Terms and definitions

Terms and definitions

‘Reach’, ‘commercial share’, ‘average audience’, ‘Overnight’, ‘Consolidated 7’, ‘as live’, ‘demos’ ... working with television ratings involves much more than just-the-numbers and requires at least a basic understanding of the variables involved.

Some of the more common terms and definitions used in Television Audience Measurement are listed, in alphabetical order, below.

Term Definition Formula (if applicable) or notes
As Live Viewing of recorded television broadcast content that occurs within the same research day (2am-2am) but viewed at a later time than the original broadcast time; for example, pausing a program and then continuing to watch it as a recording
Audience OR Projections OR Thousands (000s) The average number of people (or homes) in a target market who were watching a specific event or time band each minute, expressed in absolute figures for that demographic = sum of people watching each minute of the show or time band / sum of minutes
Average Frequency The average number of times an individual is exposed to a television channel, program or advertisement = Total TARPs / Reach%
Confirmed Times OzTAM corrected (final) ratings for programs, based on the final program logs (confirmed telecast times) provided by TV networks; Confirmed Times update the Preliminary Overnight Times OzTAM provides each morning for the previous day’s programs

Consolidated Data:

   Consolidated 7 


   Consolidated 28

OzTAM final ratings incorporating ‘Live’ viewing and viewing of broadcast content that is played back through the television set at normal speed either within seven days of original broadcast ('Consolidated 7') or within 28 days ('Consolidated 28') Consolidated 7 = 'Live' + 'As Live' + 'Time Shift to 7'

Consolidated 28 = 'Live' + 'As Live' + 'Time Shift to 7' + 'Time Shift 8-28'
CPM/CPT (Cost per Mille/Cost per Thousand) The cost of reaching 1,000 people in the target audience = cost of a spot / (Audience/1,000)
CPT (Cost per TARP) The cost of reaching 1% (1 TARP) of a specified target audience = cost of a spot / TARP
Coverage See REACH
Day Part A section of the viewing day defined by a start and end time (such as 1800-2400, 0600-2400)
Demographic (group) or Target Basic descriptor of individuals or households using classifications such as age, sex, occupation group, education level, household size, etc
Effective Frequency The number of exposures (1+, 2+, 3+, etc) considered necessary for an advertising message to produce an effect (i.e., for the target market to take the desired action or for the advertisement to elicit the desired response). Advertisers can undertake research or may set some rule as to how many exposures they think are necessary after taking into consideration variables such as the competitive environment, creative execution, TVC (TV commercial) length, product life cycle and positioning, etc.
Effective Reach The number or percentage of the target audience who are reached at, or above, the Effective Frequency level
Elemental Data Viewing information of household and individual panel members ascribed to the minute; estimates are derived using Gold Standard-accredited software
Gold Standard OzTAM’s software accreditation system that ensures all clients using OzTAM data achieve consistent results. The Gold Standard specifies the arithmetical procedures to deliver uniform calculations as well as standard industry terms and language. Only Gold Standard accredited software may be used to analyse OzTAM data
GRP (Gross Ratings Points) Or Gross Impacts OR Total TARPs The sum of the individual TARP percentages multiplied by the number of spots for a TVC (TV commercial) campaign. GRP indicates the total weight or impact of a schedule, that is, the gross audience including duplications = TARP% of TVC in program 1 + program 2 + program 3, etc.
Live Viewing of a television program as it is actually broadcast
Overnight Data OzTAM ratings delivered each morning for the previous research day, incorporating ‘Live’ viewing and viewing of content that was broadcast yesterday, recorded and played back by 2am (‘As Live’ viewing) = ‘Live’ + ‘As Live’ viewing
Playback to 7
Broadcast television content played back through the TV set at normal speed within seven days of the original broadcast
‘As Live’ + ‘Time Shift to 7'
Playback to 28        

Broadcast television content played back through the TV set at normal speed within 28 days of the original broadcast
'As Live' + 'Time Shift to 7' + 'Time Shift 8-28'
Preliminary Times OzTAM initial Overnight ratings for a program, based on the scheduled telecast times provided by TV networks prior to broadcast Subject to change with network confirmation of actual telecast times, or final program logs (see ‘Confirmed Times’)
Profile% (Adhesion) Shows the audience composition of an event or time band by calculating the proportion of viewers in the target demographic to the number of viewers in the base target (usually Total People) = Audience of target group of interest / Total People Audience
Quarter Hour Audience Average audience for a clock quarter hour (15 minutes), such as 0900-0915, 0915-0930, etc = sum of people watching each minute of the selected quarter hour / 15
Quarter Hour Files OzTAM average quarter hour audience estimates for standard demographic groups by channel. These files are created from OzTAM Elemental data that has been through Gold Standard processes
Ratings Week Sunday - Saturday
Reach OR Reach (1 min) OR Cumulative (Cume) Reach The sum of the number of unique viewers who have seen at least one minute of an event or time band across its total duration An individual or household is only counted once if they have viewed at least one minute of the event or time band
Reach% The sum of unique viewers expressed as a percentage of the universe for the target demographic = Reach / Universe Estimate
Research Day 2am – 2am on any calendar day
Sample Size The panel size for any specific demographic
SHARE% The viewers of a particular event or time band per minute expressed as a percentage of Total TV viewing during the same time period

Free-to-air SHARE is expressed as a % of free-to-air networks

Commercial SHARE is expressed as a % of commercial free-to-air network viewing (7, 9, 10 and their digital channels)
= Audience for an event / Audience for Total TV at that particular time

FTA SHARE = Audience for an event / Audience for Total free-to-air viewing at the time

CSHR = Audience for an event / Audience viewing commercial TV networks at the time
TARP (Target Audience Rating Point) The average viewing audience for a demographic expressed as a percentage of the relevant Universe Estimate = Audience / Universe Estimate
Time Shift to 7
Playback viewing after the research day of broadcast and up to 7 days from broadcast

Time Shift 8-28                      

Playback viewing from 8 days up to 28 days after the research day of broadcast

Time Shift to 28

Playback viewing after the research day of broadcast and up to 28 days from broadcast
'Time Shift to 7' + 'Time Shift 8-28'
Time Spent Viewing / Demo Of the total number of people in the target market (potential audience), the number of minutes each person viewed of a specific event. This variable considers the potential of the target, even if many individuals in the target audience did not watch the event being analysed = (Audience / Universe Estimate) x Event Duration
Time Spent Viewing / Viewer The average number of hours or minutes each individual has seen of the program or time band being analysed compared to the total number of people in the target audience. Each individual must have watched at least 1 minute of the event to be counted = (Audience / Reach) x Event Duration
Universe Estimates (UEs) The estimated population against which media audiences are calculated. UEs are based on data from both the OzTAM Establishment Survey and the ABS. UEs for FTA networks are set for a year; for STV networks they are set quarterly

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Working with television audience measurement data requires much more than just the numbers: an understanding of the terms and variables involved is needed for meaningful analysis and interpretation of the results.
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