Like any industry, digital video advertising has plenty of jargon. It’s a great form of shorthand between experts but can be intimidating to those not in the know. In the interest of making video monetization terms more accessible, we present to you our video advertising glossary.
Digital advertising inventory or media inventory is the ad space available on a digital asset (website/app/platform) for advertising. For digital publishers who monetize their websites with ads, this term signifies half of the revenue equation, as it is the amount of “product” they can sell, while CPM signifies the price. Naturally, publishers are searching for ways to scale their ad inventory, especially with high CPM ad formats.
Learn more: https://www.quora.com/What-is-ad-inventory
Ads.txt (Authorized Digital Sellers)
A method for publishers to confirm who (if anyone) is authorized to sell digital advertising slots on their behalf. It’s designed to counter scammers fraudulently selling slots they don’t really have access to. Not publishing an ads.txt file can cause problems in getting revenue through some major programmatic channels.
API Integration (Application Programming Interface)
An API is a set of requirements that defines how one software should communicate and interact with another. Almost any action performed on the web involves an API, as it is the part of a server that receives requests and sends responses. For example, any time a user enters a website, their browser is interacting with the server hosting the website, which gives it instructions on what to display to the user. Companies also use custom-built API integrations to serve their clients by giving them automated access to the data they need.
In advertising, the marketer is always looking to target the most relevant audience. In video advertising, this usually means going beyond simple demographic targeting such as “18-24 males”. Instead, it can cover particular interests, buying habits, or even attitudes and values.
The act of preventing a bid from competing in an auction is termed “bid throttling.” The rise of header bidding, which lets publishers generate multiple ad requests for many partners, has caused a huge increase in the number of queries sent to advertisers. To reduce the load on infrastructure, DSPs will not even process most of the bids, typically only processing opportunities and bids on sources that best serve their needs. SSPs understand this and will try, through sophisticated methods, to only send relevant ad opportunities to each specific DSP.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The CCPA grants California consumers specific rights regarding the collection, use, storage, and sale of personal data by businesses. It grants consumers new privacy-related rights:
- The right to know what personal information is being collected
- The right to know if (and how) their personal information is being shared or sold
- The right to opt-out of the sale of personal information
- The right to access their information
- The right to have their personal information deleted (with exceptions)
However, uncertainty exists around the final requirements to comply with the CCPA, and the potential creation of new laws makes it especially difficult for businesses to comply.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) is a set of rules and regulations set in place by the Federal Trade Commission. It focuses on websites and online services, such as apps, that are geared toward children 13 years of age or younger and collect personal information from them. It governs the collection or use of children’s email addresses, personal information, videos, photos, audio files, or screen names if they don’t use their email addresses.
To gather or use such information, you would need to obtain opt-in consent, parental permission, and verification of a parent’s identity. These rules limit the targeting and advertising options for children, and therefore it is advised to work with monetization companies that are experienced with sites that cater to children.
Content syndication means republishing the same piece of content—an article, a video, an infographic, etc.—on one or more websites. Publications, big and small, like to syndicate content because it helps them deliver fresh information to their readers. The original authors also benefit from this practice, since it gets their brand in front of new audiences. It’s a win-win. Additionally, using branded content is advantageous because it creates alignment between a publisher’s brand and the branded content that is displayed.
Contextual Targeting (Advertising)
Contextual targeting traditionally refers to the process of matching ads to sites or articles with a related topic. It is conducted through an algorithm that analyzes keywords, URLs, topics, and other factors, or manually uses specific requests from advertisers. Ads that are contextually relevant are more engaging, more memorable, and more likely to prompt purchases, rather than ones that lack relevance. In a digital landscape that is learning to respect user privacy, contextual targeting is rising in importance.
Contextual Targeting (Editorial)
Using the same rationale and the same neuro-function as in advertising, contextual methods are being used in the editorial process. Just like their ad-operation counterparts, digital editors want users to engage with their content and discover another article or video. Applying the same methods to help users discover additional editorial content, whether manual or technological, allows digital publishers to keep users on their site longer, viewing content they appreciate.
