billboard advertising cost

How Much Does Billboard Advertising Cost?

Last Updated on January 2, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Billboards remain a popular way for businesses to advertise to broad local audiences. But how much do billboards really cost? Rates range widely based on the ad format, market, circulation, and impressions. This guide will explain what goes into billboard pricing so you can determine if this traditional advertising channel is right for your brand.

How Much Does Billboard Advertising Cost?

The typical cost for a 4-week physical billboard campaign in the U.S. is around $66,773. However, prices vary tremendously based on the location and audience. Here are some average monthly billboard costs across different types of markets:

  • Rural areas: $750 – $2,000
  • Small to midsize cities: $2,500 – $4,000
  • Major metro areas: $14,000+

For digital billboards, costs might run:

  • $10 per 7-second spot in small markets
  • $1,200+ in midsize cities
  • $15,000+ for high-traffic urban billboards

Benefits include:

  • Ultra-low minimum investment – $10 per day
  • Self-service signup and ad creation
  • No long-term commitment required
  • Metrics like impressions and plays

Here’s a table summarizing the rates for different billboard advertising formats:

Type of billboard Rate
Bulletin (Large Billboard) $1,500 – $30,000 per location per 4-week period
Poster (Medium Billboard) $750 – $2,000 per location per 4-week period
Junior Poster (Small Billboard) $300 – $750 per location per 4-week period
Bulletin, Digital/Video/LED (Large Digital Billboard) $3,500 – $25,000 per location per 4-week period for an ~8 second spot in a loop of ~64 seconds
Poster, Digital/Video/LED (Medium Digital Billboard) $2,000 – $5,000 per location per 4-week period for an ~8 second spot in a loop of ~64 seconds
Wallscape $10,000 – $50,000 per location per 4-week period

How Much Does a Billboard Cost in Different U.S. Cities?

Here are some sample monthly billboard costs in markets across the country:

City State Physical Billboard Cost per Month Digital Billboard Cost per Month Population (Oct. 2023)
Davenport IA $950 to $2,000 $1,450 to $3,000 100,486
Indianapolis IN $900 to $2,000 $1,200 to $3,000 880,621
Orlando FL $1,450 to $4,000 $2,450 to $5,000 316,081
Phoenix AZ $1,000 to $2,000 $1,450 to $3,000 1,644,409
Boston MA $1,450 to $7,000 $2,450 to $5,000 650,706
Los Angeles CA $2,500 to $15,000 $3,950 to $8,000 3,822,238
Denver CO $1,200 to $3,500 $2,000 to $4,500 715,522
Miami FL $2,000 to $6,000 $3,500 to $7,500 467,963
Seattle WA $1,800 to $5,000 $2,700 to $6,000 737,015

Larger markets with greater circulation and impressions command higher rates for billboard placements. But even smaller city campaigns can cost thousands monthly.

Blue Line Media, for example, offers billboard advertising in 300+ cities with static and digital/LED billboard signs. The cost range for a bulletin (large billboard) is $1,500 – $30,000 per location per 4-week period, while the cost range for a poster (medium billboard) is $750 – $2,000 per location per 4-week period.

Fit Small Business notes that physical billboards cost from $750 to $14,000 a month (or more, depending on the market). Digital billboards cost as low as $10 a day per 10-second “blip” with Blip Billboards, or for dedicated digital billboards, from $1,200 to over $15,000 per month.

A Reddit user on the forum mentions that the initial setup cost for billboard advertising can vary depending on the size and complexity, with design and install fees ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Broadsign offers insights into the factors that shape billboard advertising costs, such as location, circulation, size, format, and audience demographics. However, specific prices are not provided on the website.

Factors That Influence Billboard Advertisement Pricing

What goes into the matrix used to calculate billboard lease rates? Here are the main elements:

Supply and Demand – Higher demand boards in high-traffic areas come at premium rates. Lower occupancy rates let advertisers negotiate lower prices.

Location – Placements in high-traffic urban zones cost much more than rural highways. Even within cities, a billboard’s exact spot impacts perceived value.

Size of the billboard – Larger boards like bulletins cost more than posters. Size plays into the “wow” factor.

Visibility – Boards without obstructions warrant higher prices than obstructed ones. Inventory analysis identifies prime visibility.

Duration – Longer campaigns usually get discounts around 5-10% for annual commitments.

Buy Size – Bulking up your buy lowers the average rental costs per board.

Format – Digital boards cost more for motion and flexibility. But rotating spots reduce minimums.

Production and Installation – Simple vinyl prints are cheapest. Complex builds require more design and installation fees.

Beyond the board itself, creative, printing, and installation costs add to your total advertising spend.

Now that we’ve covered the key factors that make boards cost more or less, let’s dive deeper into specifics…

How Location Impacts Billboard Prices

Placements in dense urban zones with heavy foot and vehicle traffic almost always command the highest rates. Even within cities, perceived value greatly impacts prices.

