Video Glossary

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Ad Exchange

A digital marketplace that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions.

Ad Network
A company that connects websites with advertising to sell, then aggregates that inventory for advertisers to buy, usually via programmatic exchanges.

Ad request: Communication between a web browser or application and an ad server to display an ad.

Ad Server
A company whose technology relays an ad buy to a website and reports on how it performed.

Ad tag: A small piece of code that defines the ad space where ads display on a website. It includes parameters that describe the inventory advertising campaigns can target, which may in turn display ads in the ad space.

Ad Tech
Ad tech is short for advertising technology, the term refers commonly to all technologies, softwares and services used for delivering, controlling and targeting online ads.

Agency Trading Desk
Teams within advertising agencies that execute online media buying as a managed service.

Audience Extension
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. Also called “Lookalike Modeling.”

audience segment:
A group of users with similar traits or characteristics.

audience targeting:
Targeting of specific audience segments, such as an age demographic.

beacon: An element on a publisher’s website that is invisible to users while it gathers information. AKA “tracking pixels.”

Behavioral Targeting
Showing ads to people based on the types of websites they visit.

A software application that runs automated tasks – usually that are both simple and structurally repetitive – over the Internet typically at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.

An Internet connection that delivers a relatively high bit rate – any bit rate at or above 256 Kbps; cable modems and DSL all offer broadband connections.

Call-to-Action; an instruction within an ad (ie: Learn More!) designed to encourage an immediate response from the viewer.

An event that occurs when a viewer clicks – or taps, if on a mobile device – any elements of a video ad while it is playing.

A completion event occurs when a video ad plays through to the end.

Connected TV
A television set or set-top box with integrated Internet and Web 2.0 features.

Contextual Targeting
A form of targeted advertising for advertisements appearing on websites, mobile browsers or other ad supported devices. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the identity of the user and the content displayed.
companion ad units: a display format that runs in tandem with a pre-roll advert

Identifier attached to a person’s internet browser to track site visits.

Cost per Click; the price paid by an advertiser to the publisher for a single click on the ad that brings the consumer to its intended destination.

Cost per Completed View; the price paid by an advertiser to the publisher once a video has been viewed through completion.

Cost per Engagement; the price paid by an advertiser to the publisher based on a specified action (ie: click, watch, roll-over, etc.).

Cost per Thousand; the impression-based cost to advertisers per one thousand viewers.

Cost per View; the price paid by an advertiser to the publisher for each video view.

Cross Channel
Technology or media that applies across multiple formats and across multiple devices. This is different from “cross-device”, which implies only multi-device application rather than multiple formats within devices (e.g. social format on a hand-held device = a channel).

Technology or media that applies across multiple devices.

Data Management Platform; a “data warehouse” used to house and manage cookie IDs and to generate audience segments, which are then used to target specific users with online ads.

Traditionally used for television buying; a block of time that divides the day into segments for purchase, scheduling and delivery (e.g., primetime).

Deal ID
A unique piece of code assigned to an automated ad buy, used to match buyers and sellers individually, based on a variety of criteria negotiated beforehand.

Demand-Side Platform; software used to purchase advertising in an automated fashion, allowing advertisers to buy impressions across a range of publisher sites through ad exchanges.

Common characteristics used for population or audience segmentation such as age, gender and household income.

Display Advertising
A form of online advertising where an advertiser‘s message is shown on a web page, generally set off in a box at the top or bottom or to one side of the content of the page.

Designated Market Area; as defined by Nielsen, DMAs divide the country into different regional markets by population centers (e.g., San Francisco Bay Area).

Dynamic Ad Insertion
The process by which an ad is inserted into a page in response to a user’s request. Dynamic ad placement allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces.

Effective Cost per Thousand; a metric for measuring revenue generated across various marketing channels, calculated by dividing total earnings by the total number of impressions in thousands.

Fill Rate
The ratio of ad requests that are successfully filled in relation to the total number of ad requests made, expressed in percentage.

