2016 Video Advertising Glossary

IAB Digital Video


The video marketplace is evolving rapidly, and as the industry grows so too does its vocabulary. Over the past six months IAB has led a working group of 54 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 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. For the latest electronic version of this document, please visit IAB.com/videoglossary.

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

General Video


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Ad & Creative Types


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/Read 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/Read 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.


Cost Per Acquisition


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.


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).


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.


Cost Per View

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


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.


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.


On Target Percentage

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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.



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.


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.

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).


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.


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.


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
  • 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