Advertising rates, or, "how much does it cost to place an ad?"
Finding ad rates for magazines and newspapers is relatively easy for many publications. The first stop, and often the last, will be SRDS Media Planning Platform (see "Ad rates -- the first stop" link in left margin) which has 'off-the-shelf' ad rates. These are a starting point, as a good media planner will doubtless do some negotiating.
Some publications will also have some information about their ad rates on their websites.
For TV and radio, ad rates are not so easy to come by. Because there are simply too many variables, broadcast ad rates are always negotiated. Here are some of the variables:
To get an idea of the likely range for broadcast media ad rates, a rough calculation you can use is this:
Estimated ad rate = cost-per-rating-point X audience measurement rating
For TV, the audience measurement rating is the Nielsen rating; for radio, it's the Arbitron rating. So that presents you with two new quests: finding the CPP (cost-per-rating-point), and finding the audience measurement rating. See below for more information about these tasks.
For print media (magazines and newspapers), SRDS Media Solutions has 'off-the-shelf' ad rates (aka 'card rates'). By the way, in the rate tables, ti means the number of times an ad is placed (there's a discount for volume, of course). MRI+ also has rates for some of the magazines (mostly consumer mags) it profiles.
For broadcast media (TV and radio), SRDS Media Solutions does not have actual ad rates (see discussion above). But it does provide top-level (i.e. not detailed) CPP numbers from SQAD for metro areas (i.e. small cities will not have CPP numbers). Click on the Market Profile link in the left-hand column to see this. (Please be aware that the SQAD Media Market Guide, listed in the box just below, has CPP numbers in far greater detail.)