Programmatic Glossary & Definitions

Navigating the labyrinthine world of programmatic advertising can be a daunting endeavor, especially when confronted with a flurry of technical terms, acronyms, and nuanced concepts. To simplify this journey, we’ve curated a meticulous Programmatic Glossary that serves as your roadmap to understanding the programmatic ecosystem. From essential terminology like DSP (Demand-Side Platform) and SSP (Supply-Side Platform) to intricate concepts like Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and First-Price Auction, our glossary offers an all-encompassing dive into the programmatic landscape.

Why Our Programmatic Glossary is an Indispensable Resource

Understanding the terms and concepts in our Programmatic Glossary empowers you to analyze programmatic display CTR benchmarks with confidence, thereby optimizing your advertising campaigns for stellar outcomes. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer looking to refresh your knowledge or a newcomer eager to grasp the basics, our Programmatic Glossary serves as your go-to reference. Given the rapid evolution of the programmatic industry, staying abreast of the latest terminologies and best practices is not just advisable—it’s essential. Bookmark our Programmatic Glossary to keep yourself updated and ahead of the curve.

How Our Programmatic Glossary Complements Our Advertising Acronyms Page

If you found value in our Programmatic Glossary, you’ll likely benefit from our Advertising Acronyms page as well. While the Programmatic Glossary focuses on the complexities and nuances of programmatic advertising, the Advertising Acronyms page offers a broader overview of terminology used across the advertising industry. Both resources work in tandem to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the advertising world, making you better equipped to devise and implement successful campaigns.

Use our Programmatic Glossary as your secret go to resource !

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  • 1st Party Data is information collected directly from users and stored for marketing and advertising purposes. It includes behavioral, subscription, contact and social data, often stored in customer relationship management systems.
  • Second-party data is frequently characterised as first-party data from someone else. It implies that if your potential business partner collects data and wishes to share it with you, it will become your second party data.
  • 3rd Party Data is data collected for advertising purposes. 3rd Party Data is collected from multiple sources and based on demographics and behaviors. It is sold programmatically using a DSP.
  • “Above the Fold” describes content that appears on the top half of the front page of a publication. Above the fold is the section of the website that people will see first when it loads and will receive the greatest attention from users.
  • An ad exchange in programmatic advertising is an online marketplace where advertisers, agencies, demand-side platforms, publishers, and supply-side platforms may bid on advertising inventory from multiple publishers utilising real-time bidding (RTB).
  • Ad Inventory or Advertising Inventory is a term that describes the advertising space that each publisher has, and which advertisers can buy to host their ads.
  • A technological platform known as an ad network facilitates the selling of ad inventory between publishers and advertisers. It refers only to digital content and internet advertisements.
  • An ad server is a form of advertising technology used by advertisers and publishers to serve ads to potential customers. Programmatic advertising includes ad server networks, DSPs, and SSPs, which provide advertisers the freedom to purchase and sell advertisements in an automated fashion.
  • Ads.txt stands for “Authorized Digital Sellers” and is intended of preventing internet ad fraud and increasing transparency in the online advertising sector.
  • Agency Holding Companies is an industry term used to describe the parent Advertising Agency companies that own smaller ad agencies. Think Dentsu, Havas Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe & WPP
  • An Agency Trading Desk (sometimes referred to as an ATD) is a programmatic media planning and buying unit within a traditional advertising agency or Agency Holding Company. Think Amnet, Xaxis, Affiperf, Vivaki and Cadreon
  • Audience Extension is a type of advertising that allows advertisers to reach more people than the ones they could reach on the publisher’s site. It enables advertisers to place advertisements on several websites, generating fresh contextual connections in the viewers' minds.
  • Audience segmentation refers to the practice of breaking a large consumer base into smaller individual demographics. The act of separating a big audience into smaller groups with comparable characteristics is known as audience segmentation.
  • Behavioral targeting is an advertising method that uses knowledge about users' behavior across the web to improve the success of their campaigns. This sort of programmatic ad targeting focuses on the individual customer to target their specific lifestyle.
