Glossary

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Glossary

Knowing the language of media and cable will go a long way in understanding how best to reach a target audience. Feel free to browse the terms below to keep up to speed on the current lingo.

Media and Cable TV Terminology

  • Addressable Advertising – Addressable advertising is TV advertising that is shown to different groupings of households that share common characteristics such as geography or general demographic information. Viewers will see advertising that is more relevant to them, while advertisers can address market segments and more precisely tailor ads to their audiences, increasing the impact of the messages.
  • Adcopy™ – Adcopy is a form of addressable advertising that allows advertisers to simultaneously run completely different commercial copy in different geographic areas within the same market.
  • Adtag™ – Adtag is form of addressable advertising that allows advertisers to run the same 25-second commercial throughout a market, then end the commercial with customized 5-second “tags” that give specific information for a geographic location within the market.
  • Avails – Avails are commercials or infomercial time periods that are available for purchase.
  • Average Frequency – The average number of times a household (or person) viewed an advertiser’s television schedule. Unlike reach, frequency is not a percentage. See below how reach, frequency and gross rating points all relate:
  • GRPs = Reach x Frequency
  • Reach = GRPs/Frequency
  • Frequency = GRPs/Reach
  • Bandwidth – A measure of spectrum use or capacity. For example, A TV channel occupies a bandwidth of 6 million cycles per second (6MHz) and cable system bandwidth occupies a bandwidth of 50 to 300MHz.
  • Banner Ads – A graphical web advertising unit, typically measuring 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels tall (i.e. 468x60).
  • Cable Area – This is an area or neighborhood where the households can receive cable service.
  • Cable or Coverage Area Ratings – Generally speaking, a cable area is slightly smaller than a general broadcast area (since not everyone has cable television). Therefore, the cable or coverage area ratings reflect the impressions only for that specific audience. A rating percent expressed in the cable-only geography is called a cable area rating. A rating percent expressed as part of only a cable network’s subscriber base is called a coverage area rating.
  • Cable interconnects – Two or more cable systems distributing a programming or commercial signal simultaneously.
  • Cable modem – A modulator-demodulator at subscriber locations intended for use in conveying data communications on a cable system. Cable modems offer a very high-speed connection to the Internet, up to 50 megabits per second.
  • Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB) – Founded in 1981, the CAB represents virtually all ad-supported cable networks and most ad insertable cable systems. The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau is a trade group based out of New York City that provides information, resources and services to those involved in cable TV advertising.
  • Clickthough rate – The ratio of the number of times a user clicks on an online advertisement to number of viewers who view the website that has the advertisement on it.
  • Clutter level – A description of the number of advertisements presented to customers in a defined time period, channel, etc. The more ads a consumer is exposed to, the more “cluttered” the environment becomes. The more cluttered the environment, the more frequency necessary to maintain share of voice.
  • XFINITY.com – Comcast’s premier broadband service combines extensive content with a suite of online tools for Comcast High Speed Internet customers, including e-mail, a universal address book, mobile access to content and e-mail and the ability to check voicemail online for Comcast Digital Voice® customers.
  • Commercial pods – The run of commercials seen from the start of a commercial break to the end of that break
  • Cost per point (or CPP) – A ratio that is very similar to a CPM; the key difference is that the relative efficiency of a schedule is based on the cost of a rating point rather than 1,000 impressions. It is cost to deliver one rating point (one percent of the universe) in a commercial schedule.
  • Cost per thousand (or CPM) – A cost per thousand is the amount of money it takes for a show or a media schedule to deliver 1,000 impressions. CPMs can be expressed on a household or demographic basis, and they are used to assess the relative efficiency of one schedule versus another.
  • Coverage area – A neighborhood or region where a provider’s services are available.
  • Cume / reach – The number of different households or persons tuned to a particular station, network or program during a time period or daypart.
  • CTAM – The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) is dedicated to the discipline and development of consumer marketing excellence in cable television, new media and telecommunications services.
