Digital Advertising Terms

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Ad Call
See Ad Requests.
Addressability
The ability to target a message to a device, browser, segment, and/or individual. Those segments could be matched or modeled by behavioral, demographic and geographic factors from 1st, 2nd or 3rd party data sets.
Addressable TV
Technology that lets you show different ads to different audience segments watching the same TV program on IPTV and set top boxes. Those segments could be defined by behavioral, demographic and geographic factors from 1st, 2nd or 3rd party data sets.
Ad Expand
The user clicked or otherwise activated a control used to expand the ad creative within the player.
Ad Fraud
When a company knowingly serves ads that no one will actually see as a way to drive views and revenue. For example, a website can use bots to automatically refresh is pages in order to register a high number of page views and appear more attractive as an inventory source on ad exchanges.
Ad Network
A company that connects advertisers to websites that want to host advertisements. The key function of an ad network is aggregation of ad space supply from publishers and matching it with advertiser demand.
Ad Request
A call made from an user' browser to an ad server or ad exchange for an ad to display on a webpage. An ad call can be considered a request from a client to a server for an ad consists of information such as publisher ID, browser cookies, size, location, etc.
Ad Server
A computer application that enables the delivery, tracking and management of advertising content on publisher inventory.
Ad Verification
Software tools that advertisers use to determine if impressions are displayed in the proper place and whether the ads are privacy compliant.
Advanced Video Ad
Video advertisement with programming logic that enables user interactivity, interaction with the video content play, or other advanced features.
Advertiser Ad tag
Software code that an advertiser provides to a publisher or ad network that calls the advertisers ad server for the purpose of displaying an advertisement.
Advertiser Domain
The Internet domain name of the advertiser that is bidding on a publisher's supply (e.g., bose.com, apple.com, kraftfoods.com, maybelline.com, etc.)
Affiliate Conversion Data
Data that is collected by an affiliate marketing system when a user completes a transaction or manifests certain behaviors on a web page. The system typically collects this data by means of a conversion pixel that is placed on the merchant's site.
Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a method of generating leads or sales, whereby an online publisher is paid for referring users to an online e-commerce merchant. Referrals are measured by clicks, registrations or sales.
Agency Trading Desk
A division within an ad agency focused on buying ads and using technology. Top players include Omnicom, Accuen, WPP, Xaxis, Publicis Groupe, Vivaki, Interpublic Group and Cadreon.
API
Application Programming Interface, enables software applications to communicate with each other.
Aspect Ratio
Refers to the width of a picture (or screen) in relation to its height.
Attribute
A single piece of information known about a user and stored in a behavioral profile which may be used to match ad content to users.
Audible Sound
Describes whether the video ad impression default volume is audible when the ad is being played. The minimum volume level for audible sound is 26%.
Audience Extension
Sometimes called look-alike modeling, a process that takes a known audience segment and catalogs various shared characteristics that can be used to target people who bear similarities and are therefore likely to become customers. For example, Facebook identifies the top interests of people who like Coca Cola, Facebook page and creates an audience segment of people with the same set of interests to which the soda brand can show ads.
Audience Measurement
The counting of unique users and their interaction with online content. At a campaign level, this service is conducted by a third party to validate that a publisher delivered what an advertiser had requested.
Auto-Play
A video ad or animation that initiates "play" without explicit user interaction or without a user actively starting the video.
Avail
Slang for opportunity in video content where an ad may be sold.
Average Session Length
A measure of the typical length of a viewing session for a particular site over a period of time.
Behavioral Targeting
Showing ads to people based on the types of sites they visit. For example, targeting people who visit ESPN.com and the New York Post's site with ads for New York sports teams.
Below the fold
The placement of an ad in the area of media that requires one to unfold or scroll to see.
Bid
The maximum value a platform partner wishers to pay for an auction.
Bid Request
A call to a platform partner's bid URL for an opportunity to compete in an auction.
Bid URL
The mechanism by which an ad exchange initiates bid requests to platform partners.
Bids
The number of competing buyers for a given ad request.
Bot Traffic
Fraudulent or non-human traffic.
Bounce
A bounce is when a visitor to a website only visits one page before leaving.
Bounce Rate
The number of visitors who bounce, or leave without visiting another page on the site. Bounce rates are expressed as a percentage.
Brand Awareness
Research studies can associate ad effectiveness to measure the impact of online advertising on key branding metrics.
Browser
A computer software program that enables one to access and view text or graphical web pages on the world wide web.
Bug
A persistent, graphical element that appears in the video environment. Clicking on it will take the user to a website.
