Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Multimedia Gallery

You are here: Census.govNewsroomMultimedia GalleryAudioProfile America › First Radio Commercial
Skip top of page navigation

First Radio Commercial

August 28, 2014

You may Listen or download this story in .mp3 format or as a .wav file.

Profile America — Thursday, August 28th. "This program is brought to you by ..." Those words, or ones close to them, were heard on this date 92 years ago in what is believed to be the first commercial broadcast on the new medium of radio. Station WEAF in New York City carried that first ad -- not for soap or automobiles -- but for a group of apartment buildings in Queens. The cost was $100 for 10 minutes of programming. At the time, there were just 30 stations in the whole country, and only 60,000 households had receivers. Now, there are some 15,400 radio stations in the nation, and two thirds of Americans over the age of 12 access the medium daily. You can find more facts about America's people, places and economy from the American Community Survey at

Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 796

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: July 30, 2014