  • Demo rating – The estimated size of a demographic audience relative to the universe expressed as a percent. Four pieces of information are needed, see below.
  • Designated market area (DMA) – A unique geographic area defined by Nielsen Media Research so that the entire U.S. is assigned to one of some 210 DMAs.
  • Daypart – A standard time period in which a program or commercial airs, such as daytime (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), prime time (8 p.m. – 11 p.m.) or late night (11 p.m. – 1 a.m.).
  • Digital ad insertion market – With the ability to offer many more channels in digital format compared to analog, almost all new channel launches will be on digital service levels. As cable customers transition to digital TV services, operators are inserting local advertising on the digital channels.
  • Digital cable – Cable operators use digital technology to compress video signals, allowing more than one program service to be carried in the bandwidth space normally required for one analog program service. Typically, the signal is sent to the homeland and decompressed in the set-top box for display on the television. Digital cable can provide many services including VOD (video on demand), high-definition TV (HDTV), interactive television and commercial-free CD-quality music.
  • Digital subscribers – Cable subscribers with subscriptions to digital cable service.
  • Digital video recorders (DVR) – DVRs let viewers record a TV program and watch it at a later time, as well as to rewind (and then fast-forward) live TV or pause a show in progress.
  • Direct channel tune – Direct channel tune, also known as DCT, means that a channel number is assigned to a specific category, or section, within the Comcast On Demand service. For example, entering channel 888 takes Comcast customers directly to the Searchlight on-demand advertising category.
  • Electronic program guides (EPG) / interactive program guides (IPG) – Interactive program listings that allow viewers to see what’s on all channels as well as information about those programs including plot, stars and ratings.
  • Feature – A feature is an advertiser’s video-on-demand asset, running between two and 30 minutes, available as part of Searchlight, Comcast Spotlight’s video-on-demand advertising service.
  • Frequency – The average number of times a person is exposed to a commercial during a given advertising schedule.
  • Gross impressions – The estimated number of homes (or people) tuned to a schedule of shows. A viewer who is exposed to the same advertisement multiple times is counted more than once in this calculation: household (or demographic) universe x GRP.
  • Gross Impressions (GIMPS) – The sum of all impressions achieved for a specific commercial schedule.
  • Gross rating points (GRPs) – The sum of all ratings for all programs in a schedule. The key distinction between a “rating” and “GRPs” is one of audience duplication. A program rating implies an audience level with no duplication; GRPs represent some level of audience duplication, hence the term “gross.”
  • Headend – The building or facility that collects (from a variety of sources), formats and prepares cable services for delivery to homes.
  • Homes using television (HUT) – The percent of homes that have their set on during a specified time period. A variation on HUT is PUT, short for persons using television. A PUT is the percent of a specified demographic group that is viewing television at a given time.
  • I-Guide banners – Ad banners available on Comcast’s interactive program guide (i-Guide). The banners highlight viewing options, including upcoming “linear” programs and video-on-demand selections.
  • Impressions / projections (average audience) – Expressing a rating in terms of a whole number of either households or persons in the given universe.
  • Infomercials – An infomercial is a short or regular-length television program that combines information presentation with an integrated suggestion to buy a particular product or service. Most infomercials are incorporated with direct-response television campaigns.
  • Interactive television (ITV) – A combination of television with interactive content and enhancements, such as the ability to request information to be sent by an advertiser to the customer, to set a customer’s DVR to record a program while a commercial for that show is airing, to view additional content relevant to the program being viewed or to use a remote control to purchase an item on a home shopping service.
  • Interconnect – A collection of two or more cable TV systems that work together to distribute commercials to a wider geographic area than a single system would otherwise reach, giving advertisers the option to reach all cable households within a market with one buy, one contact and one tape.
  • Long form – Any television commercial longer than two minutes.
  • Media agencies – An agency that focuses on media ad campaigns, media buying and planning.
  • Media buying service – An advertising agency function that involves negotiating with the salespeople of various advertising media in order to obtain needed time and space for advertising agency client’s at the most favorable prices.
