboard that gets 400,000 impressions in a 4-week period will be priced at $2,000/period. A billboard on a country road with only 30,000 impressions a month will rent for only $600/period. You can usually get impressions data from your billboard company to verify what sort of CPM you are paying.

  • Billboard Sizes

A bigger Billboard generally is going to be more expensive than a smaller one. A bigger billboard size is easier to see than a small billboard size. A 14′ by 48′ billboard has 77% more square feet than a 10.5′ by 36′ billboard.

A larger surface area logically means that a billboard is more likely to be seen and can be rented for more, but the relationship isn’t linear. It does not mean that a 77% larger billboard will exactly be 77% more expensive.

  • Lighting

Billboard Advertising at NightSimply put, having a billboard that has lighting at night costs more than one that does not. A billboard with lighting goes for a 25% premium over a billboard without lighting because the billboard will be available to many more viewers at night. Lighting means more impressions. Casinos and all-night restaurants are especially interested in billboards that are lit all night. Cracker Barrel and some retail stores sometimes ask billboard companies to turn off the lights on a billboard prior to store closing times, so they don’t have customers pulling up to the establishment as they shut down for the night.

  • Visibility

how-much-does-billboard-advertising-visibilityA right-hand read, that is, a billboard on the right side of the road, will be more expensive than a left-hand read, since a right-hand read billboard is closer to the car driving past and easier to see than a billboard a driver reads across several lanes of traffic. Take a look at this billboard in downtown Indianapolis. The right-hand read rents for $4,100/month.
how-much-does-billboard-advertising-visibility-2The left-hand read on this same road rents for $3,000/month. It’s a great, high-traffic location, but you look at the board across four lanes of traffic.

A setback billboard that is more than 600′ from the freeway will rent for much less than a billboard that is right against the freeway because it gets fewer impressions.

Most billboards are within 45′ of the grade of the road, which makes them easy to see. A billboard that is extremely tall – 80′ or 100′ feet above the road – will be cheaper because it will get fewer impressions. People won’t crane their necks just to see what’s on a sign.

Trees can ruin visibility. This billboard has a public service ad that is probably free because the trees next to the road have blocked the view to the billboard.

  •  Competition

A billboard in an area with lots of other nearby billboards will sell at a steep discount. About 1,500 feet is the average setback between billboards in many cities. Some cities have no minimum setback or only a 500-foot setback between billboards. An area with lots of billboards very close together will have lower rates than an area with few billboards.

  • Production

how much does a billboard cost

Billboards don’t just cost money to rent; they also cost money to produce.

The production of the billboard can range from $250-$750 depending on what type of material is being printed along with what size the billboard is.

A 14’ by 48′ 7-oz vinyl billboard can cost around $400.

 

 

Los Angeles Area Billboard Prices
LocationPrices
Sunset Blvd$15,000 to $35,000
Sunset Strip$25,000 to as high as $55,000
Melrose$9,000 to $15,000
Fairfax$9,000 to $15,000
Hollywood Blvd$7,000 to $13,000
Times Square$10,000 to $22,000
SoHo district of Manhattan$18,000 to $30,000

Frequently Asked Questions on Billboards

Here are some of the most common questions we get about Billboards.

Is it worth it to get a billboard?

Yes, it depends.  If you have a brand that can use a visibility boost.  Billboards are for you.

Can you just put up a billboard?

No, Erecting a Billboard requires permits and zoning and is quite a difficult task.

What’s the ROI of a billboard?

Billboards have an astounding 497% return on investment.  We wrote a blog on Billboard ROI

What are Billboard Standard Dimensions

Billboards often called Bulletins come in three standard sizes, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America:

  • 14 feet high and 48 feet wide
  • 10 feet high and 40 feet wide
  • 10½ feet high and 36 feet wide

Cost of billboard in Times Square, NYC

It costs a lot to advertise in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. On a regular day, the cost of a digital billboard may be $5,000 to $50,000

Can i put a billboard on my property

Most likely the answer here is no.  You have to check with your local zoning for you city.

10 Replies Added

  1. Thank you for explaining all this in so much detail. I’m a small business owner and I’ve been thinking about investing in billboard advertising. Obviously, I have a limited budget and I’m not looking at anything too expensive, so it’s nice to know that there are affordable options for smaller businesses. I can’t imagine paying tens of thousands of dollars a month for a billboard.

  2. Choosing the right location for your billboard is key. It’s not only the matter of paying more. You also have to think about your target audience and timing, what other advertisements are in the vicinity of your billboard. You don’t want to risk becoming an Internet meme if the ad placement turns out to be unfortunate.

  3. It’s pretty cool how you can actually calculate impressions received by a billboard. I had no idea they can do that. But it makes sense. Those billboard prices can’t come out of thin air. Personally, I’m more familiar with Internet advertising. And I’ve never heard the term CPM used outside of that context. The more you know.

  4. Great article Rodolfo, I am a billboard owner (14 x 48) And I am having trouble marketing my billboard at 4624 Jimmy Carter Blvd. in Norcross GA 30093. More than 30,000 cars passed by every day. I know it should be taller for one thing, it compromises my Western facing sign, however the Eastern facing side is less than 300 feet from a traffic light at the intersection of JCB and Britt Rd. I have offered it for less than $1000 per month with no takers. If you’re an avid computer user you might have Google Earth, you can fly there and see the billboard clearly. I have considered putting a new vinyl on that advertises …… Yes, we speak Spanish / Sí, hablamos español.I don’t want to put my advertising shoe in my mouth and insult the mostly Latino population in the area. There is also a presence of Korean and other Asian homes and businesses in the area; not to mention that I don’t speak Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese or any other language however, I know people who can translate for me in just about all of the languages I just mentioned.

    Thank you,
    Matt Dewhurst
    Dewhurst Enterprises
    2382 Mount Vernon Rd.
    Atlanta, GA 30338

  5. Enjoyed reading the article above, really explains everything in detail,the article is extremely interesting and effective.

    King regards,

  6. Thank you for your article. I am a new owner of a billboard. Ive been researching for about 6 months on how to get it up and running. This is the best article yet.
    Thank you
    Maureen Smith
    Hawley Pa

  7. This article provides a good overview of the factors that can impact the cost of renting a billboard, including the rental fee, production cost, and impressions. It’s important to note that prices can vary greatly depending on location, size, and demand

  8. I would like to know if you have a chart that is more generic with overall LED billboard costs 14×48 from many suppliers over the past 10 years & projected forward for the next 5 years?

  9. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you. Digital billboards offer the advantage of flexible pricing based on factors like location, size, and visibility. Their dynamic nature allows advertisers to maximize impressions and target specific audiences effectively. With the ability to display eye-catching visuals and adapt to different conditions, digital billboards offer a cost-effective and impactful solution for billboard advertising campaigns.

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