  • Bid Rate is a Programmatic Auction metric that shows how many Bids are occurring in the Auction. The frequency cap and one's bid price are commonly used to determine this. The advertiser will only pay for gained impressions.
  • A bid request is a digital signal from publishers to the ad exchange, highlighting available ad space. In response to this bid request, advertisers submit their bids, competing for the specified space in real-time programmatic auctions.
  • A Bid Response, it is a bid reply from the demand-side platform (DSP) in an OpenRTB system to the supply-side platform (SSP). It might potentially come from the SSP to the ad publisher. It is essentially a communication to the seller displaying the buyer's value and other crucial bid criteria.
  • Blacklists are simply listings of website domain names that under no circumstances does the advertiser allow their ads to serve on that site. Many advertisers will use some sort of Blacklist as part of their overall buying.
  • Brand Lift uses various methodology to gather feedback directly from consumers in real-world settings as a response to an advertising campaign. It will generally present a picture of customer sentiment and brand affinity among those who have been exposed to your media.
  • CTR or Click-Through Rate is a performance metric that shows how many times users clicked on an ad or a link with display, and email marketing campaigns. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on your advertisement by the number of times it is displayed. 
  • Completion Rate is a video advertising metric represented as a percentage. It indicates the number of times that a video plays to the end. The commonly acknowledged benchmark for video completion rate by marketers and their advertising agency is 70%.
  • Contextual advertising is targeted advertising that places ads on directly relevant websites or web pages determined by contextual relevance. It uses keywords to serve ads relevant to the user's interests, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.
  • Cost Per Acquisition is an e-commerce advertising term that stands for Cost per Acquisition. Cost Per Acquisition is measuring the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer.
  • Cost Per Action or CPA is an advertising term used to define how advertisers pay for served ads. The cost per action (CPA) is computed by dividing the cost by the number of activities being measured.
  • CPC or Cost Per Click is a payment model where advertisers pay every time a user clicks on an ad, regardless of the number of impressions. The cost per click bidding mechanism decides how much advertisers pay for their advertisements.
  • Cost Per Completed View is a payment model in video advertising. Cost Per Completed View is where advertisers only pay when a video ad plays to completion. In order for the advertiser to be invoiced under the CPCV pricing model, the ad must be fully played from start to finish, regardless of how lengthy it is.
  • Cost Per Engagement model means that an ad is paid only when it’s engaged with, as opposed to other payment models such as CPC and CPM. CPE is a pricing model for advertising in which digital marketing teams and advertisers only pay for ads when consumers interact with their campaign in some way.
  • Cost Per Install (sometimes referred to as CPI) campaigns are specific to mobile apps and the advertiser only pays once the app has been installed (instead of been simply viewed like in other advertising metrics such as CPM).
  • Cost Per Mille is an advertising term that is short for CPM (thousand impressions). Cost Per Mille is best used for brand awareness campaigns. CPM is a pricing mechanism in which you pay a fixed price per 1,000 impressions, or how many times your ad appears.
  • Cost Per Result is a metric used by advertisers to measure the success of their digital advertising campaigns. It measures how much you spend on advertisements in relation to the amount of conversions you receive and may be used to optimise ad spend and enhance ROI.
  • Cost Per Thousand is an advertising term referred based on CPM or Cost Per Mille impressions. If a website publisher charges $2.00 CPM, an advertiser will be required to pay $2.00 for each 1,000 impressions of their advertisement.
  • Cost Per View (CPV) is programmatic bidding method to buy video impressions, meaning the advertiser will only pay for video impressions (VAST or VPAID) when the impression is actually viewed.
  • CPA is an e-commerce advertising term that stands for Cost per Acquisition. It has different significance depending on the actions that are meant to be tracked.
  • CPC or Cost Per Click is a payment model where advertisers pay every time a user clicks on an ad, regardless of the number of impressions. Ads that are merely viewed by users but not clicked on are delivered for free in the pay per click model.
