People new to TV want to see a price list so that they can pick and choose. However, it usually doesn’t work that way. It’s more like buying airline tickets, because the prices of spots vary a lot depending on when they run, where they run, the times that are available, the time of year, it goes on and on. You can go to the stations yourself and buy the time, but if you’ve not done it before, I highly recommend you work with a professional time buyer.
Time buyers will ask you a couple of key questions: What is your target demographic and how much per month are you comfortable spending? With that information, they will negotiate for you to get a schedule put together for you to review.
People ask me how much it costs to use a professional time buyer. The fact is, they get a lower Agency Rate from TV companies because they bring them so much business - a rate the TV companies don’t give you as an individual. So they use that as their commission, and you end up not spending any more than you would have if you had gone directly to the TV company. Actually, most times you pay less and get more bang for your buck because they know the rates and the business. It would be like having a best friend who is a car dealer negotiate a price for your next car.
The time buy pros I work with are great - and all of us work together to try to make your TV ad as successful as we possibly can.
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I have media buyers I work with that are GREAT negotiators. It does not cost you more to buy your time through a time buyer. The cable and TV stations give them an agency discount that they do not give you, and the time buyers take their profit from that discount. So you can benefit from their abilities and resources without spending any extra.