See also audience measurement.
1. (broadcasting) Daily, weekly, quarterly, or yearly estimates of the total number of viewers or listeners for a television channel or a radio station. Broadcasters pay particular attention to the overall pattern of rises and falls in such figures, particularly on a yearly basis. The full dataset includes demographic subsets.
2. For newspapers and magazines, variously, the number of copies sold (see audited circulation) or an estimate of the number of actual readers (publications may be passed around). These figures include demographic subsets.
3. Either the estimated number of people or households using the internet or of those who have internet access (sometimes indicating regularity and/or demographics).
4. (advertising) The percentage of the target audience exposed at least once to a specific ad over a period (normally four weeks). This is combined with frequency: the average number of times that the target audience has the opportunity to see (OTS) the ad. These two figures are then multiplied to produce gross rating points(GRP) representing the value of a broadcast slot or publication space (see also effective reach).
5. Sometimes simply a shorthand reference to reaching as many people as possible: e.g. ‘Minister Tells BBC: Go For Audience Reach, Not Just Share’. See also audience share.