How Much Does an Electronic Billboard Cost?

Electronic billboards or, for its most common name, digital billboards haven’t been around for long, but its popularity among advertisers is undeniable. With the multitude of advantages it has over static billboards, it’s not surprising. However, electronic billboards are not just for advertising purposes. They can be used as signs to convey messages to the population, to make announcements, PSAs(public safety announcements), etc. Electronic billboard pricing depends on the size of the display. It also depends on whether you’re renting or owning. Without further ado, let’s dive into the real talk.


an electronic billboard


Types of Electronic Billboards

There are many types of billboards available on the market, so it can be difficult sometimes to make the right choice. Electronic billboards alone offer a lot of options, and today, I will be giving more details about the six most popular ones.



an electronic sign for a Church


Electronic signs are mostly used for commercial purposes and at a smaller scale. You can find them in or outside of stores, at transit stations, airports, parking, etc. You can see them everywhere. There are smaller ones that are used to inform the audience about business hours, for example or promotions. They are straightforward too. They show a few words passing across the screen slowly, making it easy to read.

Some signs can be seen under or on top of standard billboards. There are also signs that you can put up at your business site for advertising purposes only. Digital signs help people see your business from afar, which increases the flow of foot traffic. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable digital billboards there is. The costs range from $200 to $1500. The more sophisticated it is, the higher the price. So a simple sign with dimensions 39” x 14” for example, would cost around $200 to $300 while a bigger one with beautiful colors, showing pictures and dimensions 38.3” x 22.8” x 2.2” would cost about $1,200.

Kiosk Advertising


electronic commercial kiosks


Kiosk digital advertising is a form of digital and interactive billboard. It can be outdoor or indoor, in transit stations, in airports, in restaurants, in shopping malls, in movie theatres, etc. They are for informational and purchasing uses. It’s a good way of guiding customers towards finding what they need without having to shadow them. They can make their ticket purchases online directly through a kick, and print it on the spot. Because there are so many levels of customization to choose from, there is no way to know exact costs. Well, not until you determine what you want down to the smallest detail.

A kiosk with a printer, a touch screen, a keyboard, a card reader, and full enclosure included in it can cost between $5,000 and $7,000. If you want to include software, you’d have to pay a couple of thousand more. And when I say a couple of thousand more, I mean your total could amount to $20,000 per kiosk, plus licensing fees.

Transit Advertsing


an electronic bus shelter


Transit Advertising includes bus shelters, billboards at subway stations, and advertising inside and outside transit vehicles. However, since we’re talking about electronic billboards, we’ll focus more on bus shelters and subway stations. Transit advertising is also an excellent Investment for advertisers because it makes a lot of impressions. This is true, especially in big cities where the public transportation system is developed. New York City or Toronto, for example, has thousands of commuters every day passing by the bus stops and subways.

Electronic billboards in transit are an excellent way for advertisers to catch the audience’s attention and entrain them while they are waiting for the bus or subway. You should take advantage of it. Plus, it’s not as expensive as TV advertising, and yet, it does the same job. And it’s catchier than TV anyway. The cost of a digital billboard for Bus shelters and subway stations ranges between $3,000 and $6,500 per 4 week period. It can amount to even more depending on the location and size.

Digital Billboards


a customized digital billboard by BMW


New York City – Time Square is a perfect example of how effective digital advertising billboard can be. Not only Does it make that part of the City attractive, but it’s also one of the most visited spaces in the world. What does that mean to advertisers? Impressions, hundred thousands of them. And that many impressions can’t be cheap. Some digital billboards on Time Square can cost as much as $3 million per month to advertise. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost that much to advertise on digital billboards in general. The rates depend mainly on circulation, demographics, and CPM or cost per thousand impressions. Those elements affect any type of OOH as well, not just digital billboards.

Depending on how many people drive by your ad (circulation), the pricing for putting up a digital billboard varies. Those variations also depend on who are these people according to their age, level of income, gender (demographics) and their likeliness to see your ad (CPM). If you’re renting, the rates go from $2,000 to $15,000 or more. But if you’re willing to build a billboard, the costs will include more than the elements cited below. You’d have to deal with material purchasing fees, then charges of installation and maintenance. You’re looking at the total sum of $154,000 or even more.

