Learn the Industry Language

Every day, new marketing trends, tools, and techniques flood the market. The ever-changing industry jargon is confusing, and BRIDGE gets that. We’re here to break the terms down for you in our marketing glossary.

*Note: The definitions below are all IAB standard definitions.

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302 redirect:

The process of a server sending a browser the location of a requested ad, rather than sending the ad itself. Ad servers use 302 redirects to allow them to track activities such as ad requests or ad clicks.


3rd party ad serving:

The purpose of ad serving is to deliver ads to users, manage the advertising space of a website, and, in the case of third-party ad servers, provide an independent counting and tracking system for advertisers/marketers. Ad servers also act as a system by which advertisers can count clicks/impressions in order to generate reports, which help determine ROI for an advertisement on a particular web page. Using a centralized ad server enables progress reports on-demand and updates creative content in one place rather than using multiple servers with different publishers.


3rd party:

A third party is an entity that collects information from or about users from a non-affiliate’s website or service. Third parties, such as data aggregators and ad networks, often create data products that span collection from websites and stores not owned or controlled by a single entity. By aggregating this information, third parties can offer smaller websites and stores that do not have the technical, data, or service resources the ability to compete against large vertically integrated companies.



Founded in 1917, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) is the national trade association representing the advertising agency business in the United States. 

Above the fold (ATF): 

A term derived from newspaper print advertising, this means that an ad is placed on a website above the scroll line as the page is viewed before any scrolling occurs; in view before scrolling

Activity audit:

Independent verification of measured activity for a specified time period. Some of the key metrics validated are ad impressions, page impressions, clicks, total visits, and unique users. An activity audit results in a report verifying the metrics. Formerly known as a count audit.

Ad audience:

The number of unique users exposed to an ad within a specified time period.

Ad banner:

Also known as banner ads, one of the most dominant forms of advertising on the internet. Banner ads are a form of display advertising that can range from a static graphic to a full-motion video.

Ad blocker:

Software on a user’s browser which prevents advertisements from being displayed.

Ad campaign audit:

An activity audit for a specific ad campaign.


The AdChoices icon is a small button found near behaviorally targeted ads. When clicked, the button redirects users to a page explaining behavioral targeting, where users have the option to opt-out from receiving similar ads. The AdChoices icon is an answer to the Federal Trade Commission’s request for “clear and prominent notice” of targeted advertising. In other words, advertisers need to let users know that they are advertising to them.

Ad click:

The user activity of pressing a navigation button or hitting the enter key on the keyboard on an advertisement unit on a web site (banner, button or text link). (see click-through)

Ad creative pixel:

A pixel request embedded in an ad tag which calls a web server for the purpose of tracking that a user has viewed a particular ad. See web beacon.

Ad delivery:

Two methods are used to deliver ad content to the user – server-initiated and client-initiated

Ad download:

When an ad is downloaded by a server to a user’s browser. Ads can be requested, but aborted or abandoned before actually being downloaded to the browser, and hence there would be no opportunity to see the ad by the user.

Ad exchange:

A sales channel between publishers and ad networks that can also provide aggregated inventory to advertisers. They provide a technology platform that facilitates automated auction-based pricing and buying in real-time. 

Ad family:

A collection of one or more ad creatives. Also called an ad campaign.

Ad hoc reporting:

Ad-hoc is Latin for as the occasion requires. This means that users can use their reporting and analysis solution to answer specific business questions as the occasion requires, without having to request queries from it.

Ad impression:

The count of ads that are served to a user. Ads can be requested by the user’s browser (referred to as pulled ads) or they can be pushed, such as e-mailed ads.

Ad impression ratio:

Click-throughs divided by ad impressions. See click rate.

Ad insertion:

When an ad is inserted into a document and recorded by the ad server.

Ad inventory:

The aggregate number of opportunities near publisher content to display the advertisement to visitors.

Ad materials:

The creative artwork, copy, active URLs, and active target sites which are due to the seller prior to the initiation of the ad campaign.

Ad network:

Provide an outsourced sales capability for publishers and a means to aggregate inventory and audiences from numerous sources in a single buying opportunity for media buyers. Ad networks may provide specific technologies to enhance value to both publishers and advertisers, including unique targeting capabilities, creative generation, and optimization. Ad networks’ business models and practices may include features that are similar to those offered by ad exchanges.

Ad ops:

The team/function that is responsible for trafficking and optimizing digital ad campaigns.

Ad recall:

A measure of advertising effectiveness in which a sample of respondents is exposed to an ad and then at a later point in time is asked if they remember the ad. Ad recall can be on an aided or unaided basis. Aided ad recall is when the respondent is told the name of the brand or category being advertised.

Ad request:

The request for an advertisement is a direct result of a user’s action as recorded by the ad server. Ad requests can come directly from the user’s browser or from an intermediate Internet resource, such as a web content server.

Ad rotation:

Ads are often rotated into ad spaces from a list. This is usually done automatically by software on the website or at a central site administered by an ad broker or server facility for a network of websites.

Ad server:

An ad server is a webserver dedicated to the delivery of advertisements. This specialization enables the tracking and management of advertising-related metrics.

Ad serving:

The delivery of ads by a server to an end user’s computer on which the ads are then displayed by a browser and/or cached. Ad serving is normally performed either by a web publisher or by a third-party ad server. Ads can be embedded in the page or served separately.

Ad space:

The location on a page of a site in which an advertisement can be placed. Each space on a site is uniquely identified. Multiple ad spaces can exist on a single page.

Ad stream:

The series of ads displayed by the user during a single visit to a site (also impression stream).

Ad targeting:

Delivering an ad to the appropriate audience. This may be done through behavioral targeting, contextual targeting or geographic targeting

Ad transfers:

The successful display of an advertiser’s web site after the user clicked on an ad. When a user clicks on an advertisement, a click-through is recorded and re-directs or transfers the user’s browser to an advertiser’s web site. If the user successfully displays the advertiser’s web site, an ad transfer is recorded.

Ad unit:

An ad or set of ads displayed as a result of a piece of ad code executing.

Ad verification best practices:

Set of industry guidelines, practices, and measurements established by the IAB and facilitated by the media rating council (MRC), with the participation of a large group of ad verification vendors, publishers, ad servers, ad networks, advertising agencies, and other interested organizations. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide assurance to marketers and their agency partners about the execution of internet advertising campaigns.

Ad view:

A single ad that appears on a web page when the page arrives on the viewer’s display. Ad views are what most websites sell or prefer to sell. A web page may offer space for a number of ad views. In general, the term impression is more commonly used.


For web advertising, an ad is almost always a banner, graphic image, or set of animated images (in an animated gif) of a designated pixel size and byte size limit. An ad or set of ads for a campaign is often referred to as the creative. banners and other special advertising that include an interactive or visual element beyond the usual are known as rich media.

Add to cart:

The user activity of storing merchandise in a virtual shopping cart that the user intends to later purchase from an online e-commerce website. This enables users to continue browsing and check-out later or alternately delete these items from the cart.


A unique identifier for a computer or site online, usually a URL for a web site or marked with an @ for an e-mail address. Literally, it is how one computer finds the location of another computer using the internet.


A commercial message targeted to an advertiser’s customer or prospect.


The company paying for the advertisement.


Computer software provided to the user free of charge or at a discounted price that downloads and displays advertising to support its continued development and maintenance. This software often tracks what internet sites the user visits.

Affiliate marketing:

An agreement between two sites in which one site (the affiliate) agrees to feature content or an ad designed to drive traffic to another site. In return, the affiliate receives a percentage of sales or some other form of compensation generated by that traffic.

Affinity marketing:

Selling products or services to customers on the basis of their established buying patterns. The offer can be communicated by e-mail promotions, online or offline advertising.


An organization that, on behalf of clients, plans marketing and advertising campaigns, drafts and produces advertisements, places advertisements in the media. In interactive advertising, agencies often use third party technology (ad servers) and may place advertisements with publishers, ad networks and other industry participants.

Agency ad server:

The ad server hosted by the advertising agency.

Aggregate campaign data:

Data combined from several advertising campaigns to create a segment where campaign level data is not identifiable.

Alternate text:

A word or phrase that is displayed when a user has image loading disabled in their browser or when a user abandons a page by hitting stop in their browser prior to the transfer of all images.also appears as balloon text when a user lets their mouse rest over an image.

Animated gif:

An animation created by combining multiple gif images in one file. The result is multiple images, displayed sequentially, giving the appearance of movement.


A programmatically generated display of sequential images, creating the illusion that objects in the image are moving. Not digital video, as it relates to this document (see the definition for video).


An intermediary which prevents web sites from seeing a user’s internet protocol (IP) address.

Applicable browser:

Any browser an ad will impact, regardless of whether it will play the ad.

Application programming interface (API):

Application programming interface is a set of commands. It is the language that programmers or developers use to communicate with a specific piece of software or hardware. For example, mobile ads delivered in apps use an api to communicate with an sdk (like mraid) that is built into the app.


Short for applications, these are programs on a digital device (most commonly smartphones and tablets) that provide a specific service or function; usually will connect to the internet and can be ad-supported/free or paid.

Aspect ratio:

The width-to-height ratio of a picture or video frame. TV broadcasts at a 4:3 (1.33:1) aspect ratio; digital tv will be broadcast with a 16:9 (1.78:1) ratio; and most feature films are shot in at least a 1.85:1 ratio. IMUs have an aspect ratio of 6:5 (330x 250; 336 x 280; and 180 x 150).


Logos, artwork, fonts, text, media files etc. That a brand uses in their advertising creative.

Association of National Advertisers (ANA):

Leads the marketing community by providing its members insights, collaboration and advocacy. The ANA strives to promote and protect all advertisers and marketers. See ana.net for more information.


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. Attributes consist of demographic information (e.g., age, gender, geographical location), segment or cluster information (e.g., auto enthusiast), and retargeting information (e.g., visited site x two days ago). Segment or cluster information is derived from the user’s prior online activities (e.g., pages visited, content viewed, searches made and clicking and purchasing behaviors). Generally, this is anonymous data (non-PII).


The process of connecting an ad event to a consumer action; or, more broadly, the process of connecting any consumer touchpoint a brand provides to a desired response.


An audience is the group of people who visit a specific web site or who are reached by a specific ad network.

Audience behavior:

Audience behaviors transcend race, age, and location and are more likely to connect you to a wider range of people who will use your product effectively. Information that can be used to target audience behaviors includes the total number of times they visit a website, the types of pages that they’re likely to visit, and the types of terms that they enter into internet search engines. This information can shed light on the way a person thinks, which allows you to target your product in new and effective ways.

Audience measurement:

The counting of unique users (i.e. Audience) 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. At the industry level, this service enables media buyers to understand which brokers of online content to negotiate with to reach a specific audience.

Audience targeting:

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based on their shared behavioral, demographic, geographic and/or technographic attributes. Audience targeting uses anonymous, non-PII data.


The audible file that may accompany ads. Advertising audio should not play without user-initiation in general. See detailed IAB New Ad Portfolio guidance for when it can be played without user initiation.

Average active sessions:

The average number of streams of one minute or more that are active within a time period.

Average view time:

Refers to the average amount of time the video ad was played by users.



The transmission rate of a communications line or system, expressed as kilobits per second (KBPS) or megabits per second (MBPS) for digital systems; the amount of data that can be transmitted over communications lines in a given time.


A graphic advertising image displayed on a web page also known as display ads, banner advertisements are a form of graphical ads embedded into a webpage, typically including a combination of static/animated images, text and/or video designed to convey a marketing message and/or cause the user to take an action. Banner dimensions are typically defined by width and height, represented in pixels.

Banner Ad:

A banner ad is a rectangular image-based internet advertisement. Banner ads that appear at the top or bottom of a web page are called leaderboards and banner ads on the sides of a web page are called skyscrapers.

Behavioral event:

A behavioral event is a user-initiated action that may include, but is not limited to: searches, content views, clicks, purchases, and form-based information. They are generally anonymous and do not include personally identifiable information (PII).

Behavioral Segmentation:

Behavioral segmentation is the practice of dividing consumers into groups according to any of the following attributes: usage, loyalties, awareness, occasion, knowledge, liking, and purchase patterns.

Behavioral targeting:

Using previous online user activity (e.g., pages visited, content viewed, searches, clicks and purchases) to generate a segment which is used to match advertising creative to users (sometimes also called behavioral profiling, interest-based advertising, or online behavioral advertising). Behavioral targeting uses anonymous, non-PII data.


Process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to best practices from other companies.