  • CPCV or Cost Per Completed View is a payment model in video advertising. CPCV is where advertisers only pay when a video ad plays through to completion. In order for the advertiser to be invoiced under the CPCV pricing model, the ad must be fully played from start to finish, regardless of how lengthy it is.
  • CPE model means that an ad is paid only when it’s engaged with, as opposed to other payment models such as CPC and CPM. The cost per engagement, or CPE, is the cost incurred time an advertisement is viewed. Engagements might range from muting or stopping a video to providing contact information.
  • CPI (Cost Per Install) campaigns are specific to mobile apps and the advertiser only pays once the app has been installed on the mobile device. For mobile user acquisition initiatives, the CPI model is employed, where advertising or app marketers pay per installation.
  • CPM is an advertising term that stands for Cost Per Mille (thousand impressions). CPM is best used for brand awareness campaigns. Cost Per Mille (CPM) is the cost of having your online advertisement be viewed 1,000 times.
  • CPV is programmatic bidding method to buy video impressions, advertiser will only pay for video impressions when actually viewed. An advertiser will only pay for video impressions (VAST or VPAID) using the programmatic bidding technique known as "CPV" (or "Cost Per View") if the impression is actually seen.
  • CTR or Click-Through Rate is a performance metric that shows how many times users clicked on an ad or a link with display, and email marketing campaigns. It is commonly used by marketers and advertising professionals to assess the performance of search, display, and email marketing initiatives.
  • CTV bridges the gap between traditional television and the digital world, providing a platform for targeted, contextually relevant advertising.
  • A Data Management Platform is a cloud-based software that collects, stores, sorts and categorizes user data. They are a central data hub for a marketer, storing a company's customer, audience, and marketing data.
  • Daypart Targeting or Dayparting is an ad serving campaign tactic used by advertisers to limit the delivery of a campaign to specific times of the day or specific days of the week to more effectively target an audience.
  • Deal ID is a unique identifier between a SSP and DSP that facilitates transactional clarity and specificity within the Programmatic Advertising ecosystem for Advertisers and Publishers.
  • A Demand Side Platform (or DSP) cover everything from automatically buying ad inventory to managing it and tracking results. A demand-side platform is a system that allows users to manage many ad exchange and data exchange accounts through a single interface.
  • A Designated Market Area is an advertising term that stands for different regions in the United States divided into separate marketing areas.
  • Device ID is a code that clearly mark each individual device in the world. Commonly, these devices are smartphones and tablets. Every mobile device has the ID number built in, and every programme the user instals may access it.
  • DMA or Designated Market Area is an advertising term that stands for different regions in the United States divided into separate marketing areas. The Nielsen Company measures 210 DMAs in the United States.
  • A DMP is a cloud-based software technology that collects, stores, sorts and categorizes user data. They should be considered as the central data hub for a marketer, storing a company's customer, audience, and marketing data.
  • DOOH stands for “Digital Out Of Home” and refers specifically to digital media that appears in public places such as digital billboards and outdoor signage. As a marketer, programmatic DOOH allows you to specify criteria around people you want to contact.
  • A DSP or Demand Side Platform is an advertising management system that allows buyers to buy in ad exchanges (display, video, search, and mobile ads). A Demand Side Platform (DSP) is a platform for automated ad buying where marketers and agencies may acquire digital ad inventory.
  • Dynamic Ad Insertion or DAI is video advertising technology that allows advertisers to integrate video ads into live programming and VoD content. It is a server-side video ad solution that enables you to offer video ads in live linear television as well as video on demand content.
  • eCPM is an advertising term that stands for Effective Cost per Mille (thousand impressions). It is helpful since it translates everything to a single measure in situations where several forms of pricing and advertising (such as CPC, CPA, etc.) are utilized.
  • Endemic advertising is an advertising and marketing term that refers to ad placement that’s natural to a market, sometimes referred to Vertical Advertising. Endemic advertising is ad placement that is native or natural to the market.
