How Much Does it Cost to Build a Digital Billboard?

Bold. Simple. Interactive. Memorable. As part of the American landscape, billboards capture the attention and imagination of drivers and urban travelers like no other form of advertising. As commuters spend almost 300 hours in their cars each year and 71% of them consciously look at outdoor advertising while driving, billboards give advertisers a powerful tool to reach and engage a captive audience in an impactful way. With advancements in technology and an ever-growing demand for digital billboards, the decision to own a billboard is a smart business decision that yields strong profits in the long term.


So, what’s the cost of building a billboard, and how does one go about building one?

What is the Process and Timeline for Having an LED Digital Billboard Made with Formetco?

At Formetco, we pride ourselves on working with our customers to meet their specific business goals. As your industry expert in the outdoor advertising industry since 1968,  longer than all other digital vendors combined, we have the know-how to make the process efficient and seamless.

Whether it’s one new billboard or ten, we’ll see your digital billboard project through from start to finish. Our long-term success in the industry is built on providing high-quality billboards at the best value so you’ll be satisfied with your investment for years to come.

First, we will work with you to ensure the location you have in mind is qualified for a digital billboard. This is an essential step before purchasing an LED digital.

Next, we can help you assess your lease contract. Then, if you need permit guidance, we’ll assist you with industry support documents, studies and strategies to help you through the process. We can also provide light studies of your location, safety studies and emergency alert information to help you prepare for zoning meetings.

Once you’ve decided on your site, we’ll help you select the best digital billboard to suit your location. Your Formetco representative will do a site evaluation visit to help determine the best structure, height, size, resolution and angle of read. Having worked with the industry’s top fabricators and installers for nearly 50 years, we can also recommend billboard attorneys, installers, fabricators and independent sales agents in your area.

After we’ve sat down together and a proposal has been approved, we enter the design phase. As your total business partner in the billboard industry, we’ll assist you through the engineering, planning, construction and finally, installation of your digital billboard(s). From start to finish, the process takes anywhere from 1 to 6 months. You can also rest assured that once your billboard is up and running, we’ll remain on board with you to continually maintain and make the most of your billboard enterprise.

From offering a wide range of financing options and project management to sales training and support, we’re committed to helping you succeed each and every step of the way.

How Much Does a Digital Billboard Cost? 

Just like there is not one fixed price for building a home, the same is true for a digital billboard. Several factors go into the final cost. So, let’s go over them. First of all, what size do you want your billboard to be? Sizes range from standard 10×20 posters to 20×60 highway bulletins. Will it be one or two-sided?

Billboard Construction

One of your most important considerations is where you’re planning to put your billboard. The cost of leasing or buying land is often associated with the level of traffic in a specific area and how many eyeballs will see your billboard. This, in turn, will determine what you are able to charge your advertisers. Formetco’s extensive experience as a billboard manufacturer can help you navigate this and other critical decisions, so together, we’re able to create your successful digital billboard program.

Screen technology also comes into play. There are varying levels of screen clarity, quality and duration of display.

Prices will also vary depending on the structure type. Finally, you’ll need to price out liability insurance, electricity costs and maintenance and repair fees.

Taking into consideration all of the factors above, the cost to own a digital billboard starts at $65,000 and goes up from there. Formetco can guide you through the decision-making process to help you design, construct and manage a successful billboard enterprise no matter the level of your investment.

Whether you know exactly what you want or need to shop a variety of digital billboard options, our team will work with you to put together a successful billboard program that fits your budget. Ask us to share some of our success stories with you!

Are Digital Billboards Profitable? Yes!

One of the major benefits digital LEDs offer billboard owners is, unlike traditional print billboards, the ability to rotate advertising for multiple customers at a time. With this increased advertising inventory, small to medium-sized billboards can earn $300-$2000 a month. Larger digital billboards can earn $1500 to $3000 a month. Profits can reach up to 50% before depreciation, taxes, amortization and interest.

How long does it take for a digital billboard to turn a profit?

A good rule of thumb is 2.5 years to pay off the initial cost of the purchase of land and billboard construction. After that, profits increase significantly. Over the long term, digital billboards can save you money on print costs, thus generating more money than traditional billboard advertising.

Are digital billboards more expensive to build than static billboards?

Yes, digital billboards are generally more expensive to build than static billboards due to the additional hardware and software components required. But in the long term, digital billboards can be more cost effective as they eliminate printing costs, reduce labor costs, and provide advertising flexibility.

How long does it take to build a billboard structure?

The time it takes to build a billboard structure can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the project, permitting requirements, and weather conditions. But on average, it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. More complex structures like digital billboards and multi-panel billboards can take up to 6 months to complete.

How much does it cost to own a billboard? 

The cost of owning a billboard can vary significantly based on the size and type of billboard you want, as well as other factors such as location and advertising demand. For standard billboards, average cost can range from $1,500 to $30,000 a month. Larger and more elaborate digital billboards typically start at $65,000 and the price goes up from there.

Billboard Financing Options

In addition to helping billboard operators put up new billboards, Formetco can help you upgrade your existing digital billboards with our “Replace Your Face Financing Program.”

Designed to save you time, energy and most importantly, money, our “Replace Your Face Financing Program” offers you one low monthly payment with competitive, deductible interest rates plus depreciation.

We offer pricing tiers for every budget. For larger projects, that means larger outlays of capital are no longer needed!

Working with us also means cost savings. You can stop overpaying for replacement parts and specialty labor. Formetco does it all including crane, take down, disposal, installation, new digital, and electrical hookup. New premium cutting edge products have higher functionality, crisp resolution and are more energy-efficient. What used to run over $800/mo. in power is now under $200, saving operators upwards of $7K/year.

To learn more about how Formetco can assist you with your digital billboard(s), submit an inquiry here.

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