A test version of a product, such as a website or software, prior to final release.


Also known as interstitial ads, between-the-page ad units display as a user navigates from one webpage to the next webpage. The ad appears after the user leaves the initial page, but before the target page displays on the user’s screen. The ad is self-contained within its own browser window and may not appear as an overlay on the target page content.

Beyond the banner:

The idea that, in addition to banner ads, there are other ways to use the internet to communicate a marketing message. This includes sponsoring a website or feature, advertising in email newsletters, co-branding with another company, contest promotion, and finding new ways to engage and interact with the desired audience. An ad can also include an interstitial and streaming video infomercial. The banner itself can be transformed into a small rich media event.


A blog (a portmanteau of the term weblog) is a web-published journal consisting of discrete entries (posts) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, although corporate blogs often have multiple staff contributors. A blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Blog metrics:

There are two concepts that surface when targeting media plans to blogs: conversations and conversational phrases. A conversation is a collection of authors/sites and their audience linked by relevant content. A conversation phrase is a combination of keywords and keyword phrases used to associate an author/site, its content, and audiences to a conversation.

Bonus impressions:

Additional ad impressions above the commitments outlined in the approved insertion order.


Software that runs automatically without human intervention. Typically, a bot is endowed with the capability to react to different situations it may encounter. Two common types of bots are agents and spiders. Bots are used by companies like search engines to discover web sites for indexing. Short for robot.

Bounce rate:

Figured as a percentage, this compares the number of visitors to a website who arrive and immediately leave vs. Those who stay and spend time on the site; can be used to measure the effectiveness of a website, a search campaign or an ad campaign.

Brand awareness:

Research studies can associate ad effectiveness to measure the impact of online advertising on key branding metrics.

Brand brief:

An input document typically provided to agencies to distill important information inclusive of a target audience, communication objectives, key points to communicate brand personality, and other considerations.

Brand competitive set:

A marketing term used to identify the principal group of competitors for a company. Competitive sets are used for benchmarking purposes, market penetration analysis, and to help develop positioning strategies.

Brand guidelines:

A set of rules that explain how your brand works and includes basic information such as an overview of your brand’s history, vision, personality, and key values.

Brand history:

Background information on specific advertisers provides a perspective on how that brand is perceived by their industry. This typically includes business performance, market share, challenges, when the company was started, and how it are positioned in the marketplace. This information is incorporated into brand briefs.

Brand Image:

A company’s brand image encompasses everything about how a company portrays itself to the public, including its customers, employees, and stakeholders. When consumers think of a brand, what else comes to mind? What is synonymous with that brand to consumers? Influential elements can include a logo, color palette, products, messaging, tone, philanthropy, industry, goals, collateral, etc.

Brand metrics:

Measurable KPIs associated with branding objectives, such as brand lift, affinity, or favorability.

Brand responsiveness:

A seamless blend of branding and direct response-focused activity delivered through a single campaign. The purpose of all activities is to drive response (both short and longer-term) while building the brand.

Brand safety guidelines:

A recognized set of industry quality assurance standards and benchmarks that provides high levels of confidence to marketers to invest more in digital advertising. Current brand safety guidelines include viewability and ad fraud.

Brand verticals:

A brand that is focused on a specific industry where demand stems exclusively from a demographic, also known as a niche market. Companies that employ vertical marketing tactics either create products intended for a specific type of consumer or attempt to make existing products appealing to those consumers.

Broadband video commercials:

TV-like advertisements that may appear as in-page video commercials or before, during, and/or after a variety of content in a player environment including but not limited to, streaming video, animation, gaming, and music video content. Broadband video commercials may appear in live, archived, and downloadable streaming content.


A software program that can request, download, cache and display documents available on the web.

B2B (business-to-business):

Businesses whose primary customers are other businesses.

B2C (business-to-consumer):

Businesses whose primary customers are consumers.


When a streaming media player temporarily stores portions of a streaming media (e.g., audio or video) file on a client pc until there is enough information for the stream to begin playing.


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 (i.e. 3-10 seconds) and call-to-action usually can load another video or can bring up a new site while pausing the content.


A unit of digital information in computing and telecommunications that most commonly consists of eight bits. Historically, a byte was the number of bits used to encode a single character of text in a computer and for this reason it is the basic addressable element in many computer architectures.



Memory used to temporarily store the most frequently requested content/files/pages in order to speed its delivery to the user. Caches can be local (i.e. On a browser) or on a network. In the case of local cache, most computers have both memory (RAM), and disk (hard drive) cache.

Call to Action (CTA):

A CTA is a clickable graphic, image, or button that is created to entice a viewer to respond to whatever is being asked. For example, a CTA could ask for a person’s name and email address in exchange for more information on a certain topic.


In traditional marketing, a campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme. In digital advertising, a campaign will refer to a set of ad buys from a specific ad network or publisher. Also, the advertising period in which an ad delivery strategy is executed.

Campaign briefs:

A document that states what the advertiser would like the promotional campaign to achieve. It is effectively the promotional campaign instructions for the team writing the promotional campaign.

Category landscape:

When referring to media, it refers to consumer media consumption across specific types of content focus and time including news, lifestyle, print, radio, daytime, primetime, and late fringe.


California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is designed to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, specifically to give them more control over the use of their personal information (PI).


An acronym for the content distribution network, a CDN is a system of geographically dispersed servers used to provide web content to a browser or other client. Files are strategically pulled from a server on the network based on the location of the user, the requesting server, and the delivery server of the CDN to provide the best delivery performance.

CGI (common gateway interface) script:

CGI’s are used to allow a user to pass data to a web server, most commonly in a web-based form. Specifically, CGI scripts are used with forms such as pull-down menus or text-entry areas with an accompanying submit button. The input from the form is processed by a program (the CGI script itself) on a remote web server.

Channel mix:

A combination of media channels employed in meeting the promotional objectives of a marketing plan or campaign. Generally, a channel mix can include radio, tv, print, and online advertising.


Online interactive communication between two or more people on the web. One can talk in real-time with other people in a chat room, typically by typing, though voice chat is available.


An interaction between a website visitor and the browser in which the website visitor uses a device, such as a mouse, to move the cursor (or pointer) to an active area of the screen and then deliberately interacts with that area by clicking a button on their device, triggering an event. In the case of touch-screen devices, the user clicks by touching the active area with their finger or a stylus.

Click fraud:

Click fraud is a type of internet crime that occurs in pay per click online advertising when a person, automated script, or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad’s link.

Click rate:

The ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions, the click rate is the percentage of ad views that resulted in click-throughs, which indicates the ad’s effectiveness and results in the viewer getting to the website where other messages can be provided. A successful click rate depends on campaign objectives, how enticing or explicit the message is (a message that is complete within the banner may be less apt to be clicked), audience/message matching, how new the banner is, and how often it is displayed to the same user. In general, click rates for high-repeat, branding banners vary from 0.15% to 1%. Ads with provocative, mysterious, or other compelling content can induce click rates ranging from 1 to 5%. The click rate for a given ad tends to diminish with repeated exposure.

Click-through rate (CTR):

The percentage of ad impressions that were clicked on as compared to the entire number of clicks [CTR% = (clicks ÷ imps) x 100], ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. CTR is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns.

Click through:

The measurement of a user clicking on a link that redirects the user’s web-enabled device to another web destination, a click-through is what the sponsoring site counts as a result of an ad click. In practice, click and click-through tend to be used interchangeably. A click-through, however, implies that the user actually went to the page. Some advertisers pay only for click-throughs rather than for ad impressions.


(1) the electronic path a user takes while navigating from site to site, and from page to page within a site or (2) a comprehensive body of data describing the sequence of activity between a user’s browser and any other internet resource, such as a web site or third-party ad server.


Refers to activities taking place on the client as opposed to on the server. Examples are client-side counting and client-side redirects.

Client-initiated ad impression:

One of the two methods used for ad counting. Ad content is delivered to the user via two methods – server-initiated and client-initiated. Client-initiated ad counting relies on the user’s browser for making requests, formatting, and re-directing content


A term used by web-based companies offering users the ability to access files or services from devices that are connected to the internet (the opposite of storing files or programs on a hard or external drive).


The activity of conveying information by or to people or groups. Examples of online communication include email, instant messaging, text-messaging, group messaging.

Communication error:

The failure of a web browser/webserver to successfully request/transfer a document.

Companion ad:

Both linear and non-linear video ad products have the option of pairing their core video ad product with what is commonly referred to as companion ads. Commonly text, display ads, rich media, or skins that wrap around the video experience, can run alongside either or both the video or ad content. The primary purpose of the companion ad product is to offer sustained visibility of the sponsor throughout the video content experience. Companion ads may offer click-through interactivity and rich media experiences such as the expansion of the ad for further engagement opportunities.


Completes refer to whether the video played to completion.


The practice of packaging a digital file so that it uses less storage space.

Connected TV:

A television set that is connected to the internet and is able to access web-based content also referred to as advanced tv. TVs can be connected through an add-on device like PlayStation, Roku, or an amazon fire tv stick. The content viewed is all video-on-demand, and streams similarly to how you would stream video content on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Ott (over the top) is a term used to describe any of the devices used to connect a tv to the internet.

Content (site/page):

Site content is the textual, visual, or aural content is encountered as part of the user experience on a website. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, animations, and videos. Web content is dominated by the page concept, with multiple pages of related content typically forming a site.

Content delivery network:

A service that hosts online assets and provides content management via servers located around the globe to reduce the latency of downloads to users.

Content integration:

Advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope. Also known as web advertorial.

Content marketing:

Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.

Contextual ads:

Existing contextual ad engines deliver text and image ads to non-search content pages. Ads are matched to keywords extracted from content. Advertisers can leverage existing keyboard-based paid search campaigns and gain access to a larger audience.

Contextual targeting:

Targeting content that deals with specific topics, as determined by contextual scanning technology.


A conversion occurs when the user performs the specific action that the advertiser has defined as the campaign goal. Conversions are often tracked by a web beacon, called a conversion pixel.

Conversion pixel:

A conversion pixel is a specific type of web beacon that is triggered to indicate that a user has successfully completed a specific action such as a purchase or registration. This user action is considered a conversion.

Conversion rate:

The percentage of users who complete the desired action (e.g., purchase or registration) compared to all users who were exposed to an online ad.


Also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a string of text sent from a web server to a user’s browser that the browser is expected to send back to the web server in subsequent interactions. A cookie has a few core attributes: the cookie value, the domain and path within which it is valid, and the cookie expiry. There are other attributes as well that limit the cookie to HTTPS-only transactions, or hide it from JavaScript.

The domain and path define the scope of the cookie – they tell the browser that cookies should only be sent back to the server for the given domain and path. Cookies that do not have a specific expiration date and time are automatically deleted when the web browser is next closed. Cookies with a set expiry time are considered persistent cookies, while cookies without set expiry times are considered session cookies.

In online advertising, cookies generally store a unique identifier, and may contain information like what ads were recently seen (for frequency capping), when the cookie was created (to discover short duration identities), and other simple attributes.

Core ad video:

The essential video asset often repurposed from offline. Can be displayed directly in the player, or in a more customized presentation.

Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA):

A Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) is a geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that centers on an urban region with at least 10,000 people and adjacent areas that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center. There are both micropolitan and metropolitan CBSAs. The OMB uses these areas for statistical data collecting, tabulating, and publishing. Bridge can use CBSAs to search for target audiences in our count system.

Cost per action/acquisition (CPA):

What an advertiser pays for each visitor that takes some specifically defined action in response to an ad beyond simply clicking on it. For example, a visitor might visit an advertiser’s site and request to subscribe to their newsletter.

Cost per completed view (CPCV):

The price an advertiser pays every time a video ad runs through to completion. Rather than paying for all impressions, some of which may have been stopped before completion, an advertiser only pays for ads that finished (CPCV= cost ÷ completed views).

Cost per download (CPD):

The price an advertiser pays every time a desired download (such as a coupon download) occurs via an ad unit; rather than paying for all impressions, and advertiser only pays when the desired outcome occurs [CPD= cost ÷ download]

Cost per engagement (CPE):

The price an advertiser pays every time a consumer interacts with a rich media ad unit; rather than paying for all impressions, and advertiser only pays when the desired interaction occurs [CPE= cost ÷ engagement]

Cost per lead (CPL):

A more specific form of cost per action in which a visitor provides enough information at the advertiser’s site (or in an interaction with a rich media ad) to be used as a sales lead. You can estimate cost per lead regardless of how you pay for the ad (in other words, buying on a pay per lead basis is not required to calculate the cost per lead).