  • Fill Rate is Sell Side specific metric which represents the percentage of ads served based on the total number of page impressions available. The ad fill rate is what allows you to see how your inventory is being used. As a result, your ad fill rate confirms the market demand for your goods.
  • First look is an advertising term that describes a situation when certain advertisers are offered a prioritized access to a publisher’s ad inventory. The first look deal in programmatic advertising ensures that the advertiser that was awarded the First Look priority would win, even if their bid was not the highest.
  • First Party Data is the term defines data that is collected directly from users such as website visitors, and stored for advertising and marketing purposes. First-party data is information that businesses can get from their own sources.
  • A First Price Auction (sometimes referred to as a First Price Sealed Bid Auction or a Blind Auction) is where bidders submit the highest bid price they are prepared to pay and the highest bidder wins.
  • Geotargeting is an advertising term that describes determining the location of a website visitor in order to serve them personalized ads. It is an advertising term that refers to detecting a website visitor's location in order to deliver them targeted ads.
  • GRP stands for Gross Rating Point and is a measure of the size of an advertising campaign in relation to the size of the targeted audience or population. It is the same as reaching 1% of the total possible audience with a single advertisement message.
  • Header Bidding enables bid requests from multiple demand sources simultaneously using programmatic protocols such as OpenRTB. It is a sophisticated programmatic strategy in which publishers sell inventory to numerous ad exchanges at the same time before making calls to their ad servers.
  • An Independent Trading Desk specializes in the buying of digital advertising using programmatic advertising platforms and is owned independently. It can provide access to native advertisements, sponsored search, social, TV, and video in addition to display.
  • An In-house Programmatic Trading Desk are a team of digital advertising executives who are responsible for managing and executing Programmatic Advertising campaigns within a company.
  • An Insertion Order can best be considered a Purchase Order between the parties. A Insertion Order is usually issued by the Publisher but frequently issues by the Advertiser. An insertion order is a collection of line items all relevant to the same advertising campaign.
  • Instream video is an advertising term which defines the placement of video advertisements in correlation to the original content a consumer decided to watch. Instream video advertisements are ones that play before, during, or after a video that a viewer is already watching.
  • Interstitial Ads / Over the Page Ads are full-screen ads that run over the top of publisher content on Desktop, Tablet or Mobile devices. These advertisements display between content—interstitially—at natural app transition points, such as between levels in games or after certain actions.
  • Last Click Attribution is a advertising measurement analytics model used by advertisers to quantify the success of their campaigns. It determines which touchpoint a consumer last clicked or engaged with before completing a purchase and attributes 100% of the sale or conversion to that touchpoint.
  • Lookalike Audiences is a term used to describe a group of users who have similar characteristics to others in a group. Lookalike targeting directs advertisements to people who resemble your target audience in appearance and behaviour.
  • Media Rating Council (often referred to as the MRC) is a nonprofit organization that gives media research and advertising accreditations to ad platforms. It is intended to notify users whether such audience measures are carried out in accordance with the criteria and processes established.
  • A meta-DSP is a type of software solution used in the programmatic ad buying process. A meta-DSP is a component of AdTech software that is placed on top of preexisting DSPs. It is a platform for centrally managing and automating campaign creation, trafficking, reporting, and targeting across several DSPs.
  • MidRoll is an advertising term describing video ads that are served to consumers in the middle of the original content’s playback. Midroll advertisements, like Pre Roll and Post Roll advertising, are classified as in-stream video ads. 
  • MRC or Media Rating Council is a nonprofit organization that gives media research and advertising accreditations to ad platforms. The MRC identified the necessity to monitor and verify the veracity of location firms' claims as visitation became a measuring KPI for location data.
  • Open Exchange otherwise known as Open Ad Exchange (or open marketplace) is an ad buying and selling space that gives buyers access to inventory. It is a marketplace where all vendors, buyers, ad networks, and advertisers may purchase and sell digital content.
  • OpenRTB is a the protocol for Real-Time Bidding (RTB) which powers the Programmatic Advertising Ecosystem. It was created to help RTB marketplaces expand by offering an open industry standard for communication and interoperability between buyers and sellers in the digital advertising sector.
