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Radio Commercial Lengths: The Ultimate Guide

Writen by Edwin Jones

Fact checked by Andrew Wright

How long are radio commercials

Even in today’s modern times, radio remains one of the most trusted media, both for users and advertisers. It’s no wonder big brands still choose to air commercials on the radio. Typically, radio commercials come in three air times: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds.

The decision regarding how long a commercial lasts depends on objectives, budgets, and target audiences. Let’s delve deeper into the question “How long are radio commercials?”

Below is a summarized table of Radio Ads in terms of length.

Length of Radio Ad How many words can I fit in? How much does it cost per spot in large markets? How effective is it?
15 seconds 30-40 word count Below $25 Most effective for time-sensitive ads
30 seconds 70-80 word count Atleast $25 Most effective across industries
60 seconds 120-150 word count At least $50 Most effective for storytelling ads

Understanding Radio Commercial Length

1. 15- Second Radio Spot


Marketing Objectives

A 15-second radio spot is the quickest radio commercial format, usually made to announce something new or explain a benefit, product, or service using effective, creative yet straightforward scripts.

Target audience

Because 15-second radio commercials tend to be quick, target audiences are often consumers who can make quick decisions. For example, a flash sale at a local mall can announce limited offers that can reach target audiences to decide quickly.


A 15-second ad is generally the best choice for saving money. A typical 15-second radio ad can cost below $25 per radio spot.


15-second radio commercials are considered to have been most effective in retail. However, it is important to note that using this length of ad is more suitable for brands that have already established a name. You can’t explain new products in just 15 seconds.

2. 30-Second Radio Spot


Marketing Objectives

A 30-second radio ad is the middle ground for commercial lengths. You can have more time to input critical information into your ad without boring your listeners. This can hook listeners and explain why they should choose your product during radio commercial breaks.

Target Audience

A 30-second radio spot is the most used length for commercials, and the target audience is highly dependent on the product or service itself. The delivery of the commercial pitch can be done by identifying the target audience first.


The cost of 30-second radio ads is highly dependent on the location and target reach of the ad. It can be as little as $25 and as much as $1,405. However, this advertisement length is effective, cost-efficient, and a common choice for businesses across industries.


According to Verintonic, 30-second radio ads are the most optimal choice of advertisement length. 30 seconds is substantive time for your audience to hold their attention long enough to capture your product’s message. This length is most effective in auto and financial services.

3. 60-Seconds Radio Spot


Marketing Objectives

The 60-second radio spots are the longest option for businesses to maximize their costs. This length is especially helpful to new businesses that are introducing their brands and products. This length is ideal if you want to take a narrative-focused approach.

Target audience

The target audience for a 60-second radio ad is dependent on the brand itself. Whether targeting men, women, small businesses, etc., your commercial should speak to them to ensure leads.


The longer your advertisement is, the more expensive it costs. If you have a smaller market, you can spend $5-$10 for a 60-second radio spot. Mid-size markets can range from $50 to $100, while larger markets can cost as much as a 60-second radio advertising spot.


With a 60-second radio ad, brand recollection is significantly greater when compared to shorter ads. With a careful understanding of your target audience, this length can be the best approach for your business to be remembered.


Now that you know how long are radio commercials, the prices, and ideal uses. Factors such as marketing objectives, target audiences, and costs should be determined when determining the ideal radio ad length for your business. Once assessed, you can choose the duration that maximizes your advertising budget and delivers the desired results.

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