Digital Media – Glossary of Terms (Term from A)


Compiling a list of digital media term is not an easy. But, for understanding and improving marketing skills, knowing digital media jargon will help immensely. For instance, when you speak with a major account executive from a digital advertising agency or digital sales professional, they may say specific jargon terms and you might not understand them. I’ve met with many sales professionals who bull-shit through the sales, stating specific jargon and trying to impress on what they can deliver.

The most important parts of any digital sales or buying are the bottom lines:
1. Return of Investment (ROI) – What can the payer expect to receive for the amount of cost used in paid digital media?
2. Control – Can the payer pause and change the ads specifications (keywords, images, targeting) freely?
3. Accuracy – Can the payer trust what the account executive said is fact or not?

When an account executive mentions “you ads will appear throughout the website using Ads through the website”, you must be aware whether he/she is mentioning (A) Whether the ads will be specifically targeted by keywords, or (B) Appearing on the ad inventory that is left-over from fulfilling all other ad spaces by other advertisers. If the case is B, then you might be throwing your money into the toilet because you ads will be sporadically and non-targeted. So, knowing the specific terminology will save you money in the long-term and major accounting headaches when reporting advertising ROI to your senior management. Little bit of effort from learning general digital media terms will never hurt your future.


When a user leaves a shopping cart with something in it prior to completing the transaction

When a Web server does not successfully transfer a unit of content or ad to a browser. This is usually caused by a user hitting the stop button or clicking on another link prior to the completion of a download.
Above the Fold:
The portion of the webpage that is visible in a browser window when the page first loads.
Activity audit:
Independent verification of measured activity for a specified time period. Some of the key

Ad click:
The user activity of pressing a navigation button or hitting the enter key on the keyboard on an ad unit on a Web site (banner, button or text link).


Ad creative pixel:
A pixel request embedded in an ad tag which calls a web server for the purpose of tracking that a user has viewed a particular ad.


Ad delivery:
Two methods are used to deliver ad content to the user – server initiated and client initiated

Ad download:

When an ad is downloaded by a server to a user’s browser. Ads can be requested, but aborted or abandoned before actually being downloaded to the browser, and hence there would be no opportunity to see the ad by the user.


Ad exchange
A sales channel between publishers and ad networks that can also provide aggregated inventory to advertisers. They provide a technology platform that facilitates automated auction based pricing and buying in real-time. Their business models and practices may include features that are similar to those offered by ad networks.

Ad impression
Count of ads which are served to a user. Ads can be requested by the user’s browser (referred to as pulled ads) or they can be pushed, such as e-mailed ads. In a formal sense, this is a measurement of responses from an ad delivery system to an ad request from the user’s browser, which is filtered for robotic activity and is recorded at a point as late as possible in the process of delivery of the creative material to the user’s browser — therefore closest to the actual opportunity to be seen by the user. 

Ad Impression Ratio:
Click throughs divided by ad impressions = (Clicks / Ad Impressions) = Ad Impression Ratio

Ad Inventory: 
The aggregate number of opportunities near publisher content to display advertisement to visitors. 

Ad Materials
The creative artwork, copy, active URLs and active target sites which are due to the seller prior to the initiation of the ad campaign. 

Ad Network
An organization that sells and serves ads across many websites.


Ad ops
Those work processes that enable, transact, track, measure and evaluate the buying and selling of digital media inventory for publishers and agencies. It can also include operational roles in the companies and for the services that enable publishers to optimize the selling of digital media and agencies and marketers to optimize the planning and buying of digital audiences.


Ad Recall
A measure of advertising effectiveness in which a sample of respondents is exposed to an ad and then at a later point in time is asked if they remember the ad. It can be on an aided or unaided basis.


Ad Request

The request for an advertisement as a direct result of a user’s action as recorded by the ad server. Ad requests can come directly from the user’s browser or from an intermediate Internet resource, such as a Web content server.