Bumper Ad
Usually refers to a linear video ad with clickable call-to-action; format is usually shorter than full linear ads (3-10 seconds) and call-to-action usually can load another video or can bring up a new site while pausing the content.
Cache Buster
A unique piece of code that prevents a browser from reusing an ad it has already seen and cached, or saved, to a temporary memory file. The cache-buster doesn't stop a browser from caching the file, it just prevents it from reusing it.
Caching
The storage of web files for later re-use at a point more quickly accessed by the end user.
Chapter
A chapter is a segment or subdivision of an episode. Ads are often inserted between chapters within long form content.
Click
The measurement of a user-initiated action on an ad element (advertisement), usually causing an HTTP 302 redirect to another web location, thereby transferring the user from a publisher site to an advertiser site.
Clicks
The number of times a unique user clicks on an a unique ad.
Client-side Call
An HTTP request made directly from a browser. A platform partner can read and set cookies for a client side call.
Companion Ads
Ads that are served along with linear or nonlinear ads in the form of text, static image display ads, rich media or skins that wrap around the video experience.Companion Ads.
Complete
The creative was played to the end at normal speed.
Completed Play
The end of the linear video ad was reached at normal speed after 100% of the video is played.
Connected TV
Inventory displays in the context of a web connected television device.
Content
Site content is the textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on a website.
Contextual Advertising
A method of serving advertisements based on the content of a web page.
Conversion
Any user action you want to measure. For example, complete a purchase, enter to win, sign up for a newsletter, etc.
Conversion Rate
The percentage of users who complete a desired action compared to all users who were exposed to an online ad.
Cookie Matching
A method of enabling data appending by linking one company's user identifier to another company's user identifier.
Cookies
A small text file sent by a website's server to be stored on the user's web-enabled device that is returned unchanged by the user's device to the server on subsequent interactions.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Cost of advertising based on a visitor taking some specifically defined action in response to an ad, such as engaging with the overlay unit, clicking onto the client site after completion or completing a purchase.
CPC
Cost per click.
CPE
Cost per engagement.
Cost Per Impression (CPI)
The cost for each ad impression. This number is calculated by dividing CPM by 1000.
Cost Per Thousand (CPM)
Cost per thousand impressions.
Cost Per View (CPV)
A pricing model where the advertiser only pays for a video start. Typically sold at 1000 impressions.
Creative Retargeting
A method that enables advertisers to display information (typically an ad) specifically to visitors that previously were exposed to or interacted with the advertisers' creative.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management refers to how a company manages data about its customers.
Cross-Screen Measurement
Tracking and measurement of video metrics across Mobile/Tablet/Out-of-Home/Television/Advanced TV/Desktop.
Click through Rate (CTR)
The 'click through rate' for an ad is defined as the number of clicks on the ad divided by the number of times the ad is shown (impressions) expressed as a percentage
Data
Any information collected
Data Aggregator
An organization that collects and compiles data from individual sites to sell to others.
Data Append
User data from one source is linked to a user's profile from another source.
Data-Management Platform (DMP)
Companies that provide technology to store and catalog marketer data. Top players include: BlueKai, eXelate, Lotame.
Deal ID
A piece of code containing the agreed-upon terms (negotiated pricing, flight dates, for example) between an advertiser and publisher that allows the advertiser to access the publisher's inventory.
Demand Side Platform (DSP)
A computer based platform the buy-side uses to automate media buying across multiple sources with unified targeting, data, optimization and reporting.
Demographics
Information regarding the size and characteristics of a particular population of people of interest to advertiser. Such as their age, sex, income, education, size of household, ownership of home, etc.
Digital Video Ad
Ads that are displayed online specifically, on-line browser or browser-equivalent based Internet activity that involves streaming video.
DMA
Designated Market Area
Domain Name
Location of an entity on the internet.
Dynamic Bidding
Platform partner assigned a unique bid to each auction opportunity and populates the bid in every bid response.
Dynamic Creative
Video ad creative customized in advance and/or able to transform itself upon delivery to target relevant audience segments. Customization may include delivering a specific combination of ad content such as the copy, the background images, and the size and color of the call-to-action button.
Event Trackers
Primarily used for click-through tracking today, but also for companion banner interactions and video session tracking.
First Party Cookies
If you visit widgets.com and the domain of the cookie placed on your computer is widgets.com this is a first party cookie.
First Price Auction
A form of Auction where platform partners submit bids and the highest bid sets the Market Price, winning the auction.
First Quartile
The creative played for 25% of the total duration.
First Look
A situation in which the media seller gives certain buyers first priority in access to ad inventory. If that first buyer does not want it, the publisher will pass it to the second buyer and so on.