You can still save some money when your company does its own digital ads designs, but only if you have great designers in your team. It would be a shame if, after all this effort, your ad doesn’t generate the results you want just because the designs suck. Having said that, if you wish for another company to handle the design of your ads, you should be aware that it may cost you somewhere between $150 and $1,000 minimum. Depending on the company and their level of expertise, They may charge you more.

Smart Billboards


example of a smart billboard


Smart billboards are the most recent, and they’re a revolutionary advertising tool. They’re not popular everywhere yet, so don’t become skeptical if you haven’t heard of it yet. By definition, it’s a billboard that can dynamically react to its environment by sending and receiving data over an information network. In other words, a smart billboard reacts to its environment. A good example of a campaign with smart billboards is “the coughing man.” It took place in Sweden, and the billboards had detectors implanted in them so that every time there was smoke, a man appeared on the screen and started coughing. Afterward, a video sensitizing people against smoking appeared, followed by an ad about medication to control nicotine addiction.

There are many examples of it on the internet if you want to know further about it. The main takeaway, however, is that it’s more effective than the typical digital billboard in terms of interactions between advertisers and their target audience. Smart billboards make the target feel like the advertiser is talking to them directly, especially those that have facial recognition technology. Now, for the pricing, there is no clear information yet, but it should be around the same rates as standard digital billboards’. You can contact the company renting billboards directly.

Mobile Trailers


a digital mobile trailer billboard


Mobile trailer billboards are digital billboards mounted on mobile trailers. Obvious, isn’t it? It’s a good option to consider when advertising in places like markets, or for pop-up advertising. It can even work for guerilla marketing, too. This option only works when you want to move your billboard to another location. It makes it easy to do so, allowing you to avoid unnecessary costs. Unfortunately, they cannot be operated while on the move.

Mobile trailers rates  range from $4,000 to $8,000 per trailer per month, including rental fees. There is also the size you have to take into account because it can influence the rates. Keep in mind that these rates can vary from one company to another. It can sometimes amount to $15,000, totaling approximately $180,000 per year. It seems like a lot, but it’s worth it.

Digital Mobile Billboards

Digital mobile billboards are almost the same as mobile trailers, except they can be operated while on the move. Cool, isn’t it? Renting process would be the same as renting a standard mobile billboard: renting the truck and putting your creative work on it. However, the rates may differ. Because it’s digital, there is more work going on, especially in terms of installation. A digital mobile billboard can cost around $1250 to $3600 per truck per 8 hours to rent, depending on the size and the company you are dealing with. Some companies may rent per 4 week-period instead of hours. 

digital mobile billboard


Advantages of Electronic Billboards

Electronic billboards are one of the most effective ways to advertise or inform people in many ways:

  • Digital billboards offer moving images that work in its favor to catch the attention of the viewer better than traditional billboards. Indeed, digital billboards are six times more effective than traditional billboards.
  • They are more targeted because you can choose to show your ad at specific times of the day. For example, it can display a coffee shop ad in the morning so your audience can see it on their way to work or school.
  • It offers more flexibility as you can make changes in your copy and imagery even after it already aired, at no additional costs. You can also stream live and user-generated content from your website and social media.
  • You can run smart ads, making it seem like your billboard reacts to its environment. For example, you can program your smart billboard to run a cough medicine ad when someone coughs near it.

Disadvantages of Electronic Billboards

Even though electronic billboard advertising is effective, it has its limits too:

  • It can be costly, especially for small businesses, so it may be out of reach when you want to advertise on a limited budget.
  • They are less accessible than traditional billboards since they haven’t been around for too long, and they are trendy among advertisers. So you may have to wait a long time before being able to rent one that is at the location you want.
  • It’s subject to glitches since it’s electric. A lot of unpredictable problems can arise when dealing with technology, such as power outage, viruses, or other electrical issues.
  • Not environmental friendly, since it uses a lot of power to run ads all the time.
  • You may have to share your space with other advertisers. In that case, it’ll be difficult to predict how many people among your target audience can see your ad when it runs on the board.
an électronicien billboard by Delta Airlines


So What Now?

Are you still interested in going digital? Well, it’s what everyone is doing nowadays, so why not you? Plus, you may not have a choice. It may cost you a lot, but Think about what you can gain in return, compared to using traditional billboards. For example, if you are operating in a bus station or an airport, you most definitely need kiosks to help your customers find travel information and purchase tickets. If you’re a business owner who needs their potential customers to spot them from miles away, an electronic billboard is the wisest choice for you. Especially when you’re open at night. In any case, it’s better to get all the information you can before making your move.




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