Cost per sale (CPS):

The advertiser’s cost to generate one sales transaction. Sites that sell products directly from their website or can otherwise determine sales generated as the result of an advertising sales lead can calculate the cost per sale of web advertising. If this is being used in conjunction with a media buy, a cookie can be offered on the content site and read on the advertiser’s site after the successful completion of an online sale.

Cost per unique visitor:

The total cost of the placement or application, divided by the number of unique visitors.

Cost per view (CPV):

Pricing model where the advertiser only pays for a video start. Typically sold at 1,000 impressions.

Cost per viewable impression:

Pricing model where the advertiser only pays for video ad impressions that are considered viewable based upon MRC and IAB viewability guidelines.

Cost-per-click (CPC):

CPC or cost-per-click is the cost of advertising based on the number of clicks received.

Cost-per-customer (CPC):

CPC or cost-per-customer is the cost an advertiser pays to acquire a customer.


Cost of advertising based on a visitor taking some specifically defined action in response to an ad. 


Media term describing the cost of 1,000 impressions, an industry-standard measure for selling ads on websites. 

CPX pricing:

Refers to how media is bought on a cost per basis. The x is replaced by m (CPM) to refer to cost per thousand, or c (CPC) to refer to cost per click, or any variant of a (CPA) cost per action.


An advertising unit created by an ad designer, in accordance with publisher specifications and guidelines, for the purpose of communicating a marketing message to that publisher’s audience. One creative may consist of multiple files in various formats, such as standard images, animation, video, execution files (.HTML, .js, etc.) And other files that work together for an interactive experience.

Creative dimensions:

Measured in pixels, the width and height of an ad unit (W x H). The width is always the first dimension listed, followed by the height dimension (i.e. an ad that is 300×250 is 300 pixels wide by 250 pixels high).

Creative retargeting:

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors that previously were exposed to or interacted with the advertisers’ creative.

Cross-device targeting:

The ability to serve sequential ad messages to the same consumer from one device to the next (e.g. First on a person’s desktop then again on his/her smartphone).

Cross-screen measurement:

The tracking and measurement of video metrics across mobile/tablet/out of home/television/advanced tv/desktop that can be tied to the same user.


Taking a task that would conventionally be performed by a contractor or employee and turning it over to a typically large, undefined group of people via an open call for responses.

Customer Experience:

The customer experience is comprised of a customer’s entire interaction with an organization throughout the duration of their relationship. The experience includes product or service interest, discovery, purchase, and use. Businesses strive to meet and exceed customers’ expectations by providing the ultimate customer experience.

Customer relationship management (CRM):

The set of business practices that guide a company’s interactions with current and future customers in all areas, from sales, marketing, and loyalty programs, to customer service, and technical support.



Cross-channel refers to utilizing different channels at one time. One can assume that campaigns targeting email, mobile, and online users are performing cross-channel tactics.



In interactive advertising, the computer science definition of data is most often used – that is, information in a form suitable for use with a computer.

Data aggregator: 

A data aggregator is an organization that collects and compiles data from various sources, often offering results or access for resale. There are three primary types of data aggregators:

  • Offline data aggregators: 

    • Generally establishing an interest in managing data from sources prior to the proliferation of the internet, companies like Acxiom and ChoicePoint have offered data acquired through both public record and private sources (like customer loyalty cards) for sale. This data is primarily sold to advertisers at the zip or zip+4 level, in order to maintain anonymity. Increasingly, the offline data is migrated for use in online campaign targeting.
  • Online data aggregators: 

    • Most often called data management platforms (DMPs), companies like Lotame and Bluekai establish relationships with a large number of websites in order to gain a big-picture view of cookied users that would be inaccessible to individual sites.
  • Personal data aggregators: 

    • Used primarily for either investigation of an individual or reputation management, companies like Spoke and chi.mp allow information for an individual to be collected in one place. This has little use for digital advertising.

Data append: 

User data from one source is linked to a user’s profile from another source.

Data Hygiene:

Data hygiene is the process of identifying and correcting potentially dangerous or harmful records within a file or database. Data hygiene metrics can include complaint ratios, unsubscribe rates, trap listings, compliance postings, trend analysis, etc.

Data management platform (DMP): 

A system that allows the collection of audience intelligence by advertisers and ad agencies, thereby allowing better ad targeting in subsequent campaigns on a combination of in-depth first- and third-party audience data. They help to accurately target campaigns to these audiences across third party ad networks and exchanges, and measure with accuracy how campaigns perform.

Data On-Boarding:

Data onboarding, also known as “data on-ramping,” facilitates the transfer of data gathered offline to an online database. It used to connect offline customer records with online users through matching technology. Data onboarding enables an individual to leverage accurate customer data as a result of their marketing campaign. By identifying information from offline datasets we are able to gather those same customers online.

Data Profiling:

Data profiling is the process of statistically analyzing existing data to gain complete insight into the quality of the data in your systems. The analysis determines data structure and identifies internal relationships. Data profiling measures for a variety of variables including completeness of a data set, uniqueness of values, distribution of records, and more. It should be used to improve data quality.

Demand-side platform (DSP): 

Also called buy-side optimizer and buy-side platform is a technology platform that provides centralized and aggregated media buying from multiple sources including ad exchanges, ad networks, and sell-side platforms, often leveraging real-time bidding capabilities of these sources.

Demographic targeting: 

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based on demographic information such as age, gender, and income which may come from, site registration data or an inference-based mechanism.


Common characteristics about the size and characteristics of a population or audience used for population or audience segmentation, such as age, gender, household income, purchasing history, personal preferences, etc.

Designated market area (DMA): 

As defined by Nielsen on Nielsen.com, DMA (designated market area) regions are the geographic areas in the United States in which local television viewing is measured by the Nielsen Company. The DMA data are essential for any marketer, researcher, or organization seeking to utilize standardized geographic areas within their business. (note: these regions can be applied to digital marketing as well as traditional tv)

Deterministic Device ID Tracking:

Deterministic tracking involves recognizing personally identifiable information (PII), like an email address, when it is used across multiple devices to log into apps and websites, and using the PII to identify one unique user across all of those devices.

Digital signatures: 

Signatures for electronic documents. They establish identity and therefore can be used to establish legal responsibility and the complete authenticity of whatever they are affixed to — in effect, creating a tamper-proof seal.

Digital video server: 

A robust, dedicated computer at a central location that receives command requests from the television viewer through a video-on-demand application. Once it receives this request, it then instantly broadcasts specific digital video streams to that viewer.

Direct response (DR): 

An ad that is designed to have the viewer take immediate action; for example, in digital advertising, this often means a click, sign up, download, or purchase

Display advertising: 

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

Domain name: 

The unique name that identifies an internet site. Every domain name consists of one top or high-level and one or more lower-level designators. Top-level domains (TLDs) are either generic or geographic. Generic top-level domains include .com (commercial), .net (network), .edu (educational), .org (organizational, public or non-commercial), .gov (governmental), .mil (military); .biz (business), .info (informational),.name (personal), .pro (professional), .aero (air transport and civil aviation), .coop (business cooperatives such as credit unions) and .museum. Geographic domains designate countries of origin, such as .us (United States), .fr (France), .uk (United Kingdom), etc.

Dwell rate: 

The percentage of users exposed to a given piece of rich media content or advertising who interact with that content moving their cursors over it (but not clicking).

Dwell time: 

The amount of time that a user keeps his or her cursor stationary over a given icon, graphic, ad unit, or another piece of web content. Often used in the context of expandable ads, where the ad increases in size only when users roll over it with their mice. Usually calculated and reported as an average across all viewers of a piece of content.

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 alteration of specific ads placed on a page based on any data available to the placement program. At its simplest, dynamic ad placement allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces. In more sophisticated examples, the ad placement could be affected by demographic data or usage history for the current user.

Dynamic creative: 

Ad creative, customized in advance, that is able to transform itself upon delivery to target relevant audience segments. Customization may include delivering a specific combination of ad content such as copy, background images, and size and color of the call-to-action button.

Dynamic rotation: 

Delivery of ads on a rotating, random basis so that users are exposed to different ads and ads are served in different pages of the site.



The process of selling products or services via the web.

Email advertising: 

Banner ads, links or advertiser sponsorships that appear in email newsletters, email marketing campaigns and other commercial email communications. Includes all types of electronic mail (e.g., basic text or HTML-enabled).

Email campaign: 

Advertising campaign distributed via e-mail.

Email Hygiene:

Email hygiene is the process of consistently updating your email list to ensure that all addresses belong to real, verified users. By cleaning your email list, you can remove all “bad” email addresses so that sent emails do not bounce or land in spam filters. Email hygiene improves deliverability rates and helps your brand maintain a positive reputation among both email hosts and consumers alike.

Email service provider (ESP): 

A business or organization that provides the e-mail campaign delivery technology. ESPs may also provide services for marketing, advertising, and general communication purposes.

Email Verification:

Email verification means identifying invalid emails and ensuring the email list provided only contains viable addresses.

Earned media: 

When people speak about and share your brand and your product, either in response to content you’ve shared or via voluntary mentions. Its free publicity generated by fans.


The process of compressing and separating a file into packets so that it can be delivered over a network.


Securing digital information so that it is unreadable without the use of digital keys.


A general term used to classify interaction a consumer has with brand content, whether it be in an ad, on a brand’s site, or via a brand’s social media profile page.

Engagement Rate: 

Number of engagements / impressions (as a percentage) 

Event trackers: 

Primarily used for click-through tracking today, but also for companion banner interactions and video session tracking (e.g. 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%).

Expandable ads: 

Rich media ads can be enlarged to dimensions beyond the initial dimensions of the placement they fill on the webpage. The user initiates expanding events, sometimes after the ad initially expands briefly on its own to catch the user’s attention.

Expandable banners: 

Expandable banners are rich media ads that expand in size when a user rolls over or clicks on them. They reveal more advertising information and are designed to grab the attention of the user. The IAB provides guidelines for expandable banners in the rich media ads section of the display advertising creative format guidelines quick reference guide.

Expanded dimensions: 

The secondary dimensions of an expanding ad unit (after the ad is expanded). Initial dimensions are fit to the dimensions of the placement. Then, either by auto-play or by user interaction, the ad unit expands to its secondary dimension.

Explicit profile data targeting: 

Explicit data is registration quality data collected either online or offline. For online registration data, the user has certain attributes in his or her registration profile at a particular site or service, and that data is associated with the user’s web cookie or some sort of audience database when the user next logs in. Offline registration data includes the sorts of data held in the massive offline direct response industry databases built up over the last several decades. These are then matched to a user online when that user logs in somewhere that is a partner of the data company. The site at which the user logs in, usually an online mail or similar site, sends the name/email combination to the data company, which then makes the match and sends back data. Ethical data providers do not put personally-identifiable data into the cookie or audience database, but rather anonymize the data (e.g., male rather than a name or address).

Exposed group: 

A term used in ad effectiveness measurement; the collection of consumers who were exposed to an ad (their actions are then compared to the control group – the group that did not see the ad – and the difference between the two groups should show the effectiveness of the ad campaign).



Frequently asked questions.

File requests: 

In the context of displaying digital content, the browser loads code that contains instructions about where to retrieve files such as text, images, videos, and any other components that contribute to the display experience. Each time the browser must retrieve content from another server, a file request is made. Too many file requests may reduce page load performance.


The process of removing robotic activity and error codes from measurement records to make the remaining records representative of valid human internet actions.

Filtration guidelines: 

IAB voluntary guidelines for removing non-human activity in the reported measurement of ad impressions, page impressions, unique visitors, and clicks. See the IAB’s ad campaign measurement guidelines.


A security barrier controlling communication between a personal or corporate computer network and the internet. A firewall is based on rules which allow and disallow traffic to pass, based on the level of security and filtering a network administrator wishes to employ.

First-Party Data:

First-party data is data that is highly relevant, trustworthy and valuable because you collect it yourself. It can be comprised of website analytics, social media analytics, business analytics tools, CRM system information, and metrics from any other marketing initiative.

First look: 

A situation in which the media seller gives certain buyers first priority in access to ad inventory. For example, a publisher is selling its remnant inventory through two ad networks and a DSP. In this situation, the publisher gives the first ad network a chance to buy the inventory first. If the first network does not want it, the publisher will pass it to the second network, and so on.


A term borrowed from television advertising that means the timing around when a commercial will air, this can be used to talk about laying out the parameters of a digital ad campaign.

Floating ads: 

An ad or ads that appear within the main browser window on top of the web page’s normal content, thereby appearing to float over the top of the page.

