2016 Video Advertising Glossary

IAB Digital Video

2016
Video
Advertising
Glossary

The video marketplace is evolving rapidly, and as the industry grows so too does its vocabulary. IAB has led a working group of members with the mission of compiling a comprehensive glossary of video terms currently used throughout the video marketplace. The glossary that you see here is the result of the tremendous effort put forth by these IAB member companies and their representatives.

More than 200 terms were first identified for definition in September 2015. Since then, members have collectively refined that list of terms and submitted definitions for peer review and comment. The final list represents a truly collaborative effort that was made possible by a unified desire for clarity and consistency in video terminology by buyers and sellers alike.

It is the hope of IAB and its members that this glossary will serve to facilitate better understanding and communication throughout the industry. As the video marketplace continues to change and expand, so too will this glossary. New terms will be added and others updated within this living document to reflect the changing landscape.

Thank you to all of the IAB members and IAB staff who made this glossary possible.

Anna Bager
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video
IAB

General Video

Addressability

The ability to target a message to a device, browser, segment, and/or individual. Those segments could be matched or modeled by behavioral, demographic, and geographic factors from 1st, 2nd, or 3rd party data sets.

Addressable TV

Technology that lets you show different ads to different audience segments watching the same TV program on IPTV and set top boxes. Those segments could be defined by behavioral, demographic, and geographic factors from 1st, 2nd, or 3rd party data sets.

Advanced TV

Any television content that has evolved beyond traditional, linear television delivery models. This umbrella term is inclusive of the following:

  1. Interactive TV (iTV): The catch-all term for adding a viewer engagement piece to television. This can include both interactive content and advertising, and can be delivered in a variety of ways, including through the first- and second-screen.
  2. Connected TV (CTV): A television set that is connected to the Internet via OTT devices, Blu-ray players, streaming box or stick, and gaming consoles, or has built-in internet capabilities (i.e., a Smart TV) and is able to access a variety of long-form and short-form web-based content.
  3. Smart TV: A subset of Connected TV.
  4. Linear Addressable: The addressable ad inserted into live programming. For example, DirecTV, Dish, and Cablevision’s inventory is all linear addressable.
  5. VOD Addressable: The addressable ad is inserted into cable programs within the VOD content accessible through a cable provider set top box. For example, Comcast’s addressable inventory is VOD addressable.

Channel

A mechanism of distribution that refers to live or on-demand online content stream(s) featuring user or publisher content with similar content/interests grouped and curated together.

Cross-Screen Measurement

Tracking and measurement of video metrics across Mobile/Tablet/Out-of-Home/Television/Advanced TV/Desktop.

Multi-Channel Network

A standalone entity that leverages digital video platforms to enable content producers to program, promote, monetize, and distribute their content as well as offer technical assistance in exchange for a percentage of the ad revenue earned.

 
Acronym: 
MCN

Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor

A service provider that delivers video programming services, usually for a subscription fee (pay television). Usually includes cable, satellite, and telecommunications service providers.

 
Acronym: 
MVPD

TV Everywhere

An online business model in which television broadcasters, particularly cable networks, allow their customers to access live and/or on-demand video content from their networks through Internet-based services. The fee for such access is covered as part of their subscription to the service, via an MVPD. The viewers use credentials from their MVPD for authentication and access to the content.

Video Aspect Ratio

Video comes in several aspect ratios. The two main ones are widescreen (16:9) and standard (4:3). The aspect ratio of an image describes the proportional relationship between its width and its height. It is commonly expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, i.e., 16:9. Preferred aspect ratio is 16:9 (formatted for HD screens). For vertical video, the recommended aspect ratio is 9:16 (most phones), 3:4 (iPad), and 10:16 & 2:3 (other phones/tablets).

For more information please refer to the Digital Video In-Stream Ad Format Guidelines doc section 2.2.1. This document provides useful information on frame rate, audio data, etc. We also refer to HLS and recommend using these files to create the adaptive bitrate file fragments. In addition, section 2.2.2 focuses on SSAI through a “Mezzanine file” that can easily be used to transcode on the fly.

Video On Demand

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.

