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Recycling 101

July 28, 2017

AQH is made up of two components, Cume and TSL. And TSL is also made up of two components, occasions and durations. An occasion of listening is one tune-in. Duration measures how long the listener stays tuned in.

Plenty of Nielsen research has shown that durations are pretty steady across stations and formats. Programmers should instead focus on increasing occasions.

Increasing occasions is all about recycling – bringing listeners back time and again to garner more TSL.

There are two types of recycling. Vertical recycling is bringing a listener back again on the same day. Horizontal recycling is bringing a listener back later in the week. Both can have a huge impact on TSL and thus AQH.

Now that you know why recycling is important, you’ll want to determine your station’s recycling percentages. Nielsen’s PD Advantage has a report. Not a subscriber? Here is the mathematical equation so you can calculate it yourself:


For example, to calculate recycling from AM Drive to Middays, the formula would be as follows:


So the next question is… How does my station compare to the average station? It depends on your format. For example, AC listening is heaviest during Middays, while News/Talk is heaviest during AM Drive. The tables below show benchmarks that you can use. Pinpoint the dayparts where you are below the benchmark, and start pushing listeners to this daypart. Generally, you’ll want to push from your daypart with the highest cume.



You should now have an understanding of why recycling is important, how to calculate it, and what you should be aiming for. Start setting appointments and get your recycling on!

-Anne Doyle, Production Manager