CPM (Cost per Mille)
Among the most common pricing set-ups for video ads, the ‘M’ comes from the French word ‘mille’ meaning a thousand. Basing rates on a thousand events comes from early web advertising where a single pageview would only command payment of a fraction of a cent.
Learn more: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cpm.asp
Cost Per View (CPV)
As opposed to the standard pricing model of cost per 1000 impressions, CPV is a unique pricing model for video advertising, where one pays for each video view. Back in 2011, it seemed like the perfect solution for translating the more display-oriented Impression to video terms. However, the big platforms could not agree on what exactly defines a view, hindering the unanimous adoption of the term. For example, while the IAB defines it as a pricing model where the advertiser only pays for a video start, Google defines it as when a user watches 30 seconds of a video ad (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with the ad.
DSP (Demand Side Platform)
A technology that lets an advertiser access multiple publishers – and multiple ad networks – in one place. Advertisers can set preferences such as user location or known interests and then set their budget. The DSP then bids on ad slots to try to get the most effective purchase for the advertiser’s needs.
Fifth Generation (5G)
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, the 4G LTE connection. With 5G, users will see exponentially faster download and upload speeds. Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks, will also drastically decrease. This will have a big impact on browsing behaviors and expectations, especially with richer data content, like videos and online gaming.
Learn more: https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/what-is-5g/
Google Ad Manager (GAM), formerly DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP)
Google Ad Manager (GAM) is an ad management platform for large publishers who have significant direct sales. Ad Manager provides granular controls and supports multiple ad networks, including Google’s AdSense, Ad Exchange, and third-party networks.
DoubleClick for Publishers was a SaaS platform designed to manage the process of delivering ads to websites and other digital assets. In 2018, it merged with DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX), which was one of the biggest marketplaces to buy and sell display advertising space.
Header bidding is an automated way for a publisher to reach out to multiple demand sources simultaneously, before an ad call is served, to ask for bids. The publisher can then send the ad to the highest bidder among those queried and, therefore, theoretically generate a greater return. In 2019, almost 80% of the 1,000 most popular sites that advertise programmatically have used header bidding. When implemented in video advertising, the practices are a little different.
In the context of a web browser, a frame is a part of a web page or browser window which displays content independent of its container, with the ability to load content on its own. SafeFrame is a managed API-enabled iframe that opens a line of communication between the publisher’s page content and the iframe-contained external content, such as ads. To avoid disruptive ad behavior and the potential security risks of serving ads in line with the page, publishers may choose to have ad content served into an iframe. However, when implementing ads in a SafeFrame, some measurement analytics are lost to advertisers, especially viewability, which can have a negative impact on revenue.
Learn more: https://www.iab.com/guidelines/safeframe/
In-stream video ads allow advertisers to place video ads alongside video content. In-stream video ads can be displayed either before, during, or after the video content is consumed.
These three types of ads are determined based on when they are shown to the user:
Pre-roll is the classic form of digital video advertisements. It is a video advertisement
played before a piece of content. Running an advertisement before the content is practical, as the audience is still engaged and interested in the forthcoming content.
Mid-roll ads, on the other hand, receive a higher completion rate than both pre- and post-roll
Ads. Mid-roll ads are played in between the video content, so viewers have already watched some of the video content. If they make it to a mid-roll ad, it means they have remained engaged through roughly half of the video. Because a large chunk of video remains, they are more willing to be patient.
Post-roll ad placements occur after the video content. While this method can be very effective, it must be used strategically. Post-roll works best in some very specific circumstances. For instance, this ad placement works great as a call-to-action following a sponsored video.
Invalid Traffic (IVT)
While there are many different definitions and criteria, invalid traffic (IVT) refers to ad inventory that is not legitimate. One example from Google defines invalid traffic as traffic that either does not come from a real user or one without a genuine interest in the website/product/service. It can come in the form of accidental clicks, fraudulent clicks, bot traffic, crawlers, and other more sophisticated means, and it’s meant to artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings.
