In an effort to streamline and educate, below is a set of common definitions relating to media, ad tech, measurement and other advertising terms.

Source: IAB Glossary of Terminology; Xandr Online Advertising and Ad Tech Glossary; and FreeWheel Video Marketplace Report H1 2021.

  • Addressable TV

    The ability to serve targeted ads to specific households or users based on deterministic identifiers, allowing brands to define and serve their message to the desired audience, wherever and whenever they’re watching content on TV/CTV/STB. Those targeted households can be matched to 1st, 2nd or 3rd party data sets or modeled by behavioral, demographic and/or 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:

    • Addressable TV: The ability to serve targeted ads to specific households or users based on deterministic identifiers, allowing brands to define and serve their message to desired audience, wherever and whenever they’re watching content on TV/CTV/STB.
    • Connected TV (CTV): A TV that is connected to the Internet to play video via an external (e.g., Blu-ray player, streaming device, gaming console) or internal (e.g., SmartTV) device
    • Over-the-top (OTT): TV-like video content delivered over the internet. OTT is device agnostic and can include mobile, desktop, CTV or other devices.
    • Interactive TV (iTV): The catch-all term for adding a viewer engagement piece to television, which may include interactive content, interactive advertising or channels. This can be delivered in a variety of ways, including through the first- and second-screen.
  • Broadcast Networks

    ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX or the CW.

  • Cable Networks

    Video content that is aired on networks outside of ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX or the CW and are viewed via pay TV or OTT.

  • Connected TV (CTV)

    A TV that is connected to the Internet to play video via an external (e.g., Blu-ray player, streaming device, gaming console) or internal (e.g., SmartTV) device.

  • Data Driven Linear

    The ability to use different data sets including demographics, interests and viewing behavior to optimize a linear TV schedule that uses specific networks and dayparts to better reach an advertiser's audience.

  • Distributor

    An entity that manages the platform upon which content and advertisements are delivered.

  • Linear TV

    Live, ad supported TV that has scheduled programming and ad breaks.

  • Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD)

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

  • Premium Video

    Video content that is professionally produced, rights managed and limited in supply.

  • Programmer (or Publisher)

    Owner or licensor of content (content rights owner).

  • TV Everywhere (TVE)

    Services that allow a cable/satellite subscriber to watch the channels in their package anywhere on any device, both inside and outside the home.

  • Video On Demand (VOD)

    Video content that is consumed by the viewer on either a STB or OTT device after the original live airing or released directly to an on demand device/platform.

  • Virtual MVPD (vMVPD)

    Digital-only cable provider that offers access to both live and on demand premium video content for a subscription fee.

  • Aggregation

    The ability to deliver multiple ads from multiple advertisers, in real time, to one or more pre-allocated Ad Pods. Aggregation serves a specific commercial to a specific audience near real time, not through pre-scheduling, when that audience is viewing content during an eligible break. (Also referred to as Audience Addressable).

  • Audience Addressable

    The ability to deliver multiple advertisers' commercial messages to different audiences viewing the same network, at the same time. Multi-Advertiser Spot Optimization (MASO) and Aggregation are both examples of Audience Addressable as opposed to Creative Versioning which is multiple ad messages from one advertiser.

  • Distributor Addressable

    Addressable advertising inserted within the inventory (or dedicated ad breaks) allocated to the Distributor (~2 min/hr. ad inventory) typically as part of the content owner carriage agreement. Also known as “Local Addressable.”

  • Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI)

    Technology that allows advertisers to seamlessly insert or swap out, ads in content (e.g., such as live or on demand video).

  • Multi-Advertiser Spot Optimization (MASO)

    The delivery of multiple ads for multiple advertisers during a pre-scheduled linear spot. Households are served different ads from different advertisers within the same commercial spot (Also known as Audience Addressable).

  • Programmer Addressable

    Addressable advertising inserted by a Programmer within the national programmer commercial break (~14min/hr. ad inventory). Also referred to as National Addressable.

  • Single Advertiser Spot Optimization (SASO)

    The delivery of multiple versions of an ad for a single advertiser during a pre-scheduled linear spot. All households are served an ad from a single advertiser; however, instead of all households receiving the same ad, the single advertiser can serve multiple ad versions to different households (Also known as Creative Versioning).

  • 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).