Foot Traffic Attribution (FTA):

Foot traffic attribution is an attribution tool that analyzes your target audience and ties them to your in-store visits to provide accurate, measurable results of your advertising efforts.


Acronym for frames per second, the metric used to indicate the frame rate of animated or video creative content.

Frame rate: 

The rate at which video frames or animated images display as the video or animated file executes, measured as the number of frames per second (fps) during a given time. The higher the frame rate, the more high-quality the image will be.


Multiple, independent sections used to create a single web page. Each frame is built as a separate HTML file but with one master file to control the placement of each section. When a user requests a page with frames, several files will be displayed as panes. Sites using frames report one-page request with several panes as multiple page requests. IAB ad campaign measurement guidelines call for the counting of one file per frame set as a page impression.


Ad fraud is the practice of serving advertisements that have no potential to ever be seen by a human user. Advertisers waste money when they pay for impressions that are actually being served to bots or other illegitimate users. People-based marketing eliminates ad fraud by deterministically linking email addresses and device ID’s to ensure that all ads are served to real, verified users.


The number of times an ad is delivered to the same browser in a single session or time period. A site can use cookies in order to manage ad frequency.

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.


Internet protocol that facilitates downloading or uploading digital files.

Full episode player (FEP): 

A placement on a web page that has the ability to play videos that are tv-length (typically 30-60 minutes, sometimes more), and often includes multiple ad breaks throughout the streaming video content

Full screen views:

Refers to the number of impressions where the video was played in full screen mode (where available)



The EU General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

Geographic information: 

A data point used in ad targeting, the location of the user may have been declared by the user (either actively through a form, or passively through GPS), or may have been extrapolated from their IP address or other sources.

Geographic targeting: 

A method that enables advertisers to display (or prevent the display of) an ad specifically to visitors based on zip code, area code, city, DMA, state, and/or country derived from user-declared registration information or inference-based mechanism. Relevant to both pc and mobile data devices.

Geographic Segmentation:

Geographic segmentation is the practice of segmenting consumers based on where they are located. Segments can vary from country or region, to town or street.


A standard web graphic format that uses compression to store and display images.

Gross exposures: 

The total number of times an ad is served, including duplicate downloads to the same person.

Gross rating point (GRP): 

A term used to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media vehicle or schedule. It is used to measure the exposure to one or more programs or commercials, without regard to multiple exposures of the same advertising to individuals. For example, an advertisement that is aired/served 5 times, reaching 50% of the target audience each time it is aired, would have a GRP of 250 (5 × 50%). GRPs are typically used by media buyers to compare the strength of media vehicles.


Hard Bounce:

When an email cannot be delivered to a subscriber’s inbox for any type of permanent reason, it is classified as a hard bounce. Some permanent reasons can include: sending to an invalid email address, sending to an invalid domain, or subscriber’s server blocks delivery. Addresses with hard bounces should be immediately removed from email lists.

History list: 

A menu in a web browser which displays recently visited sites. The same mechanism makes it possible for servers to track where a browser was before visiting a particular site.


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.


An acronym for http live streaming is an http-based media streaming communications protocol implemented by Apple Inc. It works by breaking the overall stream into a sequence of small http-based file downloads, each download loading one short chunk of an overall potentially unbounded transport stream. As the stream is played, the client may select from a number of different alternate streams containing the same material encoded at a variety of data rates, allowing the streaming session to adapt to the available data rate. At the start of the streaming session, it downloads an extended m3u playlist containing the metadata for the various sub-streams [that] are available.

Home page: 

The page designated as the main point of entry of a website (or main page) or the starting point when a browser first connects to the internet. Typically, it welcomes visitors and introduces the purpose of the site, or the organization sponsoring it, and then provides links to other pages within the site.


Any computer on a network that offers services or connectivity to other computers on the network. A host has an IP address associated with it.

Host-initiated subload: 

The additional file limit allowed is auto-initiated after the load event is fired by the window object of the publisher page (initial web page content has been loaded) on the host computer or device. In absence of access to the publisher page window object, the window object of the ad iframe can be used.

House ads: 

Ads for a product or service from the same company. Revenues from house ads should not be included in reported revenues.


An acronym for hypertext markup language, version 5. HTML5 extends earlier versions to include tags for processing video, audio, canvas, other embedded audio and video items without requiring proprietary plug-ins and APIs. HTML5 has been used as an alternative to developing and executing interactions similar to those using Adobe flash but with very different technology.


The format most commonly used to transfer documents on the web.

Hybrid pricing: 

Pricing model which is based on a combination of a CPM pricing model and a performance-based pricing model. See CPM pricing model and performance-based pricing model.


A clickable link, e.g., on a web page or within an email, that sends the user to a new URL when activated.


Any text that contains links connecting it with other text or files on the internet.


Hyper-local is the term used to describe a very specific area and/or demographic. Targeting a hyper-local area is another way to narrow down your target market.


Interest-based advertising (IBA): 

This is also sometimes called online behavioral advertising — uses information gathered about a site user’s visits over time and across different websites or applications in order to help predict preferences and show ads that are more likely to be of interest to you. For example, a sporting goods manufacturer might work with an advertising network that collects and uses interest-based advertising information to deliver ads to the browsers of users that have recently visited sports-related sites, or an airline might direct ads to users that recently visited mobile travel apps.


Measurement of responses from a web server to a page request from the user browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes and is recorded at a point as close as possible to the opportunity to see the page by the user, also called a view. A single display of online content to a user’s web-enabled device. Many websites sell advertising space by the number of impressions displayed to users. An online advertisement impression is a single appearance of an advertisement on a web page. Each time an advertisement loads onto a user’s screen, the ad server may count that loading as one impression. However, the ad server may be programmed to exclude from the count certain non-qualifying activity such as a reload, internal user actions, and other events that the advertiser and ad serving company agreed to not count.

In-article video: 

A video ad that loads and plays dynamically between paragraphs of editorial content, existing as a standalone branded message.

In-banner video: 

A video delivered as part of (inside of) the display ad creative for a given placement rather than initiating the use of a video player.

In-banner video ads: 

Leverage the banner space to deliver a video experience as opposed to another static or rich media format. The format relies on the existence of display ad inventory on the page for its delivery

In-feed video: 

A native video ad found in content, social, or product feeds, often paired with a headline, description, and logo.

In-page video ads: 

Delivered most often as a stand-alone video ad and do not generally have other content associated with them. This format is typically home page or channel-based and depends on real estate within the page dedicated for the video player.

In-stream video ad: 

Played before, during, or after the streaming video content that the consumer has requested (pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll.) These ads cannot typically be stopped from being played (particularly with pre-roll.) This format is frequently used to monetize the video content that the publisher is delivering. In-stream video ads can be played inside short or long-form video and rely on video content for their delivery. There are four different types of video content where in-stream may play: UGC (user-generated content/video), syndicated, sourced, and journalistic. In-stream video ads are displayed within the context of streaming video content.

In-text video ads: 

Delivered from highlighted words and phrases within the text of web content. The ads are user activated and delivered only when a user chooses to move their mouse over a relevant word or phrase.

In-unit click: 

A measurement of a user-initiated action of responding to an ad element which generally causes an intra-site redirect or content change. In-unit clicks are usually tracked via a 302 redirect. Also known as click-downs, click-ups and click-withins. See ad clicks; 302 redirect.

Initial dimension: 

The original width and height (in pixels) of an expanding ad. Expanding ads are designed to expand to dimensions larger than the initial dimensions.

Initial file load: 

Includes all assets and files necessary (.HTML, .js, .css, .woff, images, etc.) For completing the first visual display of the ad. The initial file load size of an ad is limited in order to preserve the page load performance and thus the user’s web browsing experience. For non-rich media ads, the initial file load size limit is all that’s allowed for the ad.


Actual placement of an ad in a document, as recorded by the ad server.

Insertion order (IO): 

A formal, printed order to run an ad campaign between a seller of interactive advertising and a buyer (usually an advertiser or its agency). Typically, the insertion order identifies the campaign name, website receiving the order, planner or buyer giving the order, individual ads to be run (or who will provide them), ad sizes, campaign beginning and end dates, CPM, total cost, discounts to be applied, reporting requirements, and possible penalties or stipulations relative to failure to deliver the impressions.


When a video ad streams (plays) alongside (before/mid/after) video content.

Interaction rate: 

The proportion of users who interact with an ad or application. Some will be involuntary depending on where the ad or application is placed on screen, so it is highly dependent on placement.


Specific to digital audio, any of a wide variety of metrics that indicate how many users took an action in response to an ad message, and or the depth of that interaction.

Interactive advertising: 

All forms of online, wireless and interactive television advertising, including banners, sponsorships, e-mail, keyword searches, referrals, slotting fees, classified ads and interactive television commercials.

Interactive video: 

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, chapter menus, and hot-spots that may affect story progression of the video content and/or drill down on specific parts of the content itself. The goal of the creative is to give the user various options to engage with the message beyond viewing the video.

Internal page impressions: 

Web site activity that is generated by individuals with IP addresses known to be affiliated with the web site owner. Internal activity that is associated with administration and maintenance of the site should be excluded from the traffic or measurement report.

Interstitial video:

Video ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as transition ads, intromercial ads, and splash pages.


Between-the-page ad units displayed as a user navigates from one web page to the next web page. The ad appears after the user leaves the initial page, but before the target page displays on the user’s screen. Typically, the ad is self-contained within its own browser window, but may also appear briefly as an overlay on the target page rather than in its own browser window. Also known as transition ads, intermercial ads and splash pages, also known as ‘between-the-page’


The total number of ad views or impressions that a website has to sell over a given period of time (usually figured by the month).

IP address: 

An IP address is the numerical address assigned to each computer on the internet so that its location and activities can be distinguished from those of other computers.

IP address generally refers to the ipv4 addresses, a 32-bit value represented as 4 blocks of 8-bit values separated by periods (dot-decimal notation). This will look like ##. ##. ##. ## with each number ranging from 0 through 255.

IP-based geo-targeting: 

IP-based geo-targeted advertising is delivered to a user’s geographic location as determined by his or her internet protocol (IP) address.



A programming language designed for building applications on the internet. It allows for advanced features, increased animation detail, and real-time updates. Small applications called Java applets can be downloaded from a server and executed by Java-compatible browsers like Microsoft internet explorer and Netscape navigator.

JavaScript libraries: 

A collection of pre-written code used to simplify the development of web-based applications.


Standard web graphic file format that uses a compression technique to reduce graphic file sizes.


Key performance indicators (KPIs): 

A business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization. KPIs differ based on the business and marketing focus. For example, KPIs could be net revenue or a customer loyalty metric. Also known as key success indicators (KSI).


Specific word(s) entered into a search engine by the user that result(s) in a list of websites related to the key word. Keywords can be purchased by advertisers in order to embed ads linking to the advertiser’s site within search results (see search engine marketing.)

Keyword targeting: 

Targeting content that contains specific keywords.

Kick-off campaign: 

The first meeting with the project team and the client of the project to discuss a plan or strategy before launching a campaign.


Labeling requirements: 

The minimal requirements for distinguishing an online advertisement from regular webpage content.

Lead generation: 

Fees advertisers pay to internet advertising companies that refer qualified purchase inquiries (e.g., auto dealers which pay a fee in exchange for receiving a qualified purchase inquiry online) or provide consumer information (demographic, contact, and behavioral) where the consumer opts into being contacted by a marketer (email, postal, telephone, fax). These processes are priced on a performance basis (e.g., cost-per-action, -lead or -inquiry), and can include user applications (e.g., for a credit card), surveys, contests (e.g., sweepstakes) or registrations.

Lead time: 

The gap between the initiation and the actual execution of a given process. For example, the lead-time between the placement of an insertion order and the actual placement of the ad itself includes the time it takes the creative team to prepare the ad. Lead-time needs to be built into the timeline.

Linear video ads: 

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.


A clickable connection between two websites. Formally referred to as a hyperlink.


A program that automatically sends emails to a list of subscribers or listserv.

Live Seeds:

The most current and up-to-date list of email addresses that we use for the live deployment of email campaigns.

Location-based service: 

A location-based service (LBS) is a mobile data service related to an end user’s immediate location. Examples include store or service locators and friend finders.

Log file: 

A file that records transactions that have occurred on the webserver. Some of the types of data that are collected are date/time stamp, URL served, IP address of the requester, status code of request, user agent string, previous URL of the requestor, etc. Use of the extended log file format is preferable.