Lazy loading is the process of loading content only when it is about to go into view. This reduces the download of extra content, which a user may never get to, and also frees up the browser for improved performance. A website’s performance is a critical metric when it comes to ad monetization, as even a few milliseconds can make a huge difference in a site’s RPM (Revenue Per Thousand).
Over The Top (OTT)
An over-the-top (OTT) media service is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers via the internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms, the companies that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content. It also includes connected TV (CTV) users who watch video streamed via apps on smart-TV or set-top-box (STB) devices such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Roku, etc.
PMP (Private Marketplace)
A set-up where specific advertisers get the first opportunity to bid on a specific slot before it goes on to the Open Market. Another variant has a small group of select advertisers taking part in a closed auction. A PMP can work well for publishers who want more control over what brands appear in ads on their site.
Private vs. Open Marketplace
Private marketplace (PMP) is a direct relationship between sellers and buyers, that sometimes includes a pre-agreed fixed CPM. PMPs allow both parties to control the KPIs and set specific targeting according to their needs. An open marketplace is an exchange that connects multiple buyers and sellers. This allows a broader reach of inventory to sellers and a variety of buyers for the publishers.
The private marketplace is used with a higher priority than the open marketplace, which ensures the inventory will be exposed to an identified buyer first, and in case it doesn’t fill the requests, the opportunity will continue to the open marketplace.
Prebid is an open-source solution that makes the implementation of header bidding and the potential of increased ad revenue accessible to all publishers. Today it’s one of the most popular wrappers used by publishers and a feature-rich header bidding platform for the web. It includes more than 150 demand sources and 15 analytics adapters, while providing support for currency conversion, GDPR, common ID systems, and multiple ad servers.
Learn more: http://prebid.org/
This term refers to the action of automatically buying ad inventory to display digital ads, as opposed to buying the inventory directly from publishers. According to Zenith’s Programmatic Marketing Forecasts, in 2021, 72% of all digital media worldwide will trade programmatically.
Learn more: https://www.iab.com/guidelines/programmatic-rtb/
Queries Per Second (QPS)
Queries per second (QPS) refers to the number of times a request is sent to a server. Big DSPs support trillions of requests, which are very heavy on infrastructure costs. This leads smart DSPs to narrow down the number of requests they receive by accepting only relevant and quality ad inventory. This is done via bid throttling.
Real-Time Bidding (RTB)
Real-time bidding (RTB) is a means by which advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis, through programmatic instantaneous auctions. Advertising buyers bid on an impression and, if the bid is won, the buyer’s ad is displayed on the publisher’s site. RTB allows for addressable advertising: the ability to serve ads to consumers directly based on their demographic, psychographic, or behavioral attributes. This means there may be privacy problems in implementing RTB, and so anyone using this method must be sure they are complying with the latest privacy laws.
In programmatic advertising, the seller is the publisher, and the buyer is the advertiser. Technically, any company that buys and sells inventory and is not a publisher or advertiser is considered a reseller, as they are selling ad inventory that was previously sold to them. Publishers and advertisers try to avoid resellers who don’t add any value, because when the supply route is shorter, a higher amount of revenue is allocated toward media purchases. However, ad tech partners who exhibit the capabilities to enhance ad offerings—through data, technology, connections, content, or otherwise—can greatly benefit both advertisers and publishers.
RPM (Revenue per Mille)
A way of measuring ad revenues across one event that needs tracking – be it one page, or ad unit. It’s calculated by taking the total revenue received by publishers, divided by the number of impressions on a given placement or page, then multiplied by a thousand. This gives the actual monetary value of the asset being tracked; web page or ad placement.
Learn more: https://techterms.com/definition/rpm
Sellers.json & SupplyChain object
Two new initiatives introduced by the IAB, in an attempt to increase transparency in the industry. These enable buyers to verify the entities that are selling the inventory and their part in the supply chain; who are either direct sellers or intermediaries in the selected digital advertising opportunity for purchase. Advertisers can get a fully transparent look on their campaign journey, where their money is being spent and make better decisions on how to spread the budgets.
