Radio Terms Glossary

As part of the service of Radio Results we help untangle the jargon that is used each day in the world of Radio.  You may have heard of terms such as Cumes or Shares, TSL or in other words “time spent listening “without fully understand what these terms really mean. It is important to understand them as they are integral in the planning and success of your campaign. For example; the longer the TSL of a station the more likely your advertisement will have of being heard. A long TSL will indicate less “flicking off” the dial to change to another station. The Terms and Definitions that are unique to Radio are outlined below.

Average Audience (or Average Quarter Hour Audience) - The average number of people listening per quarter-hour in any given time-period or session. e.g. At any given time Mon-Sun 5:30am-12mn there are, on average, 61,000 listeners tuned into Station A. Typically used in Session Ranking, Program Ranking, Station Loyalty.

Cumulative Audience (or Cumes) - The total number of different people who listen for at least one quarter hour during the course of a chosen time-period or session. e.g. 600,000 different people tuned into Station B at some stage during Mon-Sun 5:30am-12mn. Typically used in Session Ranking, Ebb & Flow; Program Ranking; Station Loyalty.
Station Share - Share of audience is the percentage of the total radio listening audience in a given time period tuned to a particular station. Share is a station’s average audience expressed as a percentage of the total radio audience for the same period of time. e.g. Between Mon-Sun 5:30am-12mn 9.4% of all radio listening is tuned into Station C. Typically used in Session Ranking and Station Loyalty.

Time Spent Listening - The average amount of time that those people who listen to radio or a specific station (cumulative audience), spend listening during a specified time-period. Shown in hours and minutes (not decimal time) e.g. 1:30 is one hour, thirty minutes. e.g. Station A has 799,000 listeners (cumes) each of these people listen on average for 7 hours & 6 minutes (7:06). Typically used in Session Ranking.

Exclusive Audience - The number (in thousands) or proportion (%) of listeners who tune in to only one station during a specified time period. i.e.. The number of people who listen exclusively to that station. e.g. Station B has 115,000 listeners who listen exclusively Mon-Sun 5:30am-12mn. Typically used in Session Ranking and Station Loyalty.

Multi-Station Cume - The total number of different (unduplicated) people who listen to 2 or more stations during the course of a chosen time-period or session. Note: Multi-station Cume must be calculated in Radio Advisor. Cumes cannot simply be added together as there will be a number of people who indicate listening to multiple stations during the specified time period. Typically used in Session Ranking.

Net Reach (1+ Reach) - Refers to the number (in thousands) or proportion (%) of different people reached at least once by a specified number of advertisements. Net reach can be expressed in terms of numbers of people and/or as a percentage of the population group being targeted. Ie. Net Reach is similar to Cumulative Audience but is usually quoted in association with the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, whereas Cumulative Audience is used when analysing time periods or sessions. Typically used in Reach & Frequency.

Maximum Reach - Refers to the total number of people it is possible to reach on the station/s and session/s selected within a schedule. I.e. the total station cume or multiple station cume for the session chosen. e.g. If Station B has a total cume 669,0000 it is not possible to reach any more listeners as the station only has 669,000 listeners. To achieve the maximum reach an advertiser would have to put an advertisement on every ¼ hour. Typically used in Reach & Frequency.

Gross Impacts - The sum of the quarter-hour audience for all spots in a given advertising schedule. This figure will most likely include duplication of listeners. It is the total number of times a listening audience has the opportunity to “hear” an advertisement. Typically used in Reach & Frequency.

Average Frequency - The average number of times that radio listeners “reached” by an advertising campaign are exposed to an advertisement. Or how many times they have “heard” the advertisement. e.g. The average frequency for Stations A, B & C is 4.2 times. Typically used in Reach & Frequency.

Effective Frequency - Shows how the reach for a number of advertisements is made up in terms of the numbers (in thousands) and proportion (%) of people who were reached or heard 1 or more, 2 or more, 3 or more times etc, by a series of advertisements. (e.g. 1+,2+, 3+ etc) Exclusive Frequency used in Reach & Frequency Shows how the reach for a number of advertisements is made up in terms of the numbers (000’s) and proportion (%) of people who were reached or heard exactly once, exactly twice, exactly 3 times etc, by a series of advertisements. (e.g. 1, 2, 3 etc).

Cost Per Thousand (CPM) - The cost of each 1000 impacts delivered by an advertising schedule (I.e. the cost of the schedule divided by the gross impacts gives you a cost per thousand). Typically used in Reach & Frequency.

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