The identification or name used to access a computer, network, or site.

Long-form video: 

Video content that has a content arc with a beginning, middle, and end and that, in its entirety, lasts longer than 10 minutes (i.e., movies and original series.) If the content is ad-supported, it typically contains breaks (mid-roll.) This is different than commercial videos, which typically put the product upfront and run under one minute.



Mobile commerce, the ability to conduct monetary transactions via a mobile device, such as a WAP-enabled cell phone.


An automatically distributed e-mail message on a particular topic going to certain individuals.


Additional ad impressions are negotiated in order to make up for the shortfall of ads delivered versus the commitments outlined in the approved insertion order.

Marketing mix modeling (MMM): 

Also sometimes called mixed media modeling, a statistical analysis applied to a mixed media plan to forecast the impact of the plan (see also: mixed media)

Master service agreement (MSA): 

A contracted document that outlines the agreed-upon terms between a buyer and seller which is used as a baseline to govern future transactions


A process implemented to determine who did or did not respond from each specific channel. This multi-channel attribution is performed after a campaign has been employed to give us a clear understanding of which channel was the strongest contributor to the sale.

Media days: 

Special presentations hosted typically by agencies or publishers as part of the RFP process or a forum for the education of junior, senior, and executive stakeholders.

Media kit: 

Contains promotional material and associated information about a firm, product, conference seminar, program, etc. Package containing rate card, circulation data, audience statistics, rates, ad sizes and formats, targeting options, audience profiles, case studies, and contact information.

Media landscape: 

Refers to consumer media consumption across print, radio (national, regional, local,) television (national and regional,) digital (websites, news, portal), and social.

Media mix: 

Combination of advertising media channels employed in meeting the promotional objectives of a marketing plan or campaign. This can include radio, tv, print, and online advertising.

Media timelines: 

A linear representation outlining a list of sequential events and codependent deliverables over time leading to a campaign launch.


Data that provides information about other data. This includes descriptions of the characteristics of information, such as quality, origin, context, content, and structure.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA):

A Metropolitan Statistical Area is a geographical region with a high population density, usually of 50,000 people or more, at its core. MSAs include the county in which its core is located and the surrounding counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration with the urban core. The Office of Management and Budget declares MSAs and uses them particularly for collecting, tabulating, and publishing federal statistics.


Multi-page ads accessed via click-through from the initial ad. The user stays on the publisher’s website but has access to more information from the advertiser than a display ad allows.


Publishing very brief, spontaneous posts to a public website, usually via a mobile device or wirelessly connected laptop


A linear video spot appears in the middle of the video content. See preroll and post-roll.

Mobile Marketing Association:

Industry trade organization dedicated to facilitating the growth of advertising on mobile phones.

Mobile/location-based targeting: 

Refers to a way to target advertisements on mobile devices such as smartphones or feature phones, GPS receivers, tablets (such as iPad), and soon on many mobile laptops. On phones and tablets, such advertisements can appear in a mobile web browser or within an app. Geographic targeting information can come in the form of either a confirmed location or a derived location.


The act of a user moving the cursor and resting it on the hot spot of an ad for at least one second. Mouse-over may trigger an event such as expanding the ad or initiating an animated sequence within the ad. This is of primary interest if the area is a hot spot, as this can initiate additional action after a specified timeout. Mouse-over may not initiate audio play. Sometimes referred to as rollover, hover.


CODEC most commonly used for digital music online. Generic term for any digital music file regardless of CODEC used to create or play it.


A digital multimedia format used to store video and audio but may also include features such as subtitles, chapter details, and other data related to the video or audio file. The filename extension for MPEG-4 files is .mp4.


A set of standards for audio and video compression and transmission established by the moving picture experts’ group.


Multi-Channel refers to the use of multiple devices and channels in the media mix. These various platforms include print, television, mobile, and more.

Multi-site company: 

A single entity that owns and operates multiple websites, each under a separate domain.


NAI (Network Advertising Initiative): 

A cooperative group of network advertisers has developed a set of privacy principles in conjunction with the federal trade commission. The NAI provides consumers with explanations of internet advertising practices and how they affect both consumers and the internet. See networkadvertising.org for more information.

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.

Native video ad: 

A promoted video within one of the six IAB native core ads (i.e., in-feed unit, paid search unit, recommendation widget, promoted listing, in-ad with native elements, or custom/can’t be contained). The video includes a headline, description, and context for the ad.

Non-linear video ads: 

Run parallel to the video content so the user still has the option of viewing the content. Common non-linear ad products include overlays which are shown directly over the content video itself and product placements which are ads placed within the video content itself. Non-linear video ads can be delivered as text, graphical banners or buttons, or as video overlays.

Non-registered user: 

Someone who visits a website and elects not to, or is not required to, provide certain information, and hence may be denied access to part(s) of the site.

Non-session data: 

Also called out-of-session data, information that cannot be gleaned from the current, single event of a visitor.

Non-working media costs: 

All of those things that may or may not be directly billable; ad server fees, hourly billing on creative, access fees, licensing fees, administrative fees, per placement QA fees, asset storage fees, it and traffic, digital re-mastering fees, etc. All are internal costs usually not directly presented to the client.

Non-qualifying page impressions: 

Page impressions that should be excluded from traffic or measurement reports, such as unsuccessful transfers of requested documents, successful transfers of requested documents to a robot or spider, and/or pages in a frame set. 


Off-site measurement: 

When a site forwards its log files to an off-site web research service for analysis.


Omni-Channel refers to the marketing approach that integrates the user experience across platforms from beginning to end. The platforms that are used include mobile devices, email, brick and mortar, telephone, and more.


The ability to request video, audio, or information to be sent to the screen immediately by clicking something on the screen referring to that choice.

On-demand video: 

Video media that is available to a user at the convenience of that user. YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix on-demand are examples of services that offer on-demand video.

On-site measurement: 

When a server has an appropriate software program to measure and analyze traffic received on its own site.

On-target percentage (OTP): 

Percentage of the total campaign delivery that is within the advertiser’s campaign-defined goals.

Online behavioral advertising (OBA): 

A method for targeting digital advertising impressions to appear to a select audience of consumers based on their prior actions, those actions occurring either online or offline; also called behavioral targeting (BT)

Online Privacy Alliance (OPA): 

A group of corporations and associations have come together to introduce and promote business-wide actions that create an environment of trust and foster the protection of individuals’ privacy online. See privacyalliance.org for more information.

Online publisher: 

A creator and/or aggregator of online content, which often monetizes user visits by displaying advertisements.


An open is registered when a person opens the email campaign. Multiple opens can be registered if the person goes back into their email and opens again 24+ hours later. As a result, the open rate measures the total number of opens.

Open auction: 

A programmatic marketplace where real-time bidding (RTB) occurs, and any advertiser or publisher can participate (see also: private marketplace)


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. See permission marketing.

Opt-in email: 

Lists of internet users who have voluntarily signed up to receive commercial e-mail about topics of interest.


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 device (OTT): 

A device that can connect to tv to facilitate the delivery of internet-based video content (i.e., streaming boxes, media streaming devices, gaming consoles).


An overlay is a media element or ad unit that ‘floats’ above other content briefly when initiated. This could be text floating over the video, or an expanding banner ad expanding over page content.

Overlay ad: 

A banner ad that appears in the bottom 20% of the video window. Click action initiates a linear video spot or takes the user to a website. Sold on a CPM and CPC basis.

Owned media: 

Any corporate content/asset that belongs to your brand that you create and have control over. Assets are not just images, artifacts, content, video, etc., but also people, resources, experience, and availability of subject matter experts.


Page display: 

When a page is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.

Page impression: 

A measurement of responses from a web server to a page request from the user’s browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to the opportunity to see the page by the user. See the IAB’s ad campaign measurement guidelines.

Page request: 

The opportunity for an HTML document to appear on a browser window is a direct result of a user’s interaction with a website.

Page view: 

When the page is actually seen by the user. Some platforms, like Facebook cache preview images for applications, can mean that page views are not counted until a user clicks through to an application canvas page.

Paid media: 

Any media that is paid for to drive traffic to owned media properties; you pay to boost your exposure through the channel.

Pay per click (PPC): 

An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies and/or media companies based on how many users clicked on an online ad or e-mail message through to their website. The amount paid per click-through is arranged at the time of the insertion order and varies considerably. Higher pay-per-click rates recognize that there may be some no-click branding value as well as click-through value provided. See CPC.


An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay based on how many users were served their ads. See CPM.


An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay for each sale lead generated. For example, an advertiser might pay for every visitor that clicked on an ad or site and successfully completed a form. See CPL


An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies and/or media companies based on how many sales transactions were generated as a direct result of the ad. See cps.

People-Based Marketing:

People-based marketing connects people’s digital selves (their mobile IDs, desktop cookies, Connected TV data, etc.) with their real-world selves (PII data that’s ethically sourced). All of which is to say: you know them as people and value them as such.

People-Based Reporting:

People-based reporting is a set of metrics that ties back to actual people (not bots or faceless cookies).

People-based metrics are:

  • Your total audience
  • How many people were exposed to your message and viewed it – this is traditionally called reach
  • How many people engaged with your message: did they take initial action after seeing it? – this is traditionally called engagement
  • How many people converted based on your campaign’s main goal

Performance metrics: 

The measurement of digital ad campaigns with action-based goals such as click-throughs, leads, downloads, sales, etc.

Performance pricing model: 

An advertising model in which advertisers pay based on a set of agreed-upon performance criteria, such as a percentage of online revenues or delivery of new sales leads. See CPA, CPC, CPL, CPO, CPS, CPT.

Permission marketing: 

A term popularized by Seth Godin, whereby marketers obtain permission before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process. For example, asking permission to send email newsletters to prospective customers. It is mostly used by online marketers, notably email and search marketers, as well as certain direct marketers who send a catalog in response to a request.


Aggregating previous online activity to match non-ad related information to users.

Personalization service: 

Software or service that enables websites to match non-ad related information to users.

Personally identifiable information (PII): 

User data can be used to contact the user, either directly or through a lookup.

User data that can be used to contact the user directly include a postal address and email address. User data that can be used, through a lookup, to contact the user includes SSN and other government-issued ID numbers.

Some user data that does not fit either of these criteria is commonly considered PII because it has a reasonable probability of resulting in the ability to contact the user. The archetype for this is the user’s full name. The intersection of large datasets with consistent cross-session identifiers is being increasingly shown to offer the opportunity to derive user contact details.


A web beacon, also known as a web bug, 1 by 1 gif, invisible gif, and tracking pixel, is a tiny image referenced by a line of HTML or a block of JavaScript code embedded into a website or third-party ad server to track activity.

The image used is generally a single pixel that is delivered to the web browser with HTML instructions that keep it from affecting the website layout. The web beacon will typically include user information like cookies on the http headers, and website information on the query string.

Web beacons are used to collect data for web site and ad delivery analytics, and also specific events such as a registration or conversion:

  • Ad creative pixel – a web beacon embedded in an ad tag that calls a web server for the purpose of tracking that a user has viewed a particular ad.
  • Conversion pixel – a web beacon that transmits to a third-party server that a user has successfully completed a process such as purchase or registration.
  • Piggyback pixel – a web beacon that embeds additional web beacons not directly placed on the publisher page.
  • Secure pixel – a web beacon that is delivered over HTTPS.

Pixel (as a unit of measure): 

The smallest unit of measure for graphical elements in digital imagery, used as the standard unit of measure for ad creative (i.e. 300×250 pixels). Pixels may also represent x/y coordinates relevant to a given space, such as the browser window, an application workspace, or the user’s computer screen. (see also tracking pixel)

Pixel density: 

The number of pixels displayed on the screen within an inch (pixels per inch or PPI) or within a centimeter (pixels per centimeter or PPCM). Screen pixel density varies by device with older monitors displaying 67 – 130 PPI. Mobile devices often exceed that at 300+ PPI. The pixel density of 163 PPI is referred to as pixel density of 1 in this document.


The type of computer or operating system on which a software application runs, e.g., Windows, Macintosh, or Unix.


A video, animation, or audio control that enables a user to initiate (or avoid initiating) the video, animation, or audio of an ad.


A program application that can easily be installed and used as part of a web browser. Once installed, plug-in applications are recognized by the browser, and their function integrated into the main HTML file being presented.

Point of awareness (POA): 

Allocating media placements that enhance audience awareness and interest in an advertisers’ brand, product, or service.

