2 The need for credible media information

2.1. Indices related to circulation

Here is a list of the more important media elements related to circulation, and represents the criteria that an advertiser uses to make media purchase decisions:

  • Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

    The cost to disseminate an advertising message per 1,000 copies:

    CPM = (unit advertising cost – i.e. 1/1 page)/(number of copies distributed/1,000).

  • Penetration Rate

    The percentage of distributed copies in a market sector:

    Penetration = (number of copies)/(number of households) [%], for the consumer press.


    Penetration = (number of copies)/(number of businesses) [%], for the B2B press.

  • Costs of Insertion

    The number of insertions to be run in one issue is directly related to the number of copies printed/distributed.

  • Readership per copy (RPC)

    The number of readers of one issue of a publication related to the size of the distribution of the given issue:

    RPC = (number of readers)/(number of distributed copies)

    This is a quite disputed index (many analysts are challenging the comparison of number of readers to number of copies); nonetheless, it is widely used in the industry. In any case, this is a benchmark index, showing the total readership circulation within a given market.

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