Traffic (broadcasting)


Traffic (broadcasting)

In broadcasting, traffic is the scheduling of program material, and in particular the advertisements, for the broadcast day. In a commercial radio station there is a vital link between sales (of advertisement or commercial space) and the traffic in keeping the information about commercial time availability.

The station sells airtime to its customers. The maximum amount of airtime allocated to commercials is defined in the broadcast license of the station. It is not unusual that of an hour, 18-20 minutes is commercials.

The traffic department together with sales aims to sell the available airtime ('avails') at the best possible rates. The traffic department generates a daily log of programming elements such as commercials, features and public service announcements. The log defines when they are planned to be aired and when they actually were aired. The log will be used by the on-air operator who actually plays the commercials.

The Traffic Process

The traffic process starts by a salesperson making an agreement with a customer about a campaign. The agreement is called Sales Order and it defines the dates when spots are run and the commercial terms of campaign. The sales order usually also defines the product group in order to avoid conflicts in scheduling where two fast food vendors have a spot in the same break.

At the station, a traffic person collects the sales orders and enters them into a computer system that will help to generate the daily logs. The traffic person also links the sales order with the possible media, such as audio tape that contains the actual spot. When all the material is finished, the traffic system will be updated with parameters that define how the campaign will be run: in which dayparts there will be spots, how the spots are placed within a break and what other separation criteria as addition to product groups there may be.

See Also

* [http://www.airshift.tv/ Airtime] by Airshift Media Ltd
* [http://www.rcsworks.com/en/products/airwaves/default.aspx/ Airwaves] by Radio Computing Services
* [http://www.marketron.com/ Marketron ] by Marketron
* [http://www.wicksbroadcastsolutions.com/ Wicks Visual Traffic] by Wicks Broadcast Solutions


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