Radio Advertising Resources for Advertisers

Radio Industry Terms & Definitions

  • AM Drive (Morning Drive)

    Monday through Friday from 5:00AM to 10AM.

  • Mid-day Drive

    Monday through Friday from 10:00AM to 3:00PM.

  • Afternoon Drive (PM Drive)

    Monday though Friday from 3-8PM.

  • Arbitron

    Radio ratings service.

  • Average Quarter-Hour Persons (AQH)

    The average number of persons listening to a particular station for at least five consecutive minutes during a 15-minute period.

  • Average Quarter-Hour Rating

    The average Quarter-Hour Persons estimate expressed as a percentage of the population being measured.

  • Audience Composition

    The demographic or socioeconomic profile of a station's audience.

  • Avail

    The commercial position in a program or between programs on a given station available for purchase.

  • Billboard (radio billboard)

    Name mentions given to an advertiser in return for a program/station commitment (often to a "sponsor" of the program).

  • Best Time Available (BTA)

    Commercials which are scheduled by the station to run at the best available time after all other sponsor commitments are met.

  • Cluster

    A group of stations in the same market under common ownership or sales management.

  • Combo

    Two (or sometimes more) Radio stations, usually operated by the same owner in the same market.

  • Cost Per Point (CPP)

    The cost of reaching an Average Quarter-Hour Persons audience that is equivalent to one percent of the population in a given demographic group.

  • Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

    The cost of delivering 1,000 gross impressions.

  • Coverage Area

    The geographic area within which a signal from an originating station can be received.

  • Cume Persons

    The total number of different persons who listen to a Radio station during a daypart for at least five consecutive minutes.

  • Daypart

    The time segments into which a day is divided by for the purpose of selling advertising time. Primary dayparts are morning (or AM drive), midday, afternoon (or PM drive), and evening.

  • Demo (Target Demo)

    The age group and make-up of the audience that you wish to receive your product or service message.

  • Equal Distribution

    Ensuring that commercials are scheduled to run in a broad time period or combination of time periods, getting equally distributed across each time period.

  • Equal Rotation

    Usually refers to ensuring that commercials are scheduled to run in a broad time period or combination of time periods and get equally distributed across each time period.

  • Evening

    Monday though Friday from 8PM-Midnight.

  • Fixed Position (sometimes called "anchored")

    A commercial scheduled to run at a precise time, or a commercial scheduled to run within specific programming content.

  • Flight

    Advertising agency scheduling concept that alternates periods of advertising activity with periods of no activity.

  • Flight Dates

    Start and end dates of an advertising campaign.

  • Frequency

    The average number of times the same person will hear a commercial.

  • Frontload

    Refers to creating a schedule that tends to place more commercials on days of the week that have less demand.

  • Gross Impressions (GIs)

    The sum of the Average Quarter-Hour Persons (AQH) audience for all commercials in a given schedule. The total number of times a commercial will be heard over the course of a schedule.

  • Gross Rating Points (GRPs)

    The sum of all rating points achieved for a particular commercial schedule.

  • Live Read

    Announcement is read "live" on-air by a station personality.

  • Local Marketing Agreement (LMA)

    An arrangement where one station or owner takes sales responsibility for the commercial time on another station that it does not own.

  • Midday (See Daytime)

    Monday through Friday from 10AM-3PM

  • Morning Drive (AM Drive)

    Monday through Friday from 5:30 AM to 10AM.

  • Net Reach

    The number of different people that will hear the commercial at least one time.

  • Optimum Effective Scheduling (OES)

    Advertising purchasing concept designed to reach the majority of a station's audience three or more times in a week by distributing commercials evenly Monday-Sunday from 6AM to Midnight.

  • Piggy-Back

    Two commercials scheduled to run back-to-back, purchased by the same advertiser.

  • PM Drive (Afternoon Drive)

    Monday though Friday from 3-7PM

  • Pre-emption and Pre-emptible

    The displacement of a scheduled commercial announcement in favor of a higher-priced commercial or for some other reason.

  • Rep

    Short for representative. The station account executive who serves a local advertiser or agency.

  • Run of Schedule (ROS)

    Commercials scheduled to run across multiple dayparts and multiple days. Usually Monday-Friday, 6AM-12AM

  • Rotation

    The distribution of commercials across a section of days and hours within the purchased time period.

  • Simulcast

    When two or more Radio stations broadcast the same programs and same commercials at the same times.

  • Sponsorship

    The purchase of a radio program or specific feature.

  • TOMA (top-of-mind-awareness)

    Achieving a high level of recognition with a specific audience.

  • Total Audience Plan (TAP)

    An advertising schedule that places ads in a pattern that utilizes all station dayparts for maximum station audience exposure.

  • Target Demo (Demo)

    An age group or audience make-up that you target with your commercial message.

  • Total Survey Area (TSA)

    Geographic area that encompasses the Metro Survey Area (MSA) and may include additional counties located outside the MSA which meet certain listening criteria.

  • Unit

    One commercial message regardless of length.