Ad Server
A web server dedicated to the delivery of an advertisement. This specialization enables the tracking and management of advertising related metrics.


Ad serving
The delivery of ads by a server to an end user’s computer on which the ads are then displayed by a browser and/or cached. Ad serving is normally performed either by a Web publisher or by a third party ad server. Ads can be embedded in the page or served separately.

Ad space
The location on a page of a site in which an advertisement can be placed. Each space on a site is uniquely identified. Multiple ad spaces can exist on a single page.

Ad stream
The series of ads displayed by the user during a single visit to a site.


Ad Supported
One of the ways that websites monetize their content. It means that the site makes money by serving ads.


Ad Tag
Software code that an advertiser provides to a publisher or ad network that calls the advertisers ad server for the purposes of displaying an advertisement.


Ad Targeting 
Delivering an ad to the appropriate audience


Ad Transfers
The successful display of an advertiser’s website after the user clicked on an ad. When a user clicks on an advertisement, a click-through is recorded and re-directs or “transfers” the user’s browser to an advertiser’s site. If the user successfully displays the advertiser’s site, an ad transfer is recorded.


Ad Units
The square or rectangular shapes on an ad supported publisher site into which ads are served.


Adware (Commonly known as a spam-like program)
Computer software provided to the user free of charge or at a discounted price that downloads and displays advertising to support its continued development and maintenance. This software often tracks what sites the user visits.


Affiliate Marketing 
An agreement between two sites in which one site (the affiliate) agrees to feature content or an ad designed to drive traffic to another site. In return, the affiliate receives a percentage of sales or some other form of compensation generated by that traffic.


An organization that, on behalf of clients, plans marketing and advertising campaigns, drafts and produces advertisements, and places advertisements in the media. In interactive advertising, agencies often use third party technology (ad servers) and may place advertisements with publishers, ad networks, and other industry participants.


Analytic Tool(s)
A 1st party tool that publishers use to track the visitors on their site. Prime example of an analytic tool is Google Analytics. Learn how to use Google Analytics.


An intermediary which prevents Web sites from seeing a user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address.

Interface (API)
A set of commands; the language that programmers or developers use to communicate with a specific piece of software or hardware.

Distortion that is introduced into audio or video by the compression algorithm (codec). Compressed images may have stray pixels that were not present in the original image.

Aspect ratio
This is the width – height ratio of a picture or video frame.

A single piece of information known about a user and stored in a behavioral profile which maybe used to match ad content to users. Attributes consist of demographic information (e.g., age,gender, geographical location), segment or cluster information (e.g., auto enthusiast), and retargeting information (e.g., visited Site X two days ago). Segment or cluster information is derived from the user’s prior online activities (e.g., pages visited, content viewed, searches made and clicking and purchasing behaviors). Generally, this is anonymous data (non PII).


An attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determine how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touch points in conversion paths. For example, Last Interaction attribution assigns 100% credit to the final touch points (i.e., clicks) that immediately precede sales or conversions, while First Interaction attribution assigns 100% credit to touch points that initiate conversion paths.

The group of people who visit a specific website or who are reached by a specific ad network.

Audience Extension 
Allows an advertiser to reach a desired, targeted audience on a private network of other sites.This increases the reach and scale of one site’s audience while enabling targeting desired by the advertiser.


Audience Measurement 
The counting of unique users (i.e. audience) and their interaction with online content. At acampaign level, this service is conducted by a third party to validate that a publisher deliveredwhat an advertiser had requested. At the industry level, this service enables media buyers to understand which brokers of online content to negotiate with to reach a specific audience.


Audience Targeting 
A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based on their shared behavioral, demographic, geographic and/or techno-graphic attributes. It uses anonymous, non PII (Personal Identifiable Information) data.


Third party validation of log activity and/or measurement process associated with Internet activity/advertising. Activity audits validate measurement counts. Process audits validate internal controls associated with measurement.
Average Active Sessions
The average number of streams of one minute or more that are active within a time period.