Learn more: https://iabtechlab.com/sellers-json/
SPO (Supply Path Optimization)
As a concept, SPO is the idea of reducing the number of steps between publishers and advertisers, in order to reduce unnecessary fees from intermediaries. It can go both ways. Either it can start from the advertiser, who can decide on the best supply sources to bid on, or it can originate with the publisher deciding who will be the best demand partners that are most likely to bid.
SSP (Supply Side Platform)
A technology that lets a publisher access multiple advertisers – and multiple ad networks – in one place. Compared to relying solely on direct sales or using a single ad exchange, an SSP aims to maximize revenue while minimizing cases where an advertiser gets a slot for less than they’d have been willing to pay.
The Coalition of Better Ads Initiative
In 2016, 16 companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and trade groups like the Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Association of Advertising Agencies, and IAB Europe formed what’s known as the Coalition for Better Ads. Their objective is to set proper standards for ads that are geared towards user-friendliness, with the goal of providing a better user experience for internet consumers when they interact with ads. The main impact the coalition has had is through its adoption by Google Chrome, so that a publisher using unapproved ad units will have their ads blocked by the browser.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European law that focuses on data protection and privacy for all EU citizens. The idea is that users must provide explicit consent to access their personal data and, if they don’t, vendors cannot obtain the data. Until now, the implication was that any user action—searching, entering a website, engaging with content, etc.—was considered consent and therefore allowed all parties to use that information. This information is mostly used for smarter ad targeting. Since it is progressive litigation, compliance is a work in progress, evolving as the ecosystem matures.
VAST (Video Ad Serving Template)
VAST is an XML script, A standard format for ad servers to send an ad to a video player. As well as delivering the ad, VAST sends associated metadata.
Video Completion Rate
Video Completion Rate measures the percentage of video ads that play through to the end, out of all the video impressions. In many platforms it is dubbed VTR (view through rate). Naturally, an ad creative can be considered better performing when more people view the whole ad. However, the ad creative is by no means the only factor that influences the Completion Rate. Factors such as precise audience targeting, placement, viewability and size, among others, can have a strong influence as well.
Learn more: https://wooshii.com/help/view-rate-vtr-good-vtr/
Video consumption measures how much video is being viewed on a given platform or website. Just like the number of page views, the rate of video consumption on a site indicates potential video revenue. While video consumption has consistently increased throughout the years, so have the variety and quality of videos that are available to users. This is why publishers and platforms are striving to ensure their own digital assets grow in terms of consumption.
Video discovery is a technology that allows a publisher’s video ad unit to recommend relevant video content through automation and contextual algorithms. When a user is interested in watching an additional video, typically they are more likely to stay on that page, consume more video, wait to see the next video in the playlist, and even watch more of the advertisements.
Measuring how engaged a digital audience is with a video can be conducted in different ways, depending on many factors. It will usually include many of the following metrics: how long the video was viewed, how many times it was clicked, where it was clicked, how many shares and likes it earned, etc. Measuring video engagement is a good way for content creators and distributors to decide which videos to promote and/or create. Videos that are more engaging have a higher chance of encouraging users to stay and watch a pre- or mid-roll video ad, which delivers the ad revenue to the creator.
This is one of today’s main KPIs for video campaigns. It is defined as an impression that is being watched by a user; while in display ads it is defined by being viewed for one second with 50% of pixels displayed. On video it is defined as 2 seconds displayed and 50% of pixels displayed. Understandably, advertisers are only interested in targeting ads that are actually being viewed by users.
VPAID (Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition)
A similar concept to VAST, but specifically dealing with interactive video ads. These could let users click or hover over a button to choose one more extra clip to watch for more information. VPAID also collects a wider range of metrics such as how many people watch the ad in full.
Learn more: https://digiday.com/media/what-is-vpaid/
3rd Party Cookie
A script that is dropped on a user’s browser by a 3rd party vendor rather than by the website that the user entered. For example, a cookie placed by an ad platform could use information about a viewer’s activity on one website to decide which video ad they see when visiting another website. Third party cookies can be very effective for delivering relevant ads but can raise privacy concerns, and are therefore being heavily restricted lately.