  • Direct-Sold

    Advertising deals made directly between a programmer (or inventory owner) and an advertiser to deliver a certain amount of impressions for a negotiated cost.

  • Genre

    A content vertical or category of programming (e.g., news, entertainment, sports).

  • Long Form

    Video content 8+ minutes or longer and contains a story arc with a beginning, middle and end.

  • Mid-Roll

    An ad break that occurs in the middle of content.

  • Pre-Roll

    An ad break that occurs before content starts.

  • Video Ad Impression (One Ad Opportunity)

    For dynamic video ads, each ad break is a unique opportunity to serve an ad, and different viewers can see different ads. Rather than being decided in advance, an Ad Decisioning System decides in real time the right ad to show viewers. Because of this, the available “inventory” is the total number of ad impressions that can be shown. Capacity refers only to the number of impressions, there is no limit on the number of ads.

  • Video Ad Unit (Time On the Log)

    In traditional linear television, advertising appears as a “unit” – a moment of time interrupting content. In linear television, a time on the log is an “avail” and “inventory” refers to the number of spots available to sell. The total number of viewers or households who see an ad is later translated into “impressions.” Capacity refers to both the maximum number of ads you can sell and the number of impressions those ads deliver.

  • Automated Content Recognition (ACR)

    ACR is an opt-in identification technology embedded in a device that allows content to be recognized by video, audio or watermark cues and matched back to a data base for verification. This technology can recognize content regardless of its distribution source (i.e., OTT, linear, etc.). Marketers use this information to understand when a viewer has seen their ads.

  • Data Provider

    A business that collects or houses data about users, companies and brands and licenses the information so advertisers can better understand and serve ad messages to their audiences.

  • Deterministic Data

    Data obtained from a direct input and is not modeled data. For example, a user’s name and address, email or phone number that is collected through an online registration form or offline from subscription, registration, purchase or mailing lists.

  • Identity Graph

    An identity graph, or ID graph, is a database that houses all the known identifiers that correlate with individual customers or households. These identifiers could be anything from usernames to address, email, phone, cookies, device IDs, IP address and even offline identifiers.

  • Probabilistic Data

    Deterministic data of an audience group based on relational patterns and the likelihood of a certain outcome (models) used to create a larger target segment.

  • Return Path Data (RPD)

    TV tuning data collected from set-top boxes in cable and satellite subscribers’ homes (e.g., programs subscribers watch, when they watch them and where the subscriber households are located).

  • Viewership Data

    Data that is collected from a set-top box or ACR provider that provides insights into what program, show or network a viewer is watching and for how long.

  • Attribution

    The process of identifying a set of user actions across screens and touchpoints that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning value to each of these events. Attribution offers advertisers the opportunity to understand how media can drive sales, awareness, purchase intent and other measurable KPIs.

  • Cross-Screen Measurement

    The ability to track and measure campaign metrics across different devices and channels, such as mobile/tablet, out-of-home, television and advanced TV.

  • Engagement Metrics

    The metrics used to measure consumers' engagement with the ads viewed. Engagement metrics are used by media buyers to gauge the effectiveness of their advertising. This is most easily done by direct marketers who use CPA buying strategies, but there are a variety of other ways to measure the impact of ads via engagement. Some possible engagement metrics include whether a user has watched an entire video ad, if a user hovers over an ad with a mouse and whether a user has clicked on an ad.

  • Frequency

    The number of times a creative is delivered to the same household, device or browser in a single session or time period.

  • Frequency Capping

    The act of limiting, or "capping" how often a particular ad can be served to a consumer or device for a period of time. For example, an advertiser might use frequency capping to ensure that an ad could be shown to the same device no more than three times per 24 hours.

  • Lookback Window

    An amount of time taken into account when collecting data to be used for attributing conversions, a bid optimization model or anything else. Common lookback windows are a day, 14 days, 30 days, etc.

  • Reach

    The number of different or unduplicated households exposed to a television program or commercial at least once across a stated period of time. Also known as the cumulative (cume) or unduplicated audience.

  • Universe Estimate

    Total persons or homes in a given population.

  • Video Ad Completion Rate

    Measures the percentage of ads that were completed once started.

  • Video View

    Accrued after the first frame of video content is displayed, when at least 50 percent of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds.