Digital signage Joltzly

Billboard advertising has been a long-standing cornerstone of marketing, providing businesses with a high-impact way to reach a broad audience.

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is a broad term that encompasses all forms of advertising that reach consumers outside of their homes, including billboards, bus shelters, and digital signage.

As businesses explore the potential of OOH advertising, a common question arises: How much does a billboard cost? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the size of the billboard, its location, and the length of the campaign.


Factors Influencing Billboard Costs

The cost of a billboard can be influenced by several factors, including location, billboard type, and duration. To understand these factors more comprehensively, let's explore some research data from the media industry.


The geographical factors of a billboard's location significantly impact its price. High-demand areas with heavy traffic or popular tourist attractions generally command higher rates. For example, according to a study conducted by PJ SOLOMON, billboards located in prime areas of New York City, such as Times Square, can cost up to $1.1 million per month due to the high visibility and exposure they provide. In contrast, billboards in less densely populated areas may have significantly lower costs, ranging from $3,000 to $30,000 per month, depending on the region.


The length of the advertising contract also affects billboard costs. PJ SOLOMON's report highlights that longer-term contracts often come with discounted rates compared to short-term arrangements. For example, a one-month contract for a static billboard may cost $2,000, while a six-month contract for the same billboard could have a reduced rate of $10,000. By committing to longer contracts, advertisers can secure lower rates and potentially negotiate additional benefits, such as prime placement or extended exposure.

It is clear that several factors influence the cost of billboards. The location plays a significant role, with high-demand areas and major cities commanding higher prices. The type of billboard, whether static or digital, also affects costs, with digital billboards generally having higher upfront expenses but offering greater flexibility and potential ROI. Additionally, the duration of the advertising contract can influence pricing, with longer-term commitments often resulting in discounted rates.

Understanding these factors can help businesses and marketers make informed decisions when planning their billboard advertising campaigns. By considering the research-backed data and insights, advertisers can allocate their budgets effectively and maximize the impact of their outdoor advertising strategies.

Billboard Types

Static billboards made of vinyl or paper are the traditional option and are generally more affordable than digital billboards. The costs for static billboards vary based on their size, location, and exposure.
Digital billboards, on the other hand, offer greater flexibility in content and scheduling. The upfront costs for digital billboards are generally higher due to the advanced technology involved. But it offers the advantage of displaying multiple ads and real-time updates, which can increase their effectiveness and potential return on investment.

Static Billboards

Static billboards are available in different sizes, including small, medium, and large.

Small-Sized Billboards (10' x 20')

These billboards typically cost between $500 and $1,500 per month, depending on factors such as location and traffic volume. For instance, a small billboard located in a suburban area with moderate traffic may cost around $700 per month, while the same size billboard in a prime urban location with heavy traffic may cost closer to $1,200 per month.

Medium-Sized Billboards (12' x 24')

The cost for medium-sized billboards usually falls within the range of $1,200 to $4,000 per month, taking into account location, visibility, and traffic. A medium-sized billboard in a popular downtown area with high visibility and heavy traffic could cost around $2,500 per month, while a similar billboard in a less densely populated area might cost around$1,500 per month.

Large-Sized Billboards (14' x 48')

Large billboards can cost between $2,000 and $15,000 or more per month. Prime locations in major cities often command higher prices due to increased exposure and audience reach.

For example, a large billboard positioned in a highly trafficked area such as a major highway intersection in a metropolitan city can cost around$10,000 per month, while a similar billboard in a smaller town with less traffic may cost closer to $3,000 per month.


Digital Billboards

Digital billboards generally have higher costs due to their advanced technology and flexibility.

Monthly rates for digital billboards can range from $ 5,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on factors such as location, impressions, and demand. The cost of digital billboards is often calculated based on the number of impressions or the number of times an ad is displayed to viewers. The more impressions a digital billboard can generate, the higher the cost.

Additionally, prime locations with high visibility and heavy traffic will have higher demand, leading to increased pricing. For instance, a digital billboard positioned in a popular shopping district in a major city may cost around$15,000 per month, while a digital billboard on a less busy road in a small town may cost closer to $7,000 per month.


What are Billboard CPM & Impressions?

CPM stands for cost per thousand (or mille, the Latin word for “thousand”), and it’s a measure of how much it costs to reach 1,000 people with a billboard ad. One impression is counted every time a person sees the billboard.

The CPM for billboards varies depending on a number of factors, including the size of the billboard, its location, and the time of year. However, in general, billboard CPMs are lower than those for other forms of advertising.

For example, a 2021 report from PJ Solomon found that the average CPM for a bulletin (the largest type of billboard) is between $2 and $7 per thousand impressions. For posters (smaller billboards), the average CPM is between $2 and $10. Digital billboards are more expensive, with an average CPM of between $9 and $32.

