What is the difference between plays and impressions?
Published in Radio
The most common metric when tracking a song on radio stations is the number of plays.
Everytime one radio stations plays the song, this is counted as one play. While this metric is easy to understand, it can in some cases give you a wrong view of your song success. If the song is played once on a big national radio or 10 times a day on a small local radio, this makes a difference. And there is a chance that you would prefer the first option than the latter.
This is why we also give you the 'Impressions' data. The impressions is the estimation of the number of listeners that heard your song on the radio.
To go back to our previous example, if you get played on a national radio, there could be 20,000 listeners on the station a the moment they play your song. In that case you get only one play but 20,000 impressions. If you get ten plays on a local station but this station has only 100 listeners, it means you would have 10 plays (which looks better than 1 obvisouly) but only 1,000 impressions (which is definitely less interesting).
An other reason to look at impressions is that a play in the middle of the night is usually a bit less interesting than a play at 8AM when people are commuting and listening to radio. Therefore the impressions takes that into account as well.
Why is the Impressions data missing for some plays?
We do our best to collect audience data for as many stations as possible but unfortunately this information is not always available. As we believe this information is much more valuable than just a number of plays, we still provide it everytime it is available.