The Only Video Marketing and Digital Advertising Glossary You'll Need
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Video Marketing Glossary — All Video and Digital Advertising Terms You Need to Know

video marketing glossary

Being a newcomer to the video content marketing world can be quite daunting. Unless you’ve been in the industry for a while, it’s next to impossible to know all the video and digital advertising terms you might come across. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy video marketing and digital advertising glossary to help you along your way.

If you ever go exploring the video marketing world and come across an unfamiliar term, keep this glossary at hand! Oh, and if we’ve forgotten to include a term that might make you scratch your head, let us know by sending us an email or contacting us on social media! We’ll update the list promptly!

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Video Marketing and Digital Advertising Glossary


AAC — Advanced Audio Coding. AAC is a digital audio compression standard that allows for top sound quality at relatively low bitrates.

AdBlock — AdBlock is a software, usually a browser extension that allows users to prevent various ads on websites from appearing, which reduces publishers’ advertising effectiveness.

Addressability — Addressability represents the ability to target a particular message by sending it to a specific device, individual, or a browser.

Ad Exchanges — Ad exchanges are digital marketplaces that allow publishers to purchase or sell advertising space. They usually do that through an auction-like system.

Ad NetworkAd networks serve as a link between advertisers and publishers. They are a service that matches the right advertisers and publishers most suitable for each other.

Ad ServerAd servers are tools that publishers and advertisers use to serve their ads and gain in-depth insight and reports on their performance. There are two primary types of ad servers — Publisher ad servers and third-party ad servers.

Advertainment — Advertainment is a wordplay on the words advertising and entertainment. It represents a shift away from promotion-centric ads and putting more emphasis on entertaining and engaging the user to build strong impressions and a meaningful connection.

Advertiser — An advertiser is a person, company, or brand that advertises a service, product, or event.

AVCHD – Advanced Video Coding High Definition. AVCHD is a format that utilizes MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression, which was initially created for consumer HD camcorders. AVCHD is used for media players on computers, and it can be burned onto DVD recordable media and played back on Blu-Ray (1920×1080).

Above the Fold — Above the fold represents the immediately visible part of a web page, i.e., the part of the page users see as soon as they enter it. In digital advertising terms, people often use this term in the context of an ad being placed in an immediately visible location on a website, without the user having to scroll down to get to it.

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming Adaptive bitrate streaming is a type of video delivery optimized for quality. This process entails changing the video’s quality rendition based on the end user’s available bandwidth to avoid buffering issues.

Ad InventoryAd inventory represents the amount of available advertising space a publisher sets aside to sell to the highest bidder and is usually measured in impressions.

Ad PodsAd pods are a way to sequence multiple ad tags (ads) to play back-to-back in a single ad break. 

ADS.TXT — Text file publishers and distributors use to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory.

Ad WaterfallingAd waterfalling is a technique publishers use to sell their remaining premium ad slots. When using waterfalling, whenever a publisher makes an ad call to a particular ad inventory slot, if the call comes out empty, it moves on to make a different ad call from another source. That keeps happening until the publisher’s ad call is answered with an ad.

Asynchronous VideoAsynchronous video is a pre-recorded video, i.e., a video recording that doesn’t happen in real time.

AutoplayAutoplay is when a video automatically begins playback upon appearing on-screen.

AVOC — Audible and Viewable on Complete. AVOC represents the percentage of measurable impressions that were viewable and audible upon a video’s completion. 

AVOD — Advertising Video on Demand. AVOD is a video monetization model that generates revenue by placing ads on videos.


Bandwidth — Bandwidth is the speed and amount of data that may be transferred in a given period of time. Higher bitrates will stream or play back higher quality media. Bandwidth relies highly on CPU power and internet connection speed.

Bitrate — Represents the number of bits per second that can be processed. Typically, audio and highly compressed video run in Kilobits Per Second range. Other video compressed via various codecs can play at Megabits Per Second rates due to higher content quality. New codecs like H.264 are more advanced and efficient and can operate at lower bitrates.

Behavioral TargetingBehavioral targeting represents targeting specific users with your ads based on the said users’ browser history.

Blacklist — Blacklisting represents publishers’ ability to block particular advertisers’ ads from showing on their specific websites. 

Bumper Ad — Bumper ads are short-form video ads whose primary purpose is raising brand awareness by drawing users’ attention to one’s brand.


