Print Media Terminologies

Print Media Terminologies


AIR (Average Issue Readership)

AIR of any publication is the number of people who claim to have read the publication within a time period equal to the periodicity of the publication preceding the day of interview.

Frequency of Issue




Read in the last 3 months


Read in the last 2 months


Read in the last 4 weeks


Read in the last 15 days


Read in the last 7 days


Read in the last 3 days
Sunday Issue


Read in last 7 days


Read Yesterday

It is also defined as the readers of an average issue of a publication i.e. the estimated number of those who have read or looked at any issue of the publication within a specified time interval, which is equal to the periodicity of the publication (excluding the day of the interview).

Audited Circulation

The circulation that has been verified, usually by an independent company. The auditing company should be nationally or internationally recognized, and the audit period must be as up to date as possible. In India, print readership is verified by the ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation).

Average Net Paid Circulation

Refers to the number of periodicals sold over a period of time divided by the a number of issues published.

ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation)

An organization with publishers, advertisers, and advertising agencies as its members, formed for the purpose of certifying circulation figures of its member magazines and newspapers, which have been audited by recognized professional accounting firms. Reports are released once in six months.


Paid for advertising produced in the editorial style of the magazine or newspaper in which it appears on the proviso that it is clearly entitled to “Advertisement” or“Promotion”.

Bleed Ad

Refers to an advertisement that runs till the edge of the page and leaves no margin.


The number of copies sold or distributed by a publication (usually in a specified geographical area) and certified by an audit firm.

CC (Column Centimeter)

This is a unit of measurement in a publication by which advertising space is sold, measuring 1 cm deep by 1 column wide (normally 4.5cms). Generally, there are 8 columns of 4.5cms each on any page of a newspaper. The formula used is: Column Centimeter = Number of Columns * Height in Centimeters.


The percentage of a publication’s readers who fall into a given target group: for example, 66% of “The Times” readers are in top senior management. It is also called Profile.

Cumulative Readership

The net reaches achieved by a number of insertions of an advertisement in a single title or schedule. This is the number of people who have at least one opportunity to see (OTS) an advertisement. It is important because additional insertions in some titles will improve coverage more than additional insertions in others.

Double Spread (DS) Page

A single advertisement carried across two facing pages of a publication.

Duplication of Readership (between publications)

The proportion of average issue readers of one publication who are also average issue readers of another publication. (The base for duplication is average issue readership and not claimed/ total readership).

Display Advertising

Print advertising that is intended to attract attention and communicate easily through the use of space, illustrations, layout, headline and so on.

Drip Strategy

Advertising messages are delivered to consumers in drips over an extended period.

Effective Frequency

The minimum level of exposure to an advertisement that is likely to produce a positive change in awareness, attitude, or purchasing behavior.

Effective Reach

The reach of a medium or media schedule at a predetermined level of frequency (as opposed to total reach). Usually computed at 1+, 3+, 5+ level of AOTS. (E.g. 45% reach at 3+ AOTS)


The introduction of an advertisement to the target audience. It is generally expressed as an opportunity to see (OTS).

Folder Test

A research technique to assess people’s responses to print advertisements. A selection of advertisements placed in a folder is given to respondents and reactions are analyzed.


The periodicity of a publication is referred to as frequency for e.g. Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc.


The crease (or white space) between two opposite pages of a newspaper or magazine.

Gross Coverage

Another name for Gross Reach or Gross Penetration.

Gross Impressions

Usually expressed in absolutes. Expressed as Number of people reached multiplied by Number of times reached.

Gross Reach

GI= Reach in 000s X AOTS Sum total of all exposures to the ads in a schedule. Or the sum total of the opportunities to see insertions in each publication. This is a duplicated number.


An estimate of the number of actual exposures to advertisements

Incremental Reach

Incremental Reach is the positive change in the reach number, resulting from the addition of insertion in a publication or the addition of a publication.

INS (Indian Newspapers Society)

Indian Newspaper Society was founded in 1939 with an objective of acting as a central organization in Press, and to collect all information of interests to it members. Another important function of this body is to promote co-operation amongst its members.


This refers to an advertisement in a print medium.

IRS (Indian Readership Survey)

IRS is the largest continuous readership research study in the world with an annual sample size exceeding 2.5 lakh respondents. In addition to the readership of newspapers and magazines IRS also measures other media consumption namely, television viewing, radio listening, cinema attendance, and internet usage.