Point of purchase (POP): 

The moment when a consumer is about to buy something; oftentimes advertisers will place an ad or a special offer to increase the pending purchase

Point of sale (POS): 

Allocating media placements that enhance audience desire to purchase that product or service.

Polite file load: 

Withholding a portion of the total ad creative file size (besides any initial file load size) from loading on a page until publisher content has loaded. With the release of the display creative guidelines in 2015, polite file load has been replaced by host-initiated sub load. See host-initiated sub load for definition.

Pop-under ad: 

An ad that appears in a separate window beneath an open window. Pop-under ads are concealed until the top window is closed, moved, resized, or minimized.

Pop-up ad: 

Any advertising experience where visiting a website in an initial browser window initiates a secondary browser window to deliver an ad impression directly above the initial browser window.

Pop-up transitional: 

Initiates play in a separate ad window during the transition between content pages. Continues while content is simultaneously being rendered. Depending primarily on line speed, play of a transitional ad may finish before or after content rendering is completed.

Portable document format (PDF): 

A digital file format originally developed by Adobe used to represent documents independently of software, operating system, and hardware. The PDF files are designed to contain all information needed to consistently present text, fonts, graphics, and other elements to the user.


A website that often serves as a starting point for a web user’s session. It typically provides services such as search, directory of web sites, news, weather, e-mail, homepage space, stock quotes, sports news, entertainment, telephone directory information, area maps, and chat or message boards.


An IAB rising star ad unit template that uses up to three interactive modules chosen (by the ad designer) from a variety of modular application options in a 350×1050-pixel space.


A linear video spot appears after the video content completes. See preroll and midroll.


Storing advertising or content in a computer’s RAM or hard disk memory before it is displayed on the user’s screen, rather than at the time that it plays, to reduce delays in rendering. See cache and caching.


Tasks that have to be completed before another task can start.


Pre-negotiated rates for media agencies typically based on an annual commitment with specific publishers or networks.


A pre-roll video ad is an in-stream video ad that occurs before the video content the user has requested. See also post-roll and midroll.

Price floors: 

The minimum bid required for an ad impression in an auction-based media market

Privacy policy: 

A statement about what information is being collected; how the information being collected is being used; how an individual can access his/her own data collected; how the individual can opt-out; and what security measures are being taken by the parties collecting the data.

Privacy seal program: 

A program that certifies the website owner complies with the site’s proposed policy. Examples include Trustee and BBB Online.

Private marketplace (PMP): 

A programmatic marketplace where real-time bidding (RTB occurs, yet only select advertisers are allowed to bid on a vendor’s inventory (see also: open marketplace)

Probabilistic Device ID Tracking:

Probabilistic tracking is a type of cross-device ID tracking that involves algorithms. The probabilistic method tracks billions of anonymous data points from multiple different elements tied to digital use and then applies algorithms to identify one probable user engaging across more than one device.

Process audit: 

Third-party validation of internal control processes associated with measurement. See audit.


A profile is the collection of attributes describing segments, clusters, or aggregated data, including the prior online activity of a user.

Profile aggregator: 

A profile aggregator collects data from various third-party sources to generate behavioral profiles.

Profile database: 

Profile database a server-side store of behavioral profiles.


The practice of tracking information about consumers’ interests by monitoring their movements online. This can be done without using any personal information, but simply by analyzing the content, URLs, and other information about a user’s browsing path/click-stream.


Media or ad buying that uses technology to automate and optimize, in real-time, the ad buying process. This ultimately serves targeted and relevant experiences to consumers across channels. On the back end, algorithms filter ad impressions derived from consumer behavioral data, which allows advertisers to define budget, goal, and attribution and optimize for reduced risk while increasing ROI.

Progressive load video: 

A distribution method for serving video files in which the video file downloads progressively into the cache of a user’s computer, much the same way images, and other content elements are downloaded. HTML5 files use progressive download for video files, but streaming methods can be simulated using adaptive bits streaming technologies such as HLS and MPEG-dash.


Values, attitudes, and lifestyles that answer questions such as what motivates your customers to buy your products and services. What are their key values? What are their hobbies and habits?


An individual or organization that prepares, issues, and disseminates content for public distribution or sale via one or more media.

Publisher ad tag: 

Code that is placed on a publisher’s web page that calls an ad server for the purposes of displaying an advertisement.

Publisher pixel: 

An object embedded in a web page (typically a 1×1 image pixel) that calls a web server for purposes of tracking some kind of user activity.

Push advertising: 

Proactive, partial screen, a dynamic advertisement which comes in various formats.

Push down banners: 

Push-down banners are banners that push website content down while expanding the banner to show more advertising space. They are usually triggered by either rolling over the banner, clicking the banner, or sometimes autoload once the website loads. Users then click a custom-designed close button to minimize the banner.

Push down: 

An IAB rising star ad unit template designed for rich interaction in a space similar to, but larger than, an expanding leaderboard. This unit has initial dimensions of 970×90 pixels and expanded dimensions of 970×415 pixels. When the ad is expanded, it pushes the page content down rather than displaying over the top of the page content as most expandable ads do.


Quality assurance (QA): 

The systematic testing, monitoring, and evaluation of the various aspects of a campaign to ensure viability and timeliness of deliverables against schedules of planned activities.

Quartile reporting: 

Refers to whether the video played to its 25% and 75% points.


A request for information, usually to a search engine.


Rate card: 

Standardized cost for media space defined by ad sizes, platform, and creative formats, excluding custom programs or the list of advertising prices and products and packages offered by a media company.


(1) unique users that visited the site over the course of the reporting period expressed as a percent of the universe for the demographic category; also called unduplicated audience or (2) the total number of unique users who will be served a given ad.

Real-time bidding (RTB): 

Way of transacting media that allows an individual ad impression to be put up for bid in real-time. This is done through a programmatic on-the-spot auction, which is similar to how financial markets operate. RTB allows for addressable advertising; the ability to serve ads to consumers directly based on their demographic, psychographic, or behavioral attributes.


Events that happen live at a particular moment. When one chats in a chat room or sends an instant message, one is interacting in real-time.


When used in reference to online advertising, one server assigning an ad-serving function to another server, often operated by a third company operating on behalf of an agency.

For instance, a web publisher’s ad management server might issue a redirect to the browser or client which points to an agency ad server (AAS) hired by an advertiser to distribute its ads to a target audience across a broad list of sites. There is no limit to the number of redirects that can come into play before the delivery of an actual ad. The agency ad server in turn may redirect the browser to a rich media vendor (RMV) or digital video ad server.

Redirects produce latency. This is especially true when they are client-side redirects which is the case in most online advertising today. Server-side redirects limit latency but also limit the ability to persist the user’s identity when those redirects cross domains. See ad serving and latency.

Referral fees: 

Fees paid by advertisers for delivering a qualified sales lead or purchase inquiry.

Referral link: 

The referring page or referral link is a place from which the user clicked to get to the current page. In other words, since a hyperlink connects one URL to another, in clicking on a link the browser moves from the referring URL to the destination URL. Also known as the source of a visit.

Referring URL: 

The address of the webpage that a user previously visited prior to following a link.


The user activity of subscribing to a website or requesting additional information by filling in personally identifying contact details.

Regulatory guidelines: 

The laws and rules defining the ways in which products can be advertised in a particular region. Can vary by industry (e.g., financial services, pharmaceutical). Rules can define a wide variety of different aspects, such as placement, SOV % for sponsorships, and privacy.

Repeat visitor: 

A unique visitor who has accessed a website more than once over a specific time period.


Refers to the number of times a user requested to see the video ad again (where available).

Request for information (RFI): 

When a media buyer provides documentation to a media vendor asking for details about their product, such as capabilities, available inventory, pricing, etc.

Request for proposal (RFP): 

An evaluative and solicitation document often made through a bidding process by a media buyer to elicit bids from potential media sellers against specific media buying criteria; for example, can include formats, targeting, pricing, campaign studies, special serving fees, etc.


The quality of an image or video file often determined by the number of pixels displayed on the screen and usually noted as a pixel width and height dimension. However, resolution can be measured in a number of ways and considers pixel aspect ratio, pixel density, and other factors that determine the viewing quality of the file.

Responsive design: 

A web design method that enables content (including advertising) to resize, reformat, reorganize and/or reposition itself in real-time so that it looks good and functions appropriately no matter what screen it’s been viewed on


The use of a pixel tag or other code to enable a third party to recognize particular users outside of the domain from which the activity was collected. See creative retargeting, site retargeting.

Return on ad spend (ROAS): 

A metric used by advertisers to measure how much revenue they earned that can be attributed to the expense of an ad campaign

Revenue management: 

Yield and revenue management are the processes 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.

Rich media: 

Advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format that are more elaborate than the usual banner ad. These advertisements can be used either singularly or in combination with various technologies, including but not limited to sound, video, or flash, and with programming languages such as java, JavaScript, and DHTML. 

Rising Stars display ad units:

IAB invited companies and individuals to submit ad templates designed to drive brand equity. Six templates were chosen to be validated by the market. Universal brand package display ad units are designed to be the only ad on a page. Their file load limits are larger than for other ads, so not only would a universal brand package ad unit overshadow any other ads on the page but they would also compromise the performance of the page should other rich media ads be allowed to load simultaneously. Please refer to the IAB New Ad Portfolio. The Rising Stars are in transition. They are under evaluation and will be delisted soon. Publishers should transition to the aspect ratio ad units with flexible ad sizing listed in the New Ad Portfolio.

RODI (return on digital investment): 

The bottom line on how successful a digital ad or campaign was in terms of what the returns (generally sales revenue) were for the money expended (invested).

ROI (return on investment): 

Net profit divided by investment.


The willful pause of the user’s cursor on the target portion of the creative (the hot spot), such pause lasting at least one second in duration, before an action may be initiated by the ad (i.e. Trigger an expand event, etc.). This one-second pause/delay requirement prevents unwanted, user-initiated actions and false reporting of user engagement. Rollover may not initiate audio.


RSS or really simple syndication is a process for publishing content on the internet that facilitates moving that content into other environments. For example, top news stories on a newspaper website can be published as an RSS feed and pulled into and delivered via a web portal site. RSS readers are software programs or websites that enable users to subscribe to one or more RSS feeds, delivering content and information from multiple sources into a single user interface and environment.

RSS readers: 

RSS readers are software programs or websites that enable users to subscribe to one or more RSS feeds, delivering content and information from multiple sources into a single user interface and environment aggregates syndicated content (e.g., news headlines, blogs, and podcasts) into a single location for easy viewing.


The RTB acronym indicates a real-time system for either bidding on or buying ad inventory. The initial RTB ecosystems evolved from the efforts of DSPs to create a more efficient exchange of inventory. Due to these roots, RTB ecosystems put significant emphasis on user information (demographic and behavioral data, for example), while discounting the situation information (the publisher and context).

Run of the network (RON): 

A run of network ad is one that is placed to run on all sites within a given network of sites at the ad network’s own discretion, according to available inventory. Ad sales firms handle run of network insertion orders in such a way as to optimize results for the buyer consistent with higher priority ad commitments. The advertiser usually forgoes premium positioning in exchange for more advertising weight at a lower CPM.

Run of site (ROS): 

A run-of-site ad is one that is placed to rotate on all non-featured ad spaces across an entire site. CPM rates for run of site ads are usually less than rates for the purchase of specific site sub-sections or sponsorships.


Scope of work (SOW): 

A document that routinely defines project-specific media activities and deliverables. A statement of work typically addresses these subjects: x period of performance x applicable budget & standards x acceptance criteria x special requirements (regulatory as applicable) x miscellaneous


Files that initiate routines like generating web pages dynamically in response to user input.

SDSL (symmetrical digital subscriber line): 

A digital subscriber line (DSL) connection is a high-speed dedicated digital circuit from a given location to the telephone company’s central office, using normal copper telephone lines. DSL is the main form of consumer broadband worldwide. DSL is a general term that includes several variations:

  • ADSL: asymmetric digital subscriber line, ranging up to 1.5 MBPS
  • HDSL: high-bit-rate digital subscriber line, 1.5 MBPS
  • SDSL: single-line digital subscriber line, 1.5 MBPS
  • VDSL: very high-data-rate digital subscriber line, ranging up to 2.3 MBPS
  • RDSL: rate-adaptive digital subscriber line, various speeds


Fees advertisers pay internet companies to list and/or link their company site or domain name to a specific search word or phrase (includes paid search revenues). Search categories include:

  • Paid listings: text links appear at the top or side of search results for specific keywords. The more a marketer pays, the higher the position it gets. Marketers only pay when a user clicks on the text link.
  • Contextual search: text links appear in an article based on the context of the content, instead of a user-submitted keyword. Payment only occurs when the link is clicked.
  • Paid inclusion: guarantees that a marketer’s URL is indexed by a search engine. The listing is determined by the engine’s search algorithms.