To put these numbers in perspective, the CPM for a broadcast TV ad can range from $10 to $32. Online display ads, on the other hand, are much cheaper, with an average CPM of just $1 to $3. However, online display ads have become less effective in recent years, as people have become more accustomed to ignoring them.

As a result, billboards can be a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. They’re also a great way to reach people who are already out and about, which can be important for businesses that sell products or services that are impulse buys.

How impressions work in Out-of-home (OOH)?

For example, mobile location data can provide insights into the movement patterns of individuals and help estimate the number of people passing by a specific billboard. This data, combined with demographic information and historical traffic patterns, can provide a more accurate impression multiplier for a particular location.

In addition to impression multipliers, other factors come into play when determining the price of a billboard. The size of the billboard is an important consideration, with larger billboards generally commanding higher prices due to their increased visibility. The placement of the billboard also plays a role, with prime locations such as busy intersections or high-traffic areas demanding higher rates. Proximity to viewers is another factor to consider, as billboards positioned closer to pedestrians or vehicles may have a greater impact and justify higher prices. The expected dwell time, or the length of time viewers spend looking at the billboard, can also influence pricing.

To ensure fairness and transparency in transactions, the OOH industry has made significant strides in adopting precise audience measurement tools. These tools allow for the accurate assessment of audience reach and help inform pricing decisions. Software solutions like Linkett and Quividi enable real-time monitoring of on-location traffic trends and activity, providing valuable data for campaign planning. Organizations like Geopath specialize in researching audience location data, partnering with OOH businesses to provide insights that inform inventory pricing.

By leveraging these audience measurement tools and data sources, businesses can make more informed decisions about billboard pricing. This allows for fair transactions and ensures that advertisers are paying based on the actual audience reach and potential impact of their OOH campaigns.

The price of a specific billboard is determined by various factors, including the number of impressions it is expected to generate. Impression multipliers, calculated using audience measurement tools, provide an estimate of the number of people who will see the billboard during its display. Other factors such as size, placement, proximity, and dwell time also influence pricing.
With the adoption of precise audience measurement tools and data-driven insights, the OOH industry has made significant progress in ensuring fair pricing practices. By leveraging these tools and data sources, businesses can make informed decisions and maximize the impact of their OOH advertising campaigns.

Additional Costs: The Benefits & Creativity

In addition to the billboard itself, there are other costs to consider when planning a billboard advertising campaign. 

Production Costs

Designing and creating an attention-grabbing billboard requires professional graphic design services, which can range from $500 to$3,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the artwork. The cost of graphic design services may also depend on factors such as revisions, custom illustrations, and the expertise of the design agency or freelancer hired.

Additionally, printing and installation costs for static billboards typically range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the size and materials used. The quality of materials, such as vinyl or paper, and the complexity of installation (e.g., height, access) can impact the overall cost.

Creative and Compelling Content

Investing in professional design and engaging content increases the likelihood of capturing the audience's attention. A well-designed billboard with compelling visuals and a clear message can significantly impact its effectiveness. Consider working with experienced graphic designers who specialize in outdoor advertising to create visually striking billboards that resonate with your target audience. By investing in high-quality creative content, you can enhance the overall impact of your billboard campaign, potentially driving higher engagement and conversions.


Maintenance and Electricity

Static billboards generally require minimal maintenance, with occasional cleaning costing around $100 to $300 per month. The cost of cleaning may depend on factors such as the size of the billboard and the accessibility of the location. Electricity costs for static billboards are usually negligible since they do not require any powered components. However, digital billboards require regular maintenance, software updates, and electricity to operate the display. These additional costs can range from $500 to $1,000 per month, depending on the complexity of the digital billboard system and the level of technical support required.


Permitting and Regulatory Fees

Depending on the location, obtaining permits and complying with local regulations can incur additional fees. These costs can vary greatly, ranging from $500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the city and specific requirements. Permitting fees cover the process of obtaining approval from local authorities to erect and maintain a billboard. Regulatory fees may include annual or biennial licensing fees, zoning compliance fees, or taxes imposed by the local government.



Understanding the factors that influence billboard costs is crucial for businesses and marketers planning to invest in outdoor advertising. Factors such as location, billboard type, duration, and additional costs all play a role in determining the overall expenses. By conducting thorough research, optimizing campaigns, and considering alternative advertising mediums, advertisers can maximize their return on investment and effectively reach their target audience.

Armed with the comprehensive knowledge gained from this analysis, you are now equipped to make informed decisions when allocating your advertising budget for billboard campaigns. Remember to consider factors such as target audience, campaign duration, and creative content and tracking mechanisms to optimize your ROI and cost efficiency.

Additionally, exploring alternative advertising mediums such as transit advertising, DOOH advertising, and mobile billboards can provide additional opportunities to reach your audience in unique and impactful ways. By adopting a strategic and data-driven approach, you can make the most of your billboard advertising campaigns and achieve your marketing goals while staying within your budget.