CBR — Constant Bit Rate. When referring to encoding, CBR means that recorded content is always captured at the same, constant bitrate, regardless of its quality.

Closed Captioning — Closed captioning is the process of showing text or subtitles on a video to provide additional interpretive information.

Companion Ads — Companion ads are display ads that usually appear next to an instream or overlay video ad.

CPA — Cost Per Action. CPA represents paying an advertising fee based exclusively on whether the users took the desired action upon viewing an ad. Actions can range from visiting a landing page, purchasing a product, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.

CPE — Cost Per Engagement. CPE is a payment model that entails advertisers paying for ads based on the engagement they received. The engagement metric can be defined differently based on industry or advertisers’ goals. 

CPM — Cost Per Mile. CPM is a payment model that entails advertisers paying for every 1,000 impressions their ads make.

Creative — Creative represents the image or video that makes up an ad.

CTR — Click-Through Rate. CTR entails the number of clicks an ad receives.

Click — Clicks represent the number of times users click on an ad. It’s worth noting that DFA (DoubleClick for Advertisers) records clicks even if the users don’t reach the advertiser’s landing page.

Contextual Targeting Contextual targeting represents the ability to match the contents of advertising material with relevant or related content on a web page.

Container — Container is a type of file that contains various codecs. The codecs stored depend on the container’s design. Here are some examples of containers for multimedia files: AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, RM and WMV.

CPC — Cost Per Click. CPC represents paying for advertising space solely based on the number of users who click your ad.

CPI — Cost Per Install. CPI is a payment model most often used when promoting applications and entails paying for advertising space only when a user installs the said application.

CPU — Cost Per Unique. CPU is a payment model that entails advertisers paying for every unique impression their ads make.

Cross-Screen Measurement — Cross-screen measurement entails tracking video statistics over various devices, including TV, PC, mobile devices, etc.

Cue Point — Cue point represents an invisible marker set at a specific point in a video that often triggers a mid-roll ad.

Click-To-Play — Click-to-play represents videos in which users need to click on the play button to begin playback.

Conversion — Conversions represent the users who took the desired action (purchasing a product, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.) after viewing an ad.

Converter — Converters are software programs used for altering media from one format to another so that it can be used on numerous devices.

CPCV — Cost Per Completed View. CPCV is a payment model used in video advertising that entails advertisers paying only for ads that the viewers watched in their entirety.

CPLPV — Cost Per Landing Page View. CPLPV is a payment model that entails advertisers paying only for user clicks that result in their reaching the target site’s landing page.

CPV — Cost Per View. CPV is a pricing model used in video advertising that entails advertisers paying for every time their video gets played.

CTA — Call to Action. CTA entails an appealing prompt, usually at the end of an ad or a video, that should entice a user to action (purchasing a product, subscribing to a service, etc.). 

CVR — Conversion Ratio. Conversion ratio represents the number of conversions divided by the number of clicks.


Demographic — Data about your users, such as their gender, age, language, location, etc.

DSP — Demand-Side Platform. DSP is an automated tool for advertisers to help them find publishers for their ads.

DMPData Management Platform. DMP is a system that collects user data to facilitate data-driven marketing. 

DVR — DVR in streaming is the process of caching a live stream and storing it on a server so that the users could pause, rewind, and rewatch the broadcast at will.


Engagement — Engagement entails a user reacting to a piece of content by sharing, commenting, or reacting to it.

Engagement Rate — Engagement rate is a quantitative unit used to measure engagement. The way people calculate engagement rate differs from industry to industry and the platform and medium in question.

Explainer Video Explainer video is a video (can be branded but doesn’t have to be) focused on educating and helping consumers by guiding them through a specific product or a particular process.


Fill RateFill rate is the ratio of ad requests that get successfully filled by your ad network. You calculate the fill rate by dividing the number of ad impressions with the number of times you request an ad from the network.

First-Party Data — First-party data represents all the information you’ve collected on your users and audience.

Full Screen — Full-screen video is when the video covers the entirety of a user’s screen.


Geographic Targeting (Geo-Targeting) — Geographic targeting entails sending your ads only to an audience from a specific geographical region(s).


Header BiddingHeader bidding is a more advanced waterfalling technique. It allows publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges at the same time before sending a request to ad servers. That way, publishers exercise better control over what ads they display on their site.