First-Party Data
Data that a company has collected directly, like a retailer's list of loyalty members.
Flight
The period of time in which an advertisement runs.
Floor
The presence of either a manual or dynamic mechanism within a platform for an inventory holder or marketplace steward to set their own clearance price.
Frequency
A term used to describe the number of times the same advertisement is shown to the same visitor during a particular session or time frame. This can be accomplished through the use of cookies.
Frequency Capping
The limit of how many times a given ad will be shown to a unique cookie during a session or within a specified time period.
Full screen
The user activated a control to extend the video player to the edges of the viewer's screen.
Geo-Targeting
Showing ads or content based on the physical location a user is accessing the internet from.
GIF
The Graphical Interchange Format is a graphical file extension. Most companion banner advertisements are created in the GIF format.
GRP
Gross Rating Point - a term used in advertising to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media or schedule.
Hashing
A way for separate companies to match their data sets without either side being able to access the other's data. For example, Facebook's Custom Audiences ad-targeting program uses hashing to match an advertiser's customer email list with those customers' Facebook accounts.
Hit
The record of a single online transaction event stored in a log file. One page view may contain multiple hits, one for each image on a web page.
Home Visitor
A user that access online content from their residence.
House Ads
A type of banner advertisement that a web site publisher runs in an ad space when no paying advertisement is available to fill the space. Typically filled with an advertisement promoting one of the websites services, products or features.
HTML
Hyper Text Markup Language us a computer programming language that helps control the format of a documents content and design on the world wide web.
IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau is the leading online global advertising industry trade association with over 300 active member companies in the US alone.
Iframe Resource
Describes a resource that is an HTML page that can be displayed within an Iframe on the publisher's page.
Impression
The widely agreed upon billing standard for video ads running in all types of content.
Impressions
The number of ads successfully monetized. An impression is scored when the impression beacon is received.
In-Banner Video
A video ad experience displayed or triggered within a display banner such as a 300x250.
In-Stream
A video ad experience either viewed within or around video content from a video player. In-Stream ads are video ads served into a video player before, during, and after requested video content is played.
In-Text
A relevant video ad experience displayed only when a user chooses to mouse over a highlighted word or phrase within the text of web content.
Interactive Video
A type of digital video creative that can take user input to perform some enhanced actions through elements integrated above and beyond the standard video playback controls (i.e., play, pause, rewind, and mute). These interactions can include varied calls-to-actions, forms, polls/surveys, links, etc., the goal of which to give the user options to engage with the message beyond viewing the video.
Insertion Order (IO)
A contractual document that specifies the details of an advertising campaign.
Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A company that enables its customers to access the internet. Also, known as an Online Service Provider.
Interstitial
An advertisement that loads between two content pages without having been requested by the user.
Inventory
The number of ad spaces available for sale on a web site during a certain time frame.
IP Address
An Internet Protocol address is the numeric address that is translated into a domain name by a domain name server (DNS). Each server connected to the Internet is assigned a unique IP address.
IPTV
Refers to television content delivered via internet protocol (IP) over proprietary lines operated by telecommunications companies.
JavaScript
JavaScript is a cross-platform, object-based scripting language developed by Netscape for client and server applications. It is commonly used on web pages to add interactivity and dynamic content such as banner rotation.
JPEG
Joint Photographic Experts Group is a graphics format which displays photographs and graphic images. Graphics in the GIF format are still the preferred standard for web sites.
KPI
Key Performance Indicator
Landing Page
The page on a web site where one is taken after clicking on an advertisement. While this can be any page, it is often a page designed to expand on the service or product mentioned in the initial advertisement.
Latency
The delay between request and display of content and an ad. Latency sometimes leads to the user leaving the site prior to the opportunity to see. In streaming media, latency can create stream degradation if it causes the packets, which must be received and played in order, to arrive out of order.
Linear Video Ads
A linear video is experienced in-stream, which is presented before, between, or after the video content is consumed by the user. One of the key characteristics of linear video ads is the ad takes over the full view of the video.
Link (short for Hyperlink)
A text of graphical portion of a webpage that, when selected, redirects that user's web-enabled device to another webpage
Long Form Video
A descriptive term for a type of video content that has a content arc with a beginning, middle and end which in its entirety typically lasts longer than 10 minutes. If the content is ad supported, it typically contains breaks (mid-roll).
Market Price
The value of the placement after the auction
Master Ad
For video ad campaigns than include an in-stream ad plus one or more companion ads, the in-stream portion of the ad unit is referred to as the master ad. In this master-companion relationship, the master ad must always be shown.
Metadata
Data that provides information about other data. This includes descriptions of the characteristics of information, such as quality, origin, context, content and structure.
Mid-Roll
A linear video spot that appears in the middle of the video content.
Modified Second Price Auction
A form of Auction where platform partners submit bids and the Market price is set between the bid submitted and the second highest bid.
Mute
The user activated the mute control and muted the creative.
Multi-Channel Network
A standalone entity that leverages digital video platforms to enable content producers to program, promote, monetize, and distribute their content as well as offer technical assistance in exchange for a percentage of the ad revenue earned.
Native Advertising
A form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. These paid ads aspire to be so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong.
Non-Linear Video Ads
A non-linear video runs parallel to the video content so the user still has the option of viewing the content. Non-linear video ads can be delivered as test, graphical banners or buttons, or overlays.
Out-Stream Video Ad
A form of video advertising that leverages standard display ad units to deliver a video ad. For example, a site visitor may view an article on a news website and a muted, auto-play video ad may load in a standard display ad unit and then be followed by some video footage.
Overlay Ad
A nonlinear ad format in which an image or text displays on top of video content.
Over-The-Top device (OTT)
A device that can connect to a TV (or functionality within the TV itself) to facilitate the delivery of Internet-based video content (i.e., streaming boxes, media streaming devices, Smart TV’s and gaming consoles).
Pause
The user clicked the pause control and stopped the creative.
Percent Complete
Percentage of video viewed continuously at normal speed.
Pixel
A pixel is a measurement representing a single point in a graphic. Most ad units are measured in pixels such as 300x250.
Pod
Also referred to as an ad pod or an ad break, a pod is a collection of one or more linear video ads that play between linear video content. The ads within a pod may be interactive and of varying lengths.
Post-Roll
A linear video ad spot that appears after the video content completes.
Pre-Roll
A linear ad spot that appears before the video content plays.
Price Floor
The minimum price a publisher will accept for an impression opportunity.
Primary Ad Server
The first ad server that the video player calls to for ad content. The primary ad server us usually the ad server used by the publisher.
Programmatic Direct
An ad buy done directly between a publisher and advertiser through automated ad-buying systems.
Programmatic Reserved (or Programmatic Premium)
The typical automated ad buy. It's similar to an open auction in which relatively anyone can bid to buy ad space that's up for sale.
Publisher
This is the web site operator, also referred to as an affiliate.
Quartile Reporting
Refers to the number of times the video played to its 25%, 50% and 75% points.
Reach
The number of unique visitors that visited a site over the course of a reporting period.
Real Time Bidding (RTB)
Refers to the means by which ad inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis, via programmatic instantaneous auction, similar to financial markets.
Referring Page
The web page that a visitor was previously at before arriving to the current page as a result of clicking a hyperlink on the previous web page.
Remnant Inventory
Remnant inventory is usually defined as an ad inventory which is not sold directly by in house sales teams with guaranteed delivery. Remnant inventory is due to excess supply and ad inventory forecasting difficulties.
Resume
The user activated the resume control after the creative had been stopped or paused.
Retargeting
An online advertising strategy that involves serving website visitors advertisements based on their prior internet use.
Rewind
The user activated the rewind control to access a previous point in the creative timeline.
RFP
Request for Proposal
Rich Media
Advertisements with which users can interact in a web-page format.
Run of Network (RON)
A buying option in which ad placements may appear on any pages on sites within an ad network.
Second-Party Data
When a company makes its first-party data directly available to another company, which then uses it to sell ads. For example, Comcast partners with Twitter to let TV advertisers target Comcast subscribers with Promoted Tweets.
Secondary Ad Server
The ad server that the video player calls after receiving a VAST redirect (wrapper ad) from the primary ad server. Secondary ad servers may include agency or ad network ad servers.
Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI)
The process of stitching video content and ads together on the server side level rather than on the browser level (Client Side Ad Insertion). This allows for smoother user experiences as users do not have to wait for players to fetch ads and render them in real time. SSAI also allows publishers to mitigate ad blocking, as video content and ads are stitched together as a cohesive stream on the server side which allows them to bypass browser or device-level detection/blocking. Also referred to as Ad Stitching.
Session Capping
Means restricting (capping) the amount of specific advertising sessions a visitor to a website is allowed to have.
Short Form
Short form is a descriptive term for a type of video content that lacks a content arc which in its entirety typically lasts less than 10 min.
Skins
The ads that are placed around the video experience perimeter, commonly placed in the shell of the video player.
Skip
Used to describe when a user intentionally activates a control in a linear video ad to skip the ad and move on to the next ad or to the streaming content.
