Video Advertising Glossary

Video Advertising Glossary

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.


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. 

Learn more: https://www.iab.com/guidelines/digital-video-ad-serving-template-vast/


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/

Download the publisher's guide to privacy in 2020



An impression is simply the ad appearing when a user visits a page. It is used for counting how many ads were displayed, and is the basis for deeper analysis into advertising results.

Learn more: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2375431?hl=en-GB


CPM (Cost per Mille)

Among the most common pricing set-ups for video ads, the ‘M’ comes from French word ‘mille’ meaning a thousand. Basing rates on a thousand events comes from early web advertising where a single page view would only command a payment of a fraction of a cent.

Learn more: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cpm.asp


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

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.

Learn more: https://digiday.com/media/wtf-demand-side-platform/


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.

Learn more: https://clearcode.cc/blog/what-is-supply-side-platform/


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.

Learn more: https://video-guide.iab.com/video-automation-or-programmatic


Audience Segments

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.

Learn more: https://www.iab.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/iab_guide_to_digital_video_advertising.pdf



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.  

Learn more: https://www.primis.tech/insights/increase-video-viewability-and-why-its-so-important/ 


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.

Learn more: https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/7532444?hl=en-GB


sellers.json & SupplyChain object

Two new initiatives introduced by the IAB, in an attempt to increase transparency in the industry. These  enables 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 full 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/ 

Download the complete guide to video monetization

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.

Learn more: https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2017/07/17/spo-everybody-talking/


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.

Learn more: http://www.audiencepartners.com/blog/2018/2/9/where-digital-targeting-goes-from-here





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