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Media Lingo - The Words of TV Advertising

TV_Lingo.jpgFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, PInterest, HubSpot. Those are the mediums I work in. Yes, sometimes I wonder outside of these neatly contained portals because it'd be a cool new way to do something for a client.  And, yes, I'm constantly exploring new mediums and threads to expand my craft and come up with fun and witty ways to do my job. The problem is that no matter how much I read about the internet and it's endless possiblities, I always get asked about advertising on TV.


While I have an awesome team to fall back on, I hate when a client asks a question to which I don't know the answer. So, our VP, Sammy, gave me a cheat sheet. Something with just enough memorable information that I can calmly smile, take intelligible notes, and run back to Jodi for help (check out her opinion on how DVRs are affecting tv advertising here). 


Now, I'm sharing my (Sammy's) cheat sheet with all of you. Take a look so the next time you're in an invigorating conversation about tv advertising or tv ratings, you can at least tread water. If nothing else, you may pick up a couple Jeopardy answers along the way. So here it is: Media Lingo, by Sammy.


Media Lingo - by Sammy

Average Quarter Person (AQH Persons)

  • The average number of persons listening to a particular station for at least 5 minutes during a 15 minute period.


  • Audience measurement of a particular program or station at a specific period of time expressed as a percent of the audience population – Essentially measured the popularity of a program.
  • One of the most important broadcast terms.
  • Use:
    • To understand the popularity of a TV program.
    • To determine how many people the message will reach.
    • To calculate how often these people will be exposed to their messages.
    • To perform a post-analysis to make sure the buy delivered what was promised from the station.
  • HUT X Share = Rating

Homes Using TV (HUT)

  • Percentage of home using television at a given time of day.

People Using TV (PUT)

  • Percentage of the targeted demographic using television at a given time of day.


  • The percentage of HUT tuned to a particular program.
  • Similar to ‘market share’ – states what percentage of a program, or station, had of the total viewing/listening audience.
  • AQH Persons to a station/AQH Persons Listening to Radio x 100 = Share (%)
  • Or HUT x Share = Rating

GRPs/TRPs-Gross Rating Points/Target Rating Points (interchangeable)

  • Offers a description of total audience delivery without regard to duplication or repeat exposure. Individuals or homed are counted as many times as they are exposed to the advertising.
  • Sum of the ratings delivered by a given list of media vehicles as a percentage.
  • Example: 200 GRPs will be seen once by the equivalent of 200% of the population – expresses the total gross audience delivery.
  • Use: To cost out media schedules and calculate reach and frequency.
  • Reach x Frequency = GRP

Cost Per Point – CPP

  • The cost to purchase one GRP/TRP
  • Primary function of a CPP is to estimate the total cost of a planned TV or radio schedule with a market.


  • Sum of all advertising exposures to a medium or media vehicle.
  • Same as GRPs/TRPs, but is expressed in terms of numbers of individuals (or home) rather than as a percentage.
  • Expresses total gross audience delivery.


  • Number of different individuals or home exposes to a media schedule within a given period of time, generally expressed as a percentage.
  • Tells us how many of the audience members that you are targeting your message to will be exposed to that advertising.
  • Gives you Net Media delivery.


  • The average number of times individuals or homes will be reached by the program.
  • Impressions/Net Reach = Frequency

Uses for Reach and Frequency:

  • Reporting device to give advertiser a sense of how much media delivery will be generated.
  • To establish goals to which other media alternatives are compared.



That's it! You now know more than most people care to know about the ratings side of tv. Sometimes it's not about being smarter, but being (caught) less stupid. 



Ready to know more about commercials and if it's the right move for you? Let us know what you need!




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