Skippable Ads
Both VAST and VPAID include new functionality for the addition of skip controls, as well as new metrics for tracking skipped ads.
Sourced Video
Content generated by a third party (typically professional) and will denote the source. An example may be a new care review provided by General Motors but hosted on CarTV.com.
Start
This event is used to indicate that an individual creative within the ad was loaded and playback began. As with creative view, this event is another way of tracking creative playback.
Stream
A stream is derived from the term "streaming" which is a method for delivering multimedia content to a user in continuous fashion.
Supply Side Platform (SSP)
An advertising technology platform which represents the suppliers of online ads, and guarantees inventory availability. An SSP allows many of the larger web publishers of the world to automate and optimize the selling of their online media space.
Syndicated Video
Content sourced from a professional third party, examples may include syndicated TV shows, news footage from AP or Reuters, etc.
Syndication
Syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast or publish multimedia content to affiliate publishers.
Third Party Cookies
If you visit widgets.com and the cookie placed on your computer says stats-for-free.com then this is a third party cookie.
Third Quartile
The creative played for 75% of the total duration.
Third-Party Data
Information that a company collects indirectly (such as through cookies) or aggregates from others (such as credit card companies and magazine publishers) and then sells to ad buyers to air in targeting.
Time Spent Viewing
Amount of video viewed at normal speed in seconds or other appropriate time-based units.
TV Everywhere
An online business model in which television broadcasters, particularly cable networks, allow their customers to access live and/or on-demand video content from their networks through Internet-based services. The fee for such access is covered as part of their subscription to the service, via an MVPD. The viewers use credentials from their MVPD for authentication and access to the content.
UGC
User generated content
UI
User Interface
Unique
An indentified and unduplicated individual internet user who accesses content or advertising during a measurement period.
Unique-User/Device ID
Unique-User/Device ID
Unmute
The user activated the mute control and unmuted the creative.
URL
Uniform Resource Locator is the internet address of a web site or web page on the world wide web.
User-Generated Video
Content created by the public at large and directly loaded to a site like YouTube or MySpace
User-Initiated
If a user has reasonable expectations of seeing a video, that is considered user initiated. For instance if a user navigates to the video section of a site and a video automatically is displayed, that would be considered user initiated as the user is expecting to see video content.
Video Ad Measurement Guidelines (VAMG)
An IAB guideline that defines the set of events that should be tracked when a video ad is played.
VAST Redirect
A VAST ad response that points to another VAST response (sometimes referred to as the downstream VAST response).
Vertical Video Ads
“Vertical Video” is displayed in portrait mode but can be shot in portrait/landscape mode - i.e., skinny and tall video (9:16 aspect ratio), rather than the widescreen format (16:9 aspect ratio) normalized by movies and television. These types of video ads are mostly displayed in mobile devices as they have the optimal aspect ratio to fill the whole screen.
Video Ad-Serving Template (VAST)
A universal protocol for serving in-stream video ads, permitting ad servers to use a single ad response format across multiple compliant publishers/video players.
Video Multiple Ad Playlist (VMAP)
A protocol that allows content owners to describe where ad breaks should be placed in their content when they do not control the video player or the content distribution outlet.
Video On Demand (VOD)
Video content that is controlled, enabled, and consumed whenever a viewer wants after its official release date or original air date and time. VOD content can be found on set top boxes, OTT devices, mobile web, mobile apps, and video streaming services.
Video Player
A video playback environment used to manage a video experience. Video players are provided by an Online Video Platform (OVP) vendor or can be custom-built by the publisher.
Video Player-AD Interface Definition (VPAID)
A common communication protocol between ad units and video players that enables rich ad experiences and detailed event reporting back to advertisers.
View
Too often confused with impression, this metric should no longer be used to measure ad views. Technology vendors may use the metric "creative view" to help track which video codec or technical version of an ad was played in a particular environment, but that metric is used for technological analysis and not for measuring user engagement.
Viewability
Measuring an ad to make sure that at least half of it appeared on a device's screen for at least two seconds. The industry is moving toward this as a new standard of an impression.
View-through Rate (VTR)
The percentage of all video ads that play through their entire duration to completion. Also known as Completion Rate.
Viewing Session
A viewing session is a period of time devoted to viewing one or more pieces of content on a single website.
Waterfalling
The order of priority in which advertisers have the opportunity to buy inventory. Demand sources could include direct sales, networks, or exchanges.
Wrapper
In the context of VAST, a Wrapper is a response that provides a URI that the video player uses to call a secondary VAST response. The secondary response may be either another wrapper or a VAST InLine response.

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