 
Acronym: 
VOD

Ad & Creative Types

360 Video Ads

360-degree videos, also known as immersive videos or spherical videos, are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama. Considered by many to be a form of virtual reality, these types of ads can be served without requiring a VR headset, using keyboard/mouse/touch controls or motion sensors in smartphones/tablets to control the viewing orientation.

Ad Pod

An individual ad pod is a group of ads expected to play back-to-back in one commercial ad break similar to how consumers experience commercial ad breaks in broadcast television. An ad pod can be of varying lengths and can be inserted at any point in a stream of content (pre, mid, or post).

Advertainment

A video ad that uses storytelling to communicate a brand message. Generally refers to video creative that prioritizes entertainment over advertising and typically has a duration greater than 60 seconds.

Autoplay Video Ad

A video ad or an ad linked with video content that initiates ‘‘play’’ without user interaction or without an explicit action to start the video (essentially automatically starting without a ‘‘play’’ button being clicked by the user).

Dynamic Creative

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

In-Stream Video Ad

Played before, during or after the streaming video content that the consumer has requested (Pre-roll, Mid-roll, 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.

Interactive Video

A type of digital video creative that can take user input to perform some enhanced actions through elements integrated above and beyond the standard video playback controls (i.e., play, pause, rewind, and mute). These interactions can include varied calls-to-actions, forms, polls/surveys, links, 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.

Long-Form Video

Video content that always has a content arc with a beginning, middle, and end and that, in its entirety typically 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.

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.

Out-Stream Video Ad

A form of video advertising that takes place outside of In-Stream Video content and includes Native Video, In-Feed Video, In-Article Video, In-Banner Video, and Interstitial Video.

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 (IAB standard) with native elements, or custom/can’t be contained). The video includes a headline, description and context for the ad.

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 clip that exists within a web banner that leverages 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.

Interstitial Video

Video ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as Transition ads, Intermercial ads, and Splash Pages.

Short-Form Video

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

Vertical Video Ads

“Vertical Video” is displayed in portrait mode but can be shot in portrait/landscape mode - i.e., skinny and tall video (9:16 aspect ratio), rather than the widescreen format (16:9 aspect ratio) normalized by movies and television. These types of video ads are mostly displayed in mobile devices as they have the optimal aspect ratio to fill the whole screen.

Metrics

Cost Per Acquisition

(OR ACTION)

Cost of advertising based on a visitor taking some specifically defined action in response to an ad. Examples of “Actions” related to video include such things as engaging with the overlay unit, clicking onto the client site after completion, or completing a purchase.

 
Acronym: 
CPA

Cost Per Completed View

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).

 
Acronym: 
CPCV

Cost Per Point

A pricing model based on the cost of a campaign divided by each full percentage rating point of a targeted demographic that the campaign successfully reaches.

 
Acronym: 
CPP

Cost Per View

A pricing model where the advertiser only pays for a video start. Typically sold at 1000 impressions.

 
Acronym: 
CPV

Cost Per Viewable Impression

A pricing model where the advertiser only pays for video ad impressions that are considered viewable based upon MRC and IAB viewability guidelines. Typically sold at 1000 impressions.

 
Acronym: 
CPVI or VCPM/VCPV

Gross Rating Point

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%). GRP values are typically used by media buyers to compare the advertising strength of various media vehicles.

 
Acronym: 
GRP

On Target Percentage

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

 
Acronym: 
OTP

Quartiles

Percentage of video ad viewed continuously at a normal speed. If a rewind event occurs during play, percent complete may be calculated on total amount of unduplicated video viewed at normal speed. Each section of the video may only be considered once in the calculation. This definition governs the triggering of any “partial play” metrics, such as the common quartile percentages (25%, 50%, 75%), most commonly tracked as first quartile (the creative played continuously for at least 25% of the total duration at normal speed), midpoint (the creative played continuously for at least 50% of the total duration at normal speed), and third quartile (the creative played continuously for at least 75% of the duration at normal speed). Specifically, reporting on any partial play should be the result of how much of the ad was played at normal speed. Publishers and marketers may measure progress in different increments in addition to these percent complete quartiles, but these quartiles offer a baseline measurement and should be used whether or not other methods are used.