For example, two boards with identical specs on different LA streets can have dramatically different rates:

  1. Sunset Strip: $80,000+
  2. Beverly Blvd: $15,000

Sunset Strip is 5-10 times more expensive than Beverly simply because it’s viewed as more prestigious and high-profile.

You might also like our articles about the cost of mall advertising, BBB membership, or Yelp review removal.

Population density and competition between media owners in the market also push rates higher. Less inventory availability lets billboard companies charge premium pricing.

Digital Boards Cost More But Reduce Barriers

Purchasing a full digital rotation is 4-6 times more than static boards. But lower-cost options let small brands buy rotating slots. This provides accessibility with lower production requirements.

Lease Agreements Influence Pricing

If billboard companies agree to share gross ad revenue with land owners, their profitability relies on charging higher rates. Understand underlying leases when negotiating.

Evaluating Billboard Value

funny billboard advertisingThe range of pricing factors shows that billboard costs are nuanced. But OOH campaigns deliver strong value:

  • 88% of US adults notice OOH ads
  • 76% use mobile to engage with OOH messaging
  • 78% of OOH viewers take action like visiting a store

While not cheap, billboards provide remarkable visibility. Analyzing all cost drivers helps maximize your investment and Results.

A billboard’s “out of home” or OOH rating takes these factors into account when pricing a sign. OOH ratings are calculated by circulation, demographics, visibility analysis, and estimated reach/frequency.

What Other Costs Are Involved with Billboard Ads?

In addition to the billboard rental fees, you’ll also need to budget for:

  • Design – $70+ for simple ads, $150-$500/hr for professional designs
  • Printing – About $1-$1.50 per square foot for vinyl billboard ads
  • Installation – May be included or cost extra depending on provider

Carefully factor in these additional expenses when determining if outdoor advertising fits your budget.

When Does Billboard Advertising Make Sense for Brands?

Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider:


  • Broad reach at a relatively low average cost per impression
  • Drive awareness and foot traffic for local businesses
  • Location targeting to highways and busy roads
  • Simple messaging for mass audience


  • Significant upfront and monthly costs
  • Short ad exposure time
  • Hard to measure direct response
  • No user engagement or clicks

Digital Billboards work best for

  • Brand awareness vs direct response
  • Local companies wanting to drive foot traffic
  • Businesses targeting commuters on roads
  • Simple, impactful messaging and imagery

How Should You Select a Billboard Location?

Choosing the right billboard is crucial for getting your money’s worth. Ideal locations have:

  • Lower speed limits allowing passing drivers to absorb the message
  • Close proximity to roads for visibility
  • High traffic volumes of your target audience
  • Congestion likely ensuring ample ad exposure time

Visit potential billboard sites in person at high times to evaluate traffic, viewer demographics, and visibility. Work with the billboard company to pick ideal spots based on your goals.

Tips for Renting Physical Billboard Space

If you’ve chosen a specific billboard site, take these steps to rent it:

  • Note the media company name on the billboard structure
  • Search for the advertising company online and contact them about availability
  • Provide details like ad length, size specifications, illumination needs
  • Ask about the billboard’s circulation, impressions, and OOH rating
  • Negotiate the best rate based on seasonality, multi-board discounts, etc.

Locking down your ideal placement takes some searching and negotiation. But it’s worth the effort to maximize your advertising investment.

Examples of Effective Billboard Ad Designs

Billboards excel when they:

  • Catch attention with bold images or minimalist looks
  • Convey a simple, benefit-driven message
  • Include a clear call-to-action like “Visit our website”
  • Leverage humor or emotion

Here are some great real-world examples:

  • McDonald’s billboard targeting Starbucks’ high prices
  • LA Marathon board promoting their event using bold shapes
  • Pet adoption campaign with cute animals and minimal text
  • Eyewear company cleverly using 3D billboard design
  • Movie ads with larger-than-life imagery of beloved characters

Digital billboards can take engagement further with animated or video content. But even static physical billboards make an impact when they incorporate strong visuals and messaging.

Keeping Billboard Advertising Costs Low

Beyond choosing lower-cost digital boards, other tips to reduce billboard spend include:

  • Negotiating multi-month or multi-board discounts
  • Buying space during off-peak seasons when rates drop
  • Using simple designs like text-only to avoid production costs
  • Testing smaller rural billboards first, then expanding to bigger boards
  • Partnering with other businesses to share space and split costs

With smart planning, even small businesses can benefit from billboard exposure once considered only for big brands.

Final Words on Billboard Advertising Prices

Billboards deliver high visibility at a relatively affordable cost per thousand impressions. But between rental fees, production, and design, the cost of a billboard adds up quickly – especially in major markets.

Carefully consider your goals, target audience, and budget. Be selective about high-impact locations. Seek deals and lower-cost digital boards to make billboards work within your advertising spending limits.

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