First-Party Data
Data directly collected by a brand – typically through e-commerce sites and company websites – about the actions their users take while on that site.

Frequency Capping
The number of times an ad is delivered to the same browser in a single session or time period.


Showing ads to people based on their mobile device’s location, ZIP code information they submit when registering a site/service or GPS coordinates collected by site/service.

Gross Rating Point; the standard currency that broadcast TV has used to plan, purchase and measure advertising campaigns since the 1950s. Defined as [reach x frequency] for a target demographic (i.e. males age 18-34).

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.

An ad that appears within a piece of content.

Actual placement of an advertisement – digital or otherwise – as recorded by the publisher.

Insertion Order
Purchase order between a seller of advertising and a buyer (usually via an advertising agency).

Interactive In-App Pre-Roll
Video ads containing rich media or interactive functionality running in-app on smartphones or tablets. Interstitial ads playing in-app expand to full screen unless viewer exits.

Interactive Pre-Roll
In-stream video ads that play before video content and feature interactive and rich media elements, such as overlays, video galleries, microsites and/or zip code locators.


A single display of an ad on a web page, mobile app, or other delivery medium. An impression does not have to be viewed or clicked on to count as an impression. See also billable impression, forecasted impression.

impression goal:

The maximum number of impressions to deliver for a line item in a single day (per day) or over the duration of the line item’s flight (total). When a line item reaches a daily impression goal, it is temporarily ineligible for ad selection. For example, if you set the daily impression goal to 5 and the line item reaches 5 impressions in a single day (e.g., on day 5 of a 20 day flight), then the line item is not available for ad serving for the rest of the day. However, the line item becomes eligible again for ad serving on day 6. When a line item reaches its total impression goal, no matter which day of the flight, it is no longer available for ad serving.


Ads that load between web pages without being activated by a request.


This term refers to the amount of ad space available on a website. To calculate an accurate inventory figure the number of possible page impressions in a certain timeframe should be taken into account, as well as the number of zones available for ads to be shown per page.


The increase in effectiveness measurements (e.g., message recall) between respondents who did not view the ad and those who did.

Linear TV
Live television that is watched as scheduled; stands in contrast to pre-recorded or video on demand (VOD).

Long Form Content
Video content of longer time lengths/duration, typically 10 Mins plus in length

Message Recall
A measurement used to evaluate an ad’s effectiveness at driving a viewer’s ability to remember a brand or the message it intended to communicate. Typically measured using a control/exposed survey methodology.

Form of online video ad placement where the ad is played during a break in the middle of the content video.

Mobile Pre-Roll
Video ads with standard functionality, such as click throughs, running on smartphone or tablet devices. Can be in-stream (i.e. mobile browser) or in-app (e.g., Words with Friends). Interstitial ads playing in-app expand to full screen unless viewer exits.

Open Exchange
An open digital advertising marketplace for aggregated inventory from multiple partners where buyers can bid either manually or programmatically to purchase impressions.

Opt In
Refers to an individual giving a company permission to use data collected from or about the individual for a particular reason, such as to market the company’s products and services.

Opt Out
When a company states that it plans to market its products and services to an individual unless the individual asks to be removed from the company’s mailing list.

Over-the-Top; refers to content accessed via the internet without the involvement of a television service provider. OTT includes Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services like Netflix, as well as free ad-supported services like Hulu.


Page Request
The opportunity for an HTML document to appear on a browser window as a direct result of a user’s interaction with a Web site.

Page View
When the page is actually seen by the user.

A piece of code provided by a company that wishes to track the end-user’s behavior and identification (cookie) on a website.

Pop-Up Ad
Ad that appears in a separate window on top of content already on-screen.

Post-Roll Ad
An ad that appears after an online video plays.

Pre-Roll Ad
A video advertisement that appears directly preceding an online video. Common formats include :15, :30 and :60 lengths.

Private Access
Refers to a section or interface in a marketplace where advertisers can negotiate private deals with premium inventory providers or upload their own pre-negotiated inventory streams into the platform.

Programmatic Ad Buying
The use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders.