Site optimization: 

Modifies a site to make it easier for search engines to automatically index the site and hopefully result in better placement in results.

Search click: 

A click originating from a list of links returned by a query to a search engine.

Search engine: 

A website that provides a searchable index of online content, whereby users enter keywords describing what they are seeking and the website returns links related to this search query.

Search retargeting:

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based on one or more searches or search click events.

Search targeting: 

Local search targeting helps advertisers target users when they look for places, businesses, housing, entertainment, etc. In specific geographies using a search engine (such as Google or Bing). This allows advertisers to present highly relevant localized offers and advertisements to users.


Also called data segment or audience, a set of users who share one or more similar attributes.


A select is a criterion applied to a mailing list to produce a subset of the entire list. Selects can be made based upon almost any parameter within a list. Common selects include state, zip code, age, gender, and household income. Selects help you reach targeted audiences with email campaigns.

Self-serve media: 

Self-serve advertising is often associated with text advertising, paid search campaigns, as well as Facebook and twitter. These terms are not synonymous, but they do share a common goal of efficiency: x by eliminating the expense of an advertising salesperson, the self-serve model allows publishers to offer smaller minimum ad buys than would otherwise not be practical or profitable. X by using text ads instead of banner ads, self-serve programs make advertising easier for the many small businesses that do not have compelling graphical ads, preventing delays in the do-it-yourself campaign signup.

Sell-side platform (SSP): 

Also called sell-side optimizer, inventory aggregator, and yield optimizer is a technology platform that provides outsourced media selling and ad network management services for publishers. A sell-side platform business model resembles that of an ad network in that it aggregates ad impression inventory. However, a sell-side platform serves publishers exclusively and does not provide services for advertisers.

The inventory managed by the SSP is usually purchased by aggregate buyers, either demand-side platforms (DSPs) or ad networks.

Sell-through rate: 

The percentage of ad inventory sold as opposed to traded or bartered.

SEM (search engine marketing): 

A form of paid internet media that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in the search engine result pages.

Semantic targeting: 

A type of contextual targeting that also incorporates semantic techniques to understand page meaning and/or sentiment.

SEO (search engine optimization): 

The process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via natural (organic or algorithmic) search results.

Server centric measurement: 

Audience measurement derived from server logs.

Server pull: 

A process whereby a user’s browser maintains an automated or customized connection or profile with a web server. The browser usually sets up a unique request that is recorded and stored electronically for future reference. Examples are requests for the automated delivery of email newsletters, the request for web content based on a specific search criterion determined by the user, or setting up a personalized web page that customizes the information delivered to the user based on predetermined self-selections.

Server push: 

A process whereby a server maintains an open connection with a browser after the initial request for a page. Through this open connection, the server continues to provide updated pages and content even though the visitor has made no further direct requests for such information.


Server-side refers to activities taking place on the server as opposed to on the client. Examples are server-side counting and server-side redirects.

Server-initiated ad impression: 

One of the two methods used for ad counting. Ad content is delivered to the user via two methods server-initiated and client-initiated. Server-initiated ad counting uses the publisher’s web content server for making requests, formatting and redirecting content. For organizations using a server-initiated ad counting method, counting should occur subsequent to the ad response at either the publisher’s ad server or the web content server, or later in the process. See client-initiated ad impression.


(1) a sequence of Internet activity made by one user at one site. If a user makes no request from a site during a 30-minute period of time, the next content or ad request would then constitute the beginning of a new visit or (2) a series of transactions performed by a user that can be tracked across successive web sites. For example, in a single session, a user may start on a publisher’s website, click on an advertisement, and then go to an advertiser’s website and make a purchase. 

Session cookies: 

These are temporary and are erased when the browser exits at the end of a web surfing session. See cookie.

Session starts (SS): 

A metric specific to digital audio: the number of streams of one minute or more that are started within a time period.

Short-form video: 

Video content that has a duration of fewer than 10 minutes.


An IAB rising star ad unit template initially displayed as one of three standard ad unit dimensions, but upon user initiation, pushes publisher content to the left to display a canvas of up to 970×550 pixels full of rich interaction.

Single-site publisher ad server: 

Single-site publisher ad servers focus on maximizing the yield to the publisher.

Single-site publisher analytics: 

Software or services that analyze information about users, including metrics such as unique visitors and site usage. The collected data is used only on behalf of the site from which the data is collected.

Site index: 

The percentage of an overall desired audience that a website reaches; calculated by % of the composition of a site divided by the % composition of the base audience, then multiplied by 100, so: (site comp ÷ audience comp) x 100 = site index; a site index of 100 is average, so for example, if a site indexes at 120, then they are 20% above the average

Site map: 

A model of a website’s content designed to help both users and search engines navigate the site. A site map can be a hierarchical list of pages (with links) organized by topic, an organization chart, or an XML document that provides instructions to search engine crawl bots.

Site retargeting: 

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to previous site visitors when they are on third-party websites.

Site-centric measurement: 

Audience measurement derived from a website’s own server logs.

Site/page/position transparency: 

The ability for the buyer of media (typically an advertisement) to understand the location and context within which the media will be displayed. Transparency can be at the level of web property (site), page content (page), or position (specific location within a page). Site transparency, in the context of a network or an exchange, refers to the ability of a buyer of inventory to know the exact identity of the website domain or page on which they have shown advertisements.


An IAB rising star ad unit template designed with an overlay slider (90 pixels high) that rests at the bottom of a publisher’s page and when prompted by user interaction, slides page content to the left for a canvas of 970×550 pixels full of rich interaction possibilities for user engagement.

Social bookmarking: 

Aggregating, rating, describing, and publishing bookmarks – links to web pages or other online content

Social marketing: 

A marketing tactic that taps into the growth of social networks, encouraging users to adopt and pass along widgets or other content modules created by a brand, or to add a brand to the user’s social circle of friends.

Social network: 

An online destination that gives users a chance to connect with one or more groups of friends, facilitating sharing of content, news, and information among them. Examples of social networks include Facebook and LinkedIn.

Soft Bounce:

When an email cannot be delivered to a subscriber’s inbox for any type of temporary reason, it is classified as a soft bounce. Some temporary reasons include: subscriber’s email inbox is full, subscriber’s email server is down, or email is too large. Temporary reasons can be resolved and email addresses can stay on the company’s email list.

Sourced video: 

Content generated by a third party (typically professional) and will denote the source. An example may be a new car review provided by general motors but hosted on cartv.com.


A term describing unsolicited commercial email.

Spam filter: 

Software built into email gateways as well as e-mail client applications designed to identify and remove unsolicited commercial messages from incoming emails before the end-user sees them.

Splash page: 

A preliminary page that precedes the user-requested page of a website that usually promotes a particular site feature or provides advertising. A splash page is timed to move on to the requested page after a short period of time or a click. Also known as an interstitial. Splash pages are not considered qualified page impressions under current industry guidelines, but they are considered qualified ad impressions.


(1) a sponsor is an advertiser who has sponsored an ad and, by doing so, has also helped sponsor or sustain the web site itself or (2) an advertiser that has a special relationship with the web site and supports a specific feature of a web site, such as a writer’s column or a collection of articles on a particular subject.

Sponsored content: 

Sponsored content is paid text, video, or images created to promote a brand or product that is presented alongside similar media that isn’t promotional. For example, a blog entry that discusses the benefits of a specific product that was paid for by a product advertiser is sponsored content.


An association with a website that gives an advertiser some particular visibility and advantage above that of run of site advertising. When associated with specific content, sponsorship can provide a more targeted audience than run of site ad buys. Sponsorship also implies a synergy and resonance between the website and the advertiser. Some sponsorship is available as value-added opportunities for advertisers who buy a certain minimum amount of advertising. Sponsorship represents custom content and/or experiences created for an advertiser which may or may not include ad unties (i.e., display advertising, brand logos, advertorial, and pre-roll video).

Sponsorships fall into several categories:

  • Spotlights are custom-built pages incorporating an advertiser’s brand and housing a collection of content usually around a theme;
  • Advergaming can range from an advertiser buying all the ad units around a game or a sponsored by link to creating a custom branded game experience;
  • Content & section sponsorship is when an advertiser exclusively sponsors a particular section of the site or email (usually existing content) reskinned with the advertiser’s branding;
  • Sweepstakes & contests can range from branded sweepstakes on the site to a full-fledge branded contest with submissions and judging.

Sponsorship graphics: 

Components that are displayed as very persistent graphics such as with a player surrounding skin. Sponsorship graphics are generally displayed throughout the entirety of the content play. Sometimes the sponsorship graphic remains interactive and will behave like an invitation unit allowing viewers to explore deeper ad units such as the embedded interactive.

Standard ad units: 

A set of ad specifications for a standard image or animated in-page ad units that establish a framework for advertising inventory and webpage design. The currently recommended ad units are the IAB New Ad Portfolio.

Static ad placement/static rotation: 

(1) ads that remain on a web page for a specified period of time or (2) embedded ads.

Statistical ID: 

A statistical ID is a probabilistic method of identifying a device based on a set of its attributes that have a reasonable likelihood of being unique in aggregate. For example, using a hash of the IP address, user-agent string, and screen resolution would provide a higher probability of uniquely identifying a device than using any of those attributes independently.


Technology that permits continuous audio and video delivery to a device from a remote website. Also, can refer to an internet data transfer technique that allows the user to see and hear audio and video files. The host or source compresses, then streams small packets of information over the internet to the user, who can access the content as it is received.

Streaming media player: 

In the interactive advertising context, a streaming media player is a software program that can retrieve audio and video files over a network and begin playback before the entire media file has been downloaded. Some examples are Real Player™, Windows Media, and Quick Time Player.

Streaming video: 

A distribution method for serving video files such that the video is played over a persistent connection between the browser and the ad server. Versions of the file at different levels of compression (quality) can be served based on the detection of the user’s internet bandwidth. HTML5 files cannot be streamed and rely on adaptive bitrates streaming technologies such as HLS and MPEG-dash.

Submission lead time: 

The number of business days (non-weekend/non-holiday days) prior to a campaign going live in which a publisher needs to validate that the advertiser submitted creative(s) for a campaign.


A superuser is an individual who is positively engaged in the online marketplace. Superusers may be network, system, or database administrators with complete access to an online operating system and all of its configurations.

Supply-Side Platform:

A supply-side platform is a technology that ad space providers use. It enables those web publishers to manage their ad space inventory and gives them the technology to sell it and receive revenue.


An interstitial format developed by unicast is fully pre-cached before playing. Specs are 550 x 480 pixels (2/3 of the screen), up to 100k file size, and up to 20 seconds in length.

Supporting files: 

In the context of HTML file loads, supporting files are files that the browser needs to reference in order to execute the display of file contents and any interactions. Examples of supporting files include JavaScript libraries, font libraries, CSS files, and others.

Syndicated research tools: 

Research products available to subscribers that aids the media planning process in gaining insight or business intelligence about specific markets, industries, and trends over specific time periods.

Syndicated video: 

Content sourced from a professional third party, examples may include syndicated television shows, news footage from AP or Reuters, etc., and distributed through a multitude of outlets observing strict ownership rights.



Software code that an advertiser provides to a publisher or ad network that calls the advertiser’s ad server for the purposes of displaying an advertisement.

Target audience: 

The intended audience for an ad, usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, sex, income, etc.) Product purchase behavior, product usage, or media usage.

Target Market:

A target market includes all of the people who marketers foresee being “in the market” to purchase their goods or service. 

Target rating point (TRP): 

A term used in traditional advertising to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media vehicle or schedule; it is the product of the percentage of the target audience reached by an advertisement, times the frequency they see it in a given campaign (frequency × % reached). For example, a television ad that is aired 5 times reaching 50% of the target audience each time it is aired would have a TRP of 250 (5 × 50%)

Target region: 

Refers to targeting a specific geographic area or groupings on a state, DMA, or hyper-local level.

Targeted advertisement: 

An advertisement that is shown only to users exhibiting specific attributes or in a specific context or at a particular time of day.

Terms & conditions: 

The details of the contract accompanying an insertion order. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines of standard terms & conditions for internet advertising for media buys.

Textual ad impressions: 

The delivery of a text-based advertisement to a browser. To compensate for slow internet connections, visitors may disable auto-load images in their graphical browser. When they reach a page that contains an advertisement, they see a marker and the advertiser’s message in text format in place of the graphical ad. Additionally, if a user has a text-only browser, only textual ads are delivered and recorded as textual ad impressions.