  • Multi-System Operator (MSO) – A cable company that operates more than one cable system, such as Comcast.
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) – The National Cable and Telecommunications Association is the principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States. Founded in 1952, NCTA’s primary mission is to provide its members with a strong national presence by providing a single, unified voice on issues affecting the cable and telecommunications industry.
  • On Demand Publishing – Allows advertisers to convert static images and text into a slideshow style video sequence for VOD viewing of classified listings, retail circulars and more.
  • Overbuilders – A company that utilizes or builds on an existing telecom operator’s network and offers customers an alternative to the “incumbent” company.
  • Paid Programming – Another term for an infomercial or direct-response program, which consists of a commercial for a product or service between two and 30 minutes in length. In the case of home-shopping programming, it could be longer.
  • Penetration – The number of households in a given geographic area that are wired and can receive cable. This number is shown as a percent of total households in the entire geography.
  • Rating – The estimated audience size of a particular program or channel relative to the universe, expressed as a percent. A rating percent expressed in the cable-only geography is called a cable area rating. A rating percent expressed as part of only a cable network’s subscriber base is called a Coverage Area Rating.
  • RecRoom www.RecRoom.com offers sweepstakes and promotional offerings from local businesses. An advertiser can partner with cable’s most popular networks in banner ads and sponsorships.
  • Reach – The number of different people in a channel/station’s audience who will be exposed to the commercial message at least once during a given commercial schedule. Reach generally is expressed as a percent of the target demographic.
  • Searchlight – Searchlight is the Comcast Spotligt’s on-demand advertising platform. From long-form advertising to content sponsorship opportunities and On Demand Publishing, Comcast Spotlight offers many ways for advertisers to reach Comcast’s digital cable customers.
  • Share – The percent of homes or people that are tuned to a particular program, station or network during a specific time period. A share is derived by dividing the household rating for a program by the HUT (or PUT) for that program.
  • Share of voice – The total percentage of a particular market or audience impressions an advertiser has versus their competitors.
  • Sponsorship – Sponsorships offer easy ways to create presence on contextually relevant On Demand content. An advertiser can participate through :15 pre-roll, :30 post-rolls and overlays.
  • Showcase – A Showcase is the premier opportunity for advertisers to reach On Demand viewers, with the ability to have multiple videos (up to 30 minutes each) available in a uniquely branded folder within the Searchlight category on Comcast’s On Demand service.
  • The Fan – XFINITY.com's revolutionary broadband video player.
  • Universe – The population chosen for a study. For example the cable TV universe includes those homes that receive cable.
  • Universe estimate – The total number of persons/homes in a given population.
  • Video on demand – A method of providing television programs that respond to viewer-initiated commands (pause, fast-forward and rewind) similar to those associated with VCRs, DVRs and DVD players.
  • Viewers per viewing household (VPVH) – The estimated number of viewers, broken out by age and sex, comprising the viewers within the household that are tuned to a given station, network or program during a particular time period, daypart, or program type. The VPVH is expressed in terms of either hundreds (.00) or thousands (.000).

Research Data Terminology

  • Qualitative Cume (Qualifying Persons) – The estimated number of different persons reached at least once within a qualitative category.
  • Composition % (Column % or Vertical %) – The percent of a specific audience that falls into a qualitative category.
  • Coverage % (Row % or Horizontal %) – The percent of all persons in a qualitative category.
  • Index – The relationship between the network or station's audience within a qualitative category compared to the percent of the universe within that qualitative category. An index is expressed as a percent above or below the norm reflected as 100.
  • Cross Tab – The evaluation of multiple qualitative categories where the resulting audience falls into all categories and or an individual category.(I.E.: When you compare networks or whether a household has against other categories such as income, education, occupation or usage patterns of product or services.)
  • Profile – The evaluation of one audience in respect to multiple qualitative categories. (I.E.: When you look at one specific audience of a network or whether the household has Cable compared to all the age breaks or household income levels or purchase patterns.)