are some terms used frequently
in the world of radio media buying:
An estimate of the number of people who listen to a station
for at least 5 minutes within a 15 minute quarter hour. It is
the most precise estimate of how many people are listening to
a station at any given time.
Month -- A special calendar on which every month
ends on the last Sunday of the month. Broadcast calendars were
created to better serve advertisers who prefer to place schedules
with spots airing with Monday through Friday or Monday through
-- An estimate of the number of different people who
listen to a station within a given daypart.
length of time a campaign will run. (e.g. The flight will run
4 weeks in the fourth quarter.)
Rate -- The cost of advertising that advertisers pay,
which includes an agency commission (usually 15% of the cost of
air time). Stations allow agencies to deduct the agency commission
from payment in recognition of the agency bringing the advertiser
to the airwaves. To calculate the Gross Rate, divide the Net Rate
by .85 (e.g., $10 net divided by .85 = $11.76 gross).
Rate -- (1) The cost of air time that an advertiser
pays when no advertising agency is involved. (2) The amount the
station expects to be paid after the agency discount is taken.
To calculate the Net Rate, multiply the gross rate by .85 (e.g.,
$11.76 gross rate x .85 = $10 net).
Rate -- A station's lowest unit charge for a particular
class and time period. The Federal Communications Commision (FCC)
requires broadcasters to charge candidates no more per unit than
the station charges its "most favored advertiser for the
same classes and amounts for the same time periods." Political
rates take effect 45 days prior to a primary election and 60 days
prior to a general election.
-- The first broadcast medium. It's origins date back
to November 1920, when returns of the Harding-Cox presidential
election were read over KDKA, Pittsburgh, PA. Radio reaches listeners
at home, at work, on the road 24 hours a day. Radio is also called
the immediacy medium because advertisers can react to changes
in the marketplace by getting their commercials on the air, or
changing copy, often the same day.
firm -- A company that represents stations, bringing
them revenue by selling their airtime. Regional and national rep
firms offer advertisers and their agencies the ability to negotiate
and place ad schedules on many stations with one contact. The
services regional and national rep firms provide are free to the
advertiser. Commercial Media Sales is a rep firm that represents
radio stations in small and medium sized markets throughout the
Of Station (ROS) -- Also referred to as Best Times
Available (BTA). The advertiser usually enjoys a lower unit rate
by allowing the station to schedule the spots in the Best Times
Available based on the commercial inventory.
a commercial announcement
Audience Plan (TAP) -- A convenient way for the advertiser
to reach most of a station's different audiences. (e.g. 1/4 morning
drive, 1/4 mid-day, 1/4 afternoon drive, 1/4 evenings)
Network -- A package of stations which have nothing
in common but carrying spots for an advertiser. The advertiser
selects the markets and the stations desired. The rep firm manages
the unwired network to ensure that the schedules air as ordered.