Programmatic Direct
An ad buy done directly between a publisher and advertiser through automated programmatic ad-buying systems.

Programmatic Non-Reserved
A typical automated buy, similar to an open auction, in which relatively anyone can bid to buy ad space that is for sale.

Programmatic TV (PTV)
A technology that enables brands and agencies to buy TV ads programmatically – using software.

Showing an ad to a person who visited your site while that person is visiting another site.
Rich media: Ad technology that features more refined images as well as audio and video in the ad. Rich media ads frequently allow visitors to interact with a banner without leaving the page on which it appears (e.g., movie ads that expand and play a trailer on the host page).

Run-of-Network; the scheduling of Internet advertising whereby an ad network positions ads across the sites it represents at its own discretion. The advertiser usually forgoes premium positioning in exchange for more advertising weight at a lower CPM.

Run-of-Site; the scheduling of Internet advertising whereby ads run across an entire site, often at a lower cost to the advertiser than the purchase of specific site sub-sections.


Real-time bidding, auctioning online inventory within an ad exchange. Buyers bid for the impression based on the value of the user, whereas the seller sets pricing floors and awards the impression to the highest bidder. The auction process takes place in milliseconds, which is why the process is referred to as “real-time.”

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.

Sell-Through Rate
The percentage of ad inventory sold as opposed to traded or bartered.

Set-Top Box
An electronic device that connects to a TV providing connectivity to the Internet, game consoles or cable systems.

Short Form Content
Video content with shorter time lengths/duration, typically less than 10 minutes.

Share of Voice; an ad revenue model that focuses on weight or percentage among other advertisers; used to represent the relative portion of ad inventory available to a single advertiser within a defined market over a specified time period.

Skippable Pre-Roll
In-stream video ads that allow viewers to skip ahead to non-advertisement video content after playing for a few seconds.

Standard Pre-Roll
In-stream video ads that play before video content.

Technology that permits continuous audio and video delivered to a computer from a remote Web site.

Supply-Side Platform; software used to sell advertising in an automated fashion; most often used by online publishers to help them sell display, video and mobile ads and to maximize the prices of their impressions.

Tag: Code to be inserted into a website to display creatives.

Target Audience
The intended audience for an ad, usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, gender) and psychographics (interests, behaviors).
Third-Party Ad Server
Independent outsourced companies that specialize in managing, maintaining, serving, tracking, and analyzing the results of online ad campaigns..
Third-Party Data
Information that an established data company (e.g. Bluekai) collects indirectly (such as through cookies) or aggregates from others (such as credit card companies) and then sells to ad buyers.

Unique User/Device ID
Sometimes called UDID; identifier assigned to a device or user that lasts until the device is reset or the account is deleted. For example, Google and Apple create advertising-specific device IDs for phones and tablets running Android and iOS, respectively. Facebook has unique-user IDs tied to each account on the social network.

Video Ad Serving Template; a universal XML schema for serving ads to digital video players.
Video On Demand – VOD
Video that is accessed at the viewers discretion and served through video channels.

Viewable CPM; cost per thousand viewable ads served – a simple calculation for vCPM = CPM / viewability rate.

Measuring an ad to make sure that at least half of it appeared on a device’s screen for at least two seconds.

Viewable Completion
When a video is viewable at the end of ad play.

Viewable Impression
As defined by the Media Ratings Council, a viewable video impression is one where 50% of a video player’s pixels are in view in an active browser tab for any two consecutive seconds.

Person viewing content on the web

Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition; allows a rich interactive user experience with in stream video ads. Not only does it provide a deeper experience for the user than VAST, but it captures and reports how the user interacts.

View-Through Rate; measurement of how many people saw an ad and eventually visited the advertiser’s site.

The percentage of clicks vs. impressions on an ad within a specific page. Also called “ad click rate.”

Yield Management
Yield and Revenue Management is the process of understanding, anticipating and influencing advertiser and consumer behavior in order to maximize profits through better selling, pricing, packaging and inventory management while delivering value to advertisers and site users