There are two different ways listenership or audiences are measured in radio –through AQH, or Average Quarter Hour, and cume. Our firm uses AQH because it indicates a true listener. AQH is an average of all dayparts to determine the number of persons listening to a particular radio station for at least five minutes during a 15-minute period. Cume is defined as the number of different persons who tune to a radio station during the course of a daypart for at least five minutes.
While this figure may be valid for one station during one daypart, News Generation does not use cume figures to determine audience reach because cume estimates can grossly over-represent the number of listeners. Since most people listen to more than one radio station during any given daypart, listeners would be duplicated if cumes for two or more stations were added together. The result would not be an accurate audience reach figure, but an inflated picture of the radio listening population.