8 Media Buying Basics You Should Know

Radio offers an expansive audience for a great price. You can target your demographic based on which radio formats (stations) they listen to and what geographical markets they are in. There’s some basic terms you may want to familiarize yourself with if you plan on getting involved with the process of buying radio air time. Let’s take a look at the commonly used lingo:

1. Gross Rating Points and Cost Per Point: These are measurements that show you how many people are listening to any given station at any given time, and how much it costs to reach each of those people.

2. Dayparts: These are the different times of day that the spot may run. For radio dayparts there’s the Morning Drive (6 am—10 am), Midday (10 am—3 pm), the Afternoon Drive (3 pm—7 pm), Evening (7 pm—12 am), and Overnight (12 am—6 am). You want to find which time is best to reach your audience on the stations they listen to. Drive times are typically the best.

3. Media Strategist: These experts help negotiate rates, identify the stations, place more effective and strategic buys, manage budgets and protect you from possibly being taken advantage of by a radio station. The best part is that you don’t pay for them—the station discounts a 15% commis-sion back to the agency for handling the buy.

4. DMA: The Designated Market Area is Nielsen’s term for a geographic area containing several counties based on which home market stations receive the largest viewing share.

5. PUR: Persons Using Radio shows you the percentage of an area’s population that is tuned in to the radio at any given time.

6. Remainder Advertising/Remnants: These are leftover time slots that haven’t been sold and can be bought at a significantly discounted price. The station would much rather sell a cheap slot of air time over nothing at all.

7. Reach: This is the total number of people/households that are exposed to a medium (radio, TV, etc.) at any given time. This does not include the number of people who consume the adver-tising—it only shows the number of people who are exposed to the medium and could potential-ly see the ad.

8. Frequency: This is the number of times one person views the same ad. Effective frequency shows the number of times a person has to be exposed to an ad until they respond to it. Now you’ll be able to fluently discuss the reach and frequency of your ads with your media strategist and decide what dayparts and DMAs to place them in. May the available air time be ever in your favor!