IRS collects a comprehensive range of demographic information and provides extensive coverage of consumer and product categories, including cars, household appliances, household durables, household care, and personal care products, food, and beverages, etc… IRS also provides in-depth understanding of media behavior through its expanded media measures such as time spent using different media and frequency of media usage).

Last Issue Readership

Estimated number of people who claimed to have read or looked at any issue of a publication during its Last Issue Period. It is almost always synonymous with Average Issue Readership.


This refers to the section of the publication, which denotes the name of the publication, usually the top section of the front page.


Percentage of a publication’s readers who claimed to have read or looked at a specific editorial item, advertisement, type of ad, etc.

Net Reach

The unduplicated number of target individuals or households exposed to a media schedule at least once (also referred to as reach) is the net reach.

Pass-on Readership or Pass along Readership

Readers of an issue of a publication that was not bought by them or a member of their household. E.g. at a dentist’s waiting room or a barber’s shop. It is also known as Secondary Readers or Tertiary Readers.

Print Order (Run)

The number of copies printed (but not necessarily sold or distributed) by a the publication is referred to as a Print Order (Run).

RPC (Readers Per Copy)

The average number of persons likely to be exposed to an average issue of a the publication is referred to as Readers Per Copy. Readers Per Copy = Readership / Circulation or Print Order


The average number of persons who are likely to be exposed to one issue of a publication is the readership of that publication. This is ascertained through a scientifically designed random sample survey, such as IRS.

Readership is defined in two ways:

  1. Total Readership
  2. Average Issue Readership

Unless otherwise specified, readership refers to average issue readership.

  • Sole Readership

Overall for a publication is the estimated number of individuals who read only that particular publication and no other publications.

  • Sole Readership – Language

The number of people who are readers of a publication of any language but do not read any other publication in that language. e.g. Sole Readership of an English Publication refers to the estimated number of readers of the English publication who read only that publication in the English language.

  • Sole Readership – Periodicity

The number of people who are readers of a publication of any periodicity but do not read any other publication in that periodicity. e.g. Sole Readership of a monthly refers to the estimated number of readers of the monthly who read only that monthly across monthlies of all the languages.

Split Run

A facility offered by publications to advertisers, that allows different advertising copies to be run in different parts of the circulation area.


Refers to the sections added to the main body of a newspaper and distributed free of cost at a regular frequency.

Sq. Cms (Square Centimeter)

Refers to the height of the ad in centimeters * width of an ad in centimeters. E.g. Frontpage ad can be 20cms x 12cms = 240 sq cms (approximately equal to 60cms x 4 column centimeters). Some daily newspapers have recently changed their format to 7-column width (against 8 columns earlier) in line with some international formats. Consequently, the ad sales units have been changed to square centimeters.


The act of deciding how a media plan should be phased and eventually appear in media at a given period of time is called scheduling.


Refers to a newspaper smaller in size as compared to the broadsheet newspaper. E.g Mid-Day, Mumbai Mirror, etc.

Tear Sheet

Refers to the page clipped from a newspaper or magazine as proof that an ad has appeared as scheduled. An invoice to seek payment normally accompanies it.

Total / Claimed Readership

“ It is an aided recall of readership of any publication enlisted in the survey during the predefined period that varies by periodicity of the publication and it excludes the readership recall corresponding to the day of interview. ”

By readership we mean it is “read or looked at”, it is not only careful reading but it could also be glancing through the pages. Just seeing the cover does not mean, “looking at”. However, for dailies even seeing the cover page would be considered as “looking at” provided the daily is taken in the hand and some time is spent on it. It does not matter where it may have been looked at, for e.g. in a train or in a doctor’s clinic or at a hairdresser’s / barber’s shop, in an office or a library or at a friend’s place or even borrowed.

Publication Periodicity


Predefined Period
Quarterlies In the last 1 year


Bi-monthlies In last year




In the last 6 months
Fortnightlies In the last 3 months




In an average month


In an average month
Five-day dailies In an average week


Six-day dailies


In an average week
Dailies In an average we


Voucher Copy

A free copy of a publication sent to the advertiser as proof that a paid-for the advertisement had appeared.

Volume Discount

Discount incentives for advertisers who commit to a specified level of spend with a media owner or agency.

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