Third-party ad server: 

Independent outsourced companies that specialize in managing, maintaining, serving, tracking, and analyzing the results of online ad campaigns. They deliver targeted advertising that can be tailored to consumers declared or predicted characteristics or preferences.

Time-based targeting: 

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors only on certain days of the week or times of the day (also known as dayparting).


Tracer or tag is attached by the receiving server to the address (URL) of a page requested by a user. A token lasts only through a continuous series of requests by a user, regardless of the length of the interval between requests. Tokens can be used to count unique users.

Tracking assets: 

A metric specific to mobile advertising,  any piece of content associated with an ad or the page on which an ad appears that is designated to serve as the trigger by which the ad is counted. The content that serves as a tracking asset often may be, but is not limited to, a 1×1 pixel image, a 302-redirect, a JavaScript code, or the ad itself.

Tracking pixel: 

A 1×1 pixel-sized transparent image that provides information about an ad’s placement. In many cases, a tracking pixel is used to notify an ad tracking system that either an ad has been served (or not served, in some cases) or that a specific webpage has been accessed. Also known as beacon, web beacon, action tag, redirect, etc.


The flow of data over a network, or visitors to a web site

Transitional ad: 

An ad that is displayed between web pages. In other words, the user sees an advertisement as he/she navigates between page ‘a’ and page ‘b.’ also known as an interstitial.

Transitional pop up: 

An ad that pops up in a separate ad window between content pages.


A command from the host server that notifies the viewer’s set-top box that interactive content is available at this point. The viewer is notified about the available interactive content via an icon or clickable text. Once clicked by using the remote control, the trigger disappears and more content or a new interface appears on the tv screen.


Unique browser: 

An identified and unduplicated cookied browser that accesses Internet content or advertising during a measurement period. This definition requires taking account of the potentially inflationary impact of cookie deletion among certain of the cookied browsers that access internet content.

Unique Click:

A unique click is registered the first time a person clicks on a campaign. Multiple clicks are not recorded for this category. Unique clicks let you see how many unique visitors engaged with your campaign; it eliminates the possibility of repeat consumers.

Unique cookie: 

A count of unique identifiers…that represents unduplicated instances of internet activity (generally visits) to internet content or advertising during a measurement period

Unique device: 

An unduplicated computing device that is used to access internet content or advertising during a measurement period. A count of unduplicated devices necessarily accounts for multiple browser usage on an individual computer or another computing device.

Unique listeners/streamers: 

A metric specific to digital audio, the size of the audience for a given audio program, piece of content, or advertising message. Typically ‘listeners’ and ‘streamers’ are interchangeable.

Unique Open:

A unique open is registered the first time a person opens an email campaign. Multiple opens by the same user are not recorded for this category.

Unique visitors: 

Unique individual or browser which has accessed a site or application and has served unique content and/or ads such as e-mail, newsletters, interstitials or pop-under ads. Unique visitors can be identified by user registration, cookies, or third-party measurements like Comscore or Nielsen. Reported unique visitors should filter out bots. See iab.net for the audience reach measurement guidelines.

Universal ad package (UAP): 

A set of four ad units (728×90, 300×250, 160×600 and 180×150 pixels) offered by UAP-compliant publishers as a ‘package’ where ads in these four formats are used collectively across the publisher’s site, enabling advertisers to reach more of the publisher’s audience. Those UAP ad units are no longer recommended nor supported by IAB. They are now replaced by the IAB New Ad Portfolio.

Universal Brand Package (UBP): 

Display ad units, see Rising Stars

Unresolved IP addresses: 

IP addresses that do not identify their 1st or 2nd level domain. Unresolved IP addresses should be aggregated and reported as such. See also domain.

Up-front commitments: 

Annual media spending commitments made by agencies on behalf of clients based on a series of presentations hosted by media companies. The main purpose is to allow marketers to buy television commercial airtime upfront, or several months before the television season begins. This presentation was created by television networks but has expanded into integrated media buying areas including digital (e.g., digital new fronts, programmatic upfront).


To send data from a computer to a network. An example of uploading data is sending an e-mail.

URL (uniform resource locator): 

The unique identifying address of any particular page on the web. It contains all the information required to locate a resource, including its protocol (usually HTTP), server domain name (or IP address), file path (directory and name), and format (usually HTML or CGI).

URL tagging: 

The process of embedding unique identifiers into URLs contained in HTML content. These identifiers are recognized by web servers on subsequent browser requests. Identifying visitors through information in the URLs should also allow for an acceptable calculation of visits if caching is avoided.

User ad requests: 

A metric specific to mobile advertising is the result of an active or passive act on the part of the user of a mobile marketing channel. The user may explicitly call for the ad to be delivered, or a request to the ad delivery system is triggered based on other user’s actions.

User-generated content (UGC): 

Web content (either written or recorded as a photo, audio, or video) by people who are not professional content creators; so, for example, reader comments; amateur/home videos/audio/photos


The willful act of a user to engage with an ad. Users may interact by clicking on the ad and/or rolling over an ad (or a portion of an ad). When a user engages the ad using a rollover action, the user’s cursor must rest on the hotspot for at least one second before any action may be initiated in the ad.

User initiation: 

The willful act of a user to engage with an ad. 

User registration: 

Information contributed by an individual usually includes characteristics such as the person’s age, gender, zip code, and often much more. A site’s registration system is usually based on an id code or password to allow the site to determine the number of unique visitors and to track a visitor’s behavior within that site.

User-generated video: 

Content created by the public at large, generally not professionally edited, and directly uploaded to a site like YouTube.


Verification services:

Independent companies that offer advertisers the ability to ensure that their ads are appearing in the correct environment; commonly used to protect advertisers from their ads appearing in content environments that are undesirable for brands (so, avoiding salacious/adult content)

Video (aka digital video):

In online advertising, the digital recording of a physical event or animated files that have been transcribed into a digital video format.

Video ad:

A video ad is an advertisement that contains a video. There are several different types of video ads: in-banner video ads, in-page video ads, in-stream video ads, and non-linear video ads

Video ad completion rate (VCR):

The percentage of all video ads that play through their entire duration to completion. Also known as view-through rate (VTR) and video completion rate (VCR). Not to be confused with the videocassette recorder.

Video ad serving template (vast):

A framework for serving ads to a video player. The specification also describes expected player behavior for executing ads that are supplied using vast. The interaction between the ad and the player is unidirectional, meaning that once the player receives the vast tag no other interactions are possible except for the activation of select tracking beacons at appropriate times during ad playback. Provides a standardized method for communicating the status of a video ad back to the ad servers in the case where the ad is served from a dynamically selected ad server. It is specifically designed for an on-demand video player where the ad response is parsed prior to play. Vast is applicable to linear video ads (such as pre-rolls), non-linear video ads (such as overlays), and companion ads as defined in the IAB digital video ad format guidelines.

Video completion:

When a video ad runs all the way through to the end

Video installs:

Thw number of video players that have been placed by a user onto their page. Also called embed, grab or post. A video player is a type of widget.

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 player is a computer program that translates data into a video for viewing.

Video player ad interface (VPAID):

The protocol between the ad and the video player required enables ad interactivity and other advanced video advertising functionality. VPAID offers bilateral (two-way) communication between the ad and the video player and meets the needs of emerging in-stream formats such as nonlinear video ads and interactive linear video ads.


When a consumer sees a brand’s ad, does not click on it, and then later visits that brand’s website


A term used to describe whether or not a digital media ever appeared in the space within a webpage that was in view to the viewer – for example, when a viewer opens his browser and goes to a website, most often the webpage is longer than the browser window, so the viewer must scroll to continue reading down the page; if an ad never scrolls into that viewable space it is not considered viewable.


A person viewing content or ads on the web. There is currently no way to measure viewers.

Viral marketing:

(1) any advertising that propagates itself or (2) advertising and/or marketing techniques that spread like a virus by getting passed on from consumer to consumer and market to market.

Viral video:

Online video clips (typically short and humorous) passed via links from one person to another.


A single continuous set of activities attributable to a cookied browser or user (if registration-based or a panel participant) resulting in one or more pulled texts and/or graphics downloads from a site. Click here for IAB’s ad campaign measurement guidelines.

Visit duration:

The length of time the visitor is exposed to a specific ad, web page or website during a single session.


Individual or browser which accesses a website within a specific time period.

VMAP (video multiple ad playlist):

A protocol used for ad servers, ad units, and publishers to communicate with each other in order to serve multiple video ad breaks within a streaming video on desktop

VPAID (video player ad interface definition):

A protocol used for ad servers, ad units, and publishers to communicate with each other in order to serve video ads with interactive capabilities on desktop

VRML (virtual reality modeling language):

A programming language designed to be a 3d analog to HTML.


WAN (wide area network):

Connectivity between a number of computers not located at the same physical location.

WAP (wireless application protocol):

A specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular mobile telephones, PDAs and others access and browse internet-based content.


The order of priority in which advertisers have the opportunity to buy inventory. Demand sources could include direct sales, networks, or exchanges.

Web beacon:

A web beacon, also known as a web bug, 1 by 1 gif, invisible gif, and tracking pixel, is a tiny image referenced by a line of HTML or a block of JavaScript code embedded into a website or third-party ad server to track activity. The image used is generally a single pixel that is delivered to the web browser with HTML instructions that keep it from affecting the website layout. The web beacon will typically include user information like cookies on the HTTP headers, and website information on the query string. Web beacons are used to collect data for web site and ad delivery analytics, and also specific events such as a registration or conversion:

  • Ad creative pixel: a web beacon embedded in an ad tag that calls a web server for the purpose of tracking that a user has viewed a particular ad.
  • Conversion pixel: a web beacon that transmits to a third-party server that a user has successfully completed a process such as purchase or registration.
  • Piggyback pixel: a web beacon that embeds additional web beacons not directly placed on the publisher page.
  • Secure pixel: a web beacon that is delivered over HTTPS.


Real-time or pre-recorded delivery of a live event’s audio, video, or animation over the internet.


WEBM is a video file format. It is primarily intended to offer a royalty-free alternative to use in the HTML5 video tag. The development of the format is sponsored by Google, and the corresponding software is distributed under a BSD license.


A website, also written as web site, website, or simply site, is a set of related web pages containing content (media), including text, video, music, audio, images, etc. It is the virtual location (domain) for an organization’s or individual’s presence on the web. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via the internet through an address known as a uniform resource locator. All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the web.


Any of a family of wireless IAN data standards (IEEE 802.11) used fairly ubiquitously for corporate and home connectivity. Also available as hotspots in public areas such as cafes and airport terminals, either for free or for a one-time use charge or subscription fee.


A small application designed to reside on a pc desktop (mac OS x or windows vista) or within a web-based portal or social network site (e.g., myspace or Facebook) offering useful or entertaining functionality to the end-user.

Widget and social media application metrics:

The following metrics apply specifically to widgets and social media applications. These supplementary metrics offer advertisers a greater insight into ROI for all widget and social media application campaigns:

  • Installs (applications): total installations of the application
  • Active users: total users interacting with the application over a specific time frame, usually day/week/month, many applications have rapid growth but lose activity over time
  • Audience profile: user demographics from self-reported profile information
  • Unique user reach: percentage of users who have installed application among the total social media audience (or calculated as active application users per audience)
  • Growth: average number of users within a specific time frame
  • Influence: average number of friends among users who have installed the application
  • Application/widget installs (user): number of applications or widgets installed by a user onto their profile page or another area. Also called embed, grab or post.
  • Active users/widgets in the wild: number of people regularly using an application at a given point in time, number of widgets on a user page at a given point in time
  • Longevity/lifecycle: Average period of time for which an application or widget remains installed by a user

web (WWW):

A system of interconnected internet pages; commonly referred to as the collective existence of sites on the internet; the initials www usually precedes a website name in its URL address


XML (extensible markup language): 

A richer more dynamic successor to HTML utilizing SGML or HTML type tags to structure information. XML is used for transferring data and creating applications on the web. See SGML and HTML.



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

Yield management: 

Yield and revenue management are the processes 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.



Enumerated layers of elements and content on a publisher’s webpage. Consideration of the z-element in page content design such as navigation, imagery, and ads are important for providing a seamless experience when page content overlaps (i.e. An expanding ad with a z-index that is lower [on the z-index scale] than navigational elements may give the appearance that page navigational elements are showing through the expanded portions of the ad).

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