HLS (HTTP Live Streaming)HLS streaming protocol is an HTTP-based media streaming communications protocol created by Apple Inc. It allows video players to automatically adjust the quality of a video depending on changing network conditions.

HookHook is a compelling opener that advertisers (especially video advertisers) use to lure users into engaging with their ads.

Hosting — Hosting entails storing content (usually media, like images and video) on a particular server (typically remote). By hosting content on a remote server, publishers can speed up their websites significantly by reducing their page size drastically.


Impression — Impressions are counted when an ad successfully loads on a website, regardless of whether anyone sees it.

Instream Ads — Instream ads entail video advertisements that appear within viewed content. These video ads can appear in three different places: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll positions.

In-Banner VideoIn-banner video ads are ads that trigger and appear in standard display banner ads on a particular website.

Interactive Video — Interactive videos are video ads that combine interactive elements with a video ad. These elements usually allow the user to interact with the advertisement in a particular way, such as do an action, click a button, play a mini-game, etc.

Influencer Influencer is a person with a substantial social following that marketers often pay to promote their products to a broad audience.

Interstitial Ads — Interstitial ads are video advertisements that show up in transitions between web pages. The users will have to watch the ad in question being able to proceed to their desired content.

IR — Interaction Rate. Interaction rate is a metric that signifies the rate at which users interact with an ad out of everyone that has seen it.


KPI — Key Performance Indicator. KPIs are predetermined performance metrics that your business will use to determine whether you’re successfully meeting your campaign’s goals.


Linear Ads — Linear ads are another term for instream ads.

Live Streaming Live streaming entails broadcasting simultaneously recorded media in real time.


Mid-Roll Ad — Mid-roll ad is a video advertisement that plays at a particular point in a video. The place where the mid-roll usually appears is called a cue point.

MPEG-Dash – Motion Pictures Expert Group Dynamic Adaptive Streaming. MPEG-Dash is an open-source, adaptive bitrate streaming protocol that enables high-quality streaming of media content over the internet, delivered from conventional HTTP web servers.


Native Advertising — Native advertising is a form of online advertising that coincides with the natural order and purpose of the platform on which advertisers distribute them. The content of a native ad commonly matches the surrounding website content.

Non-Linear Ads — Non-linear ads are advertisements that appear over an online video or within it. These ads usually run concurrently with the video and often appear as a piece of text, a banner, or a button somewhere on-screen.


Open Marketplace — Open marketplace is an online real-time bidding (RTB) auction where both publishers and advertisers can participate.

Opt-Out — Opt-out entails an option in which a user can choose to reject any further messages or ads from a particular company.

Outstream Ads Outstream ads are video advertising units that appear and autoplay in a large-format video player when a user scrolls down to a particular location on a web page. These can take multiple shapes, such as in-content, in-slide, or native outstream units. 

Opt-In Videos — Opt-in videos are video ads that users can choose to watch to receive a small reward. These are most commonly used in free versions of mobile games or apps and result in users gaining small bonuses or credit amounts.

OTT Media Service — Over-The-Top Media Service. OTT media service is an over-the-internet streaming media service that allows users access to various streaming services, usually for a monthly subscription fee.

Overlay AdsOverlay ads are semi-transparent advertisements that show up at the bottom of an ongoing video.


Post-Roll Ad — Post-roll ad is a video advertisement that plays at the end of a video.

Private Marketplace — Private marketplace is an invitation-only real-time bidding (RTB) auction where publishers can invite advertisers to bid on their ad inventory using their user IDs.

Promotional VideoPromotional video is a video that companies and brands use to promote their products or services.

Pre-Roll Ad — Pre-roll ad is a video advertisement that plays at the beginning of a video.

Programmatic Bidding (Advertising)Programmatic bidding entails using an automated process to purchase or sell advertising inventory. This method is far more efficient for advertisers than manually buying ad inventory.

Publisher — Publisher is a site owner or a company paid to host ads on their website, blog, or application. The publishers give advertisers access to their ad inventory to purchase ad space. 


Reach — Reach entails the total number of different users that may see an ad during a particular period.

Retargeting — Retargeting entails changing the type of ads served to a particular user based on their recent internet activity. 

Run of Network — Run of Network is a type of online ad buying campaign in which video ads can appear on a wide range of websites within a particular ad network. In these campaigns, advertisers are unable to choose the websites their ads will appear on.

