Terms for the Trade

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Average Quarter-Hour Persons (AQH Persons)

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

Average Quarter-Hour Rating (AQH Rating)

The AQH Persons estimate expressed as a percentage of the population being measured. This estimate is printed for the MSA and DMA. It can also be computed for the TSA.

[AQH Persons / Population] x 100 = AQH Rating (%)

Cume Persons

The total number of different persons who tune to a radio station during the course of a daypart for at least five minutes.

Cume Rating

The Cume Persons audience expressed as a percentage of all persons estimated to be in the specified demographic group.

[Cume Persons / Population] x 100 = Cume Rating (%)

Rating (AQH or Cume)

The audience expressed as a percentage of the total population.

[Listeners / Population] x 100 = Rating (%)


The percentage of those listening to radio in the Metro who are listening to a particular radio station.

[AQH Persons to a Station / AQH Persons to All Stations] x 100 = Share (%)

Gross Impressions (GIs)

The sum of the Average Quarter-Hour Persons audience for all spots in a given schedule.

[AQH Persons] x [the number of spots in an advertising schedule] = GIs

Gross Rating Points (GRPs)

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

[AQH Rating] x [the number of spots in an advertising schedule] = GRPs

Cost Per Rating Point

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

[Cost of Schedule] / [GRP] = Cost Per Rating Point
[Spot Cost] / [AQH Rating] = Cost Per Rating Point

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The cost of delivering 1,000 gross impressions.

[Cost of Schedule] / [GI] x 1,000 = CPM
[Spot Cost] / [AQH Persons] x 1,000 = CPM

Exclusive Cume

The number of different persons who listen to only one radio station during the daypart reported.

Net Reach

The number of different persons reached in a given schedule. Real net reach is available through Maximi$er®, for single-station and multiple-station schedules.


The average number of times a person is exposed to a radio spot schedule.

[GI] / Net Reach = Frequency

Time Spent Listening (TSL)

An estimate of the number of quarter-hours the average person spends listening during a specified time period.

[(Quarter-Hours in a time period) x (AQH Persons)] / Cume Audience = TSL


Includes a city (or cities) whose population is specified as that of the central city together with the county (or counties) in which it is located. The Metro also includes contiguous or additional counties when the economic and social relationships between the central and additional counties meet specific criteria. Nielsen Radio Metros generally correspond to the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) defined by the U.S. Government's Office of Management and Budget. They are subject to exceptions dictated by historical industry usage and other marketing considerations.

Total Survey Area (TSA)

A geographic area that encompasses the Metro Survey Area and may include additional counties located outside the Metro which meet certain listening criteria to Metro-licensed stations.

Designated Market Area (DMA®)

The DMA is composed of sampling units (counties or geographically split counties) and is defined and updated annually by Nielsen based on historical television viewing patterns. A county or split county is assigned exclusively to one DMA.

Nielsen reports radio listening estimates for the Top 50 DMAs (ranked on TV households) in the Radio Market Reports of all Standard radio markets whose Metros are located within the DMA and whose names are contained in the DMA name.


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