Target Rating Point

The percentage of an advertiser’s target audience that sees its commercials, advertisements, or campaign. Typically advertising is bought against a guaranteed demographic or audience segment. The TRP expresses that guaranteed audience.

 
Acronym: 
TRP

Video Ad Completion

When a video ad starts and plays through its entire duration to completion.

Video Ad Completion Rate

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.

 
Acronym: 
VCR or VTR

Viewable Video Impression

A desktop video ad or mobile video ad that meets the criteria of:

  1. Desktop: 50% of the ad’s pixels on an in-focus browser tab in the viewable space of the browser page that has met the time criterion that two continuous seconds of the video advertisement is played.
  2. Mobile: 50% of the ad’s pixels on an in-focus browser or a fully downloaded, opened, initialized application, on the viewable space of the device that has met the time criterion that two continuous seconds of the video advertisement is played.
  3. For both desktop video and mobile video, the required time is not necessarily the first two seconds of the video ad; any unduplicated content of the ad comprising two continuous seconds qualifies in this regard.

Programmatic Video

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 a First Look situation, the publisher gives the first ad network a chance to buy the inventory first. If that first network does not want it, the publisher will pass it to the second network and so on.

Waterfall

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

Technology

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

Adaptive streaming is a technical process that adjusts the quality of a video delivered to the client/video player of a connected device based on changing network conditions, video buffer status, and CPU utilization to ensure the best possible viewer experience. The video quality is determined and set by real time detections of a user’s available bandwidth (throughput), video buffer capacity and CPU utilization. Based on these conditions the bitrate is adjusted in real time to ensure the best possible quality.

 
Acronym: 
ABR

Bitrate or Bit Rate

  1. Encoded bit rate: The number of bits (or amount of data) per second that has been used to store a media signal. In audio, this usually is presented in kilobits per second (or kb/s or kbps), while for high-quality video, this might be presented in megabits per second (or Mbps, or Mb/s). For example, the music you buy on iTunes is 256 kilobits per second, meaning there are 256 kilobits of data stored in every second of a song, and an HD video file might be encoded at 2.0 megabits per second, meaning there are two megabits of data.

    The encoded bit rate is the one used for business requirements as it represents a strong signal of fidelity.

  2. Available bit rate: The instantaneous delivery rate of data in bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (kbps), megabits per second (mbps), etc. from the source server to destination device through one or many digital networks. The slowest portion of the network path determines the end-to-end maximum bitrate of the delivered stream. Some media content such as audio streams may use less than the maximum available bandwidth. HTTS Live Streaming (HLS) is a variable bitrate protocol for delivering video content. HLS starts the stream at a low bitrate which provides low video resolution and increases the bitrate and video resolution as the network conditions permit.

    The available bit rate is used for technical purposes as it represents how much data can be passed from the ad server to the client for an ad to deliver without jitter.

Connected TV

A television set that is connected to the Internet via OTT devices, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles or has built-in Internet capabilities (i.e., a Smart Television) and is able to access a variety of long-form and short-form web-based content.

 
Acronym: 
CTV

Content Distribution 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.

 
Acronym: 
CDN

Encoding/ Transcoding/ Renditions

Encoding when referencing video or audio involves the change from one physical format to another, i.e., the change from film to digital format, or change from analog to video.

Transcoding refers to the creation of a file from one of a similar format, i.e., compressing a video file (e.g., mp4) at different bitrates from a source file (e.g., MOV). The source file, known as the mezzanine, and the resulting compressed versions of the same creative, known as renditions, are all digital in format, although they may be different dimensions and bitrates from one another.

Please note: Encoding of video should not be confused with encoding of reserved/special characters in http links to pixels, clickthroughs, calls to VAST, or other http assets. More information on what constitutes a character that has a special purpose in http and how they must be percent encoded to prevent failure is detailed here.

Latency

1) The time it takes for a data packet to move across a network connection.
2) The delay between request and display of content and an ad. Latency sometimes leads to the user leaving the site prior to the opportunity to see. In streaming media, latency can create stream degradation if it causes the packets, which must be received and played in order, to arrive out of order.

Over the Top Device

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

 
Acronym: 
OTT

Over the Top Video

Over the Top Video is video content transported from a video provider to a connected device over the Internet outside the closed networks of telecom and cable providers.