Real-Time Video Analytics — Real-time video analytics are in-depth video analytics that display data (e.g., bandwidth, impressions, plays, etc.) that updates instantly, i.e., in real time.

Rich Media AdsRich media ads are advertisements that represent more than just images. The term encompasses video ads, ads with audio, or even other advanced features.

RTBReal-Time Bidding. RTB entails a real-time auction for acquiring or selling ad space. Publishers put their ad inventory on auction, and advertisers bid on it.


Second-Party Data — Second-party data is user data collected and shared by another trusted party.

SSPSupply-Side Platform. SSP is a platform that collaborates with publishers to maximize the revenue from their impressions.

Streaming — Streaming is an abbreviated expression for live streaming.

SWF — Small Web Format. SWF is an Adobe Flash file format widely used in the past to deliver video, sound, and graphical content over the internet.

Silent Video Ads Silent video ads are video advertisements that play automatically without sound (muted). Most video ads nowadays in the effort to improve user experience.

Sticky Player — Sticky player is a video player (often used with outstream video ads) that follows the user and remains on-screen as they scroll down a web page.

SVOD — Subscription Video on Demand. SVOD is an OTT media service that users must pay for to use.

Synchronous Video — Synchronous video is video communication between two or more people that happens in real time.


Tag — Tag is a short piece of an HTML code that browsers utilize to fetch an ad from an ad server.

Thumbnail Thumbnail is a custom image or a frame from a video that appears as a video preview before playback commences. On video-sharing platforms, having compelling thumbnails is crucial for gaining users’ attention and driving clicks.

TranscodingTranscoding entails taking already-compressed content (usually video), decompressing it to alter it, and recompressing it.

Third-Party Data — Third-party data is data that huge companies sell to those in the advertising industry.

Testimonial VideoVideo testimonials are review videos that (usually) customers make that showcase their experiences with a particular brand, product, or service.

TVOD — Transactional Video on Demand. TVOD is a video platform or service that allows its users to purchase a particular piece of video content for a predetermined price.


Unique Users — Unique users represent the number of unique visitors to a website that saw an ad.

User-Initiated — User-initiated entails that a user clicks on an advertisement willingly to start it. Most native ads are user-initiated.


VAST — Video Ad Serving Template. A VAST tag represents a third-party tag that an ad server generates for video ads. It allows video players to sync with servers and serve multiple ad inventories within a video ad player.

Video AnalyticsVideo analytics is a tool most video platforms offer that offers insight into your video performance metrics.

Video Carousel Video carousel entails a method of combining multiple videos or images into a single ad.

Video EncodingVideo encoding is the process of file compression so that the result is a running video and not a series of individual images.

Video Plays — Video plays represent the number of times users started watching your video. Both user-initiated and automatic playback count for this metric. 

Viewability — Viewability represents all impressions your users saw. 

VOD — Video on Demand. VOD is a service that allows MVPD users to rewatch a particular TV show or program at any time after it had already aired.

VCR — Video Completion Rate. VCR represents the average percentage of how much of your video your users watch.

Video Aspect Ratio — Video aspect ratio entails the ratio that describes the proportions between the player’s width and height. The most common ones are 4:3 and 16:9.

Video Completes — Video completes represents the number of times users have viewed your video in its entirety. If the user turns the video off even a second before it finishes, the view doesn’t count as a video complete.

Video Player — Video player is a type of media player used to play digital video content. Without one, you wouldn’t be able to play videos or video ads on your website.

Video Syndication — Video syndication entails reuploading your videos to multiple other video syndication platforms to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible.

Viewable Impression — Viewable impression is a metric that counts every time an ad is displayed in a viewable area on-screen.

VPAID — Video Player Ad Interface. VPAID tag is a script that helps video players synchronize with ad networks. The best aspect of VPAID tags is that they allow advertisers to serve interactive and creative video ads.


WAP — Wireless Application Protocol. WAP is a mobile-specific protocol that allows advertisers to distribute WAP mobile ads to mobile devices.

Whitelist — Whitelist entails a list of domains that an advertiser is willing to serve ads on.

White Label — A white-label product is a product or service that one company produces and sells to another while allowing it to rebrand it and appear as if it’s their own. Having a white-label video platform is crucial for helping your brand build brand awareness in the video advertising industry.

Widget — Widgets are elements of websites that you can interact with. Using a video widget can be an easy way to embed a video on your website.