 
Acronym: 
OTT VIDEO

Server Side Ad Insertion

Server-side ad insertion (often referred to as “ad stitching”) is the process of stitching video content and ads together on the server side level rather than on the browser level (Client Side Ad Insertion). Videos and video ads are coming from different places—videos typically come from a content delivery network (CDN) and ads from an ad server (video ads can also be served from CDNs, although content CDNs and ad CDNs often differ). These are then combined on the fly when people start watching videos. With server-side ad stitching, that combination of video and advertising happens on the backend.

Server-side ad insertion allows for smoother ad user experiences as users do not have to wait for players to fetch ads and render them in real time. The stitching is all done prior to the user getting the ad break/pod. In the ad stitching process, ad specs are matched with content specs resulting in more consistent viewer experience as the ad quality will match the content quality.

SSAI also allows publishers to mitigate ad blocking, as video content and ads are stitched together as a cohesive stream on the server side which allows them to bypass browser or device-level detection/blocking. When a browser or device-level script makes a call to the ad-decisioning system, the ad blocker can identify that signal, as opposed to a server-side script where the ads are already stitched into the player’s content, making it impossible to distinguish an ad from content.

This is a great solution for a publisher, however advertisers may have concerns with measurement being made server side and request such delivery to be distinguished in reporting.

 
Acronym: 
SSAI

Streaming

1) Technology that permits continuous audio and video delivered to a device from a remote website.
2) 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.

Video Ad Serving Template

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.

 
Acronym: 
VAST

Video Multiple Ad Playlist

VMAP is an XML template that video content owners and ad networks can use to schedule multiple ad insertions from a single tag. It is an ad response format that allows the definition of the number of ad pods and how long each should be for the full piece of content. VMAP allows content owners, who don’t control the video player or the content distribution network to pre-define the ad breaks in their content when their content plays in a third-party video player. Many content owners retain the contractual right to control the ad ‘playlist’ within their content, but without control of the video player, defining the ad playlist has been next to impossible. With the release of VMAP, control of the ad playlist is now available to the content owner.

VAST supports the ability to serve multiple ads in a single VAST ad response. A set of sequenced ads in a VAST response plays back-to-back ads as a “pod,” similar to how consumers experience commercial ad breaks in broadcast television. With the introduction of VMAP, ad breaks can be specifically designed to accept Ad Pods and any combination of single ads, random sets of ads and structured ad pods. VMAP can include nested VAST 3.0 tags as well as the ability to serve multiple ads in a single ad response, however VAST 2.0 is still widely used, as often the need is only to deliver one ad at a time.

For more information please refer to the IAB Video Suite Executive Summary.

 
Acronym: 
VMAP

Video Player-Ad Interface Definition

The protocol between the ad and the video player required to enable 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.

 
Acronym: 
VPAID

This comprehensive glossary of video advertising industry terms has been curated and developed by the Digital Video Glossary Working Group of the IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence. The working group included the following IAB member companies:

  • 33Across
  • A&E Networks
  • ABC
  • Adobe
  • AnyClip Media
  • AOL
  • BIA/Kelsey
  • Bloomberg
  • CBSi
  • Comcast
  • CoxReps
  • DashBid
  • DataXu
  • Demand Media
  • Dstillery
  • engage:BDR
  • Experian Marketing
  • Services
  • FOX News Digital
  • Fuisz Media
  • Genesis Media
  • HIRO-Media
  • Hulu
  • INFORM
  • Integral Ad Science
  • Jun Group
  • Kelley Blue Book
  • MediaVest
  • Merkle
  • Microsoft
  • Nexstar Digital
  • Ooyala
  • PubMatic
  • Rocket Fuel
  • Roku
  • Rubicon Project
  • Sharethrough
  • Sizmek
  • SpotX
  • Teads.tv
  • Time Inc.
  • TiVo Research
  • Trusted Media Brands
  • Tubular Labs
  • Unruly
  • Vdopia
  • VideoAmp
  • Vindico
  • Virool
  • Visible Measures
  • Wibbitz
  • WWE
  • Xaxis
  • Yahoo
  • ZEFR