  • Outstream video, also referred to as in-read or native video, is an advertising term describing video advertisements placed in otherwise non-video original content. When a user navigates to it within text material (usually an article), it automatically starts playing in a big format player, even if the publisher doesn't have any video content.
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) is an advertising term that describes online advertising payment models where advertisers pay per each click. The word "pay-per-click" comes from the fact that an advertiser using PPC marketing must pay a fee each time a user clicks on their ad.
  • Personally Identifiable Information stands for personal information of each user which is subject to advertising. It is information that can be used to differentiate, contact, and uniquely identify customers.
  • PII or Personally Identifiable Information stands for personal information of each user which is subject to advertising. It is private information that may be used to find, contact, or identify a person.
  • PMP is a programmatic marketing term that stands for Private Marketplace. PMPs are a private advertising auction, as opposed to public marketplaces. Buyers may benefit from automation and ensure that transactions satisfy their customised needs by using a private marketplace inside a programmatic environment.
  • Post Roll is an advertising term that describes video advertisements which are served to the consumer after the original video has finished playing. Only videos that have chosen to participate in an ad revenue programme will have this form of advertisement. These ads are normally 10 to 15 seconds long, but they can last up to three minutes.
  • PPC is an advertising term that describes online advertising payment models where advertisers pay per each click. When an advertisement is clicked, advertisers who use pay-per-click marketing must pay a charge.
  • Prebid is an open-source header bidding framework which facilitaties increased competition among ad buyers, leading to and better value for advertisers.
  • Pre Roll is an advertising term describing video ads that play right before the video, typically 15, 30 or 60 secs in duration and sold on a CPM or CPV basis. Programmatic pre-roll advertisements are a type of video ad that are shown on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices just before a user watches a publisher's short-form video content.
  • What is a Price Floor? Think of a Price Floor in a similar way to the reserve price for a Real Estate auction. i.e the price that the auction will be passed in if there are not a single bid that exceeds the reserve.
  • Private Marketplaces redefine Programmatic Advertising, offering unparalleled access to choice inventory, these marketplaces grant advertisers a distinctive edge. As the influence of Private Marketplaces grows, understanding their intricacies becomes imperative for sustained success.
  • Programmatic Guaranteed Deals are Pre-agreed ad buying where advertisers secure a set number of impressions at a fixed price. It offers the automation of Programmatic Advertising buying with the predictability of traditional media deals.
  • Publisher Trading Desks are provided by publishers who leverage their internal data and insights to target audiences on behalf of clients. They serve as somewhat of an intermediary between companies and DSPs and are trusted to provide turnkey, managed solutions for well planned and carried out digital marketing campaigns.
  • QPS stands for Queries Per Second and is considered the central metric used to describe a server's dimension in terms of capacity/throughput. The number of enquiries per second (Ad Calls) is a measure of how well an ad server or ad platform is performing in terms of online advertising; the higher the number, the more popular the service.
  • Rate card is an advertising term describing the documents in which the publisher states the price of their ad inventory. A rate card is simply a website's menu of ad choices. This document includes the price for the several ad units that marketers may purchase on a website, either on a flat charge or CPM basis.
  • Real Time Bidding is the buying or selling of ad impressions through ad exchanges and platforms via Demand Side Platforms (referred to as DSPs). It refers to the process of purchasing and selling advertisements in real time on a per-impression basis.
  • Remarketing is an advertising practice in which advertisers can re-engage potential customers who have already shown interest in a product or a brand. Remarketing entails displaying advertisements to people who have previously visited your website.
  • A Reserve Price auction is a sort of auction in which the seller determines the lowest price for the item being auctioned.
  • Retargeting is an advertising term which describes the process of recapturing visitor attention with the goal of driving sales. It is the practise of displaying an advertisement to a user who has previously shown interest in your product using data obtained through pixels (cookie-data).
  • Run of Network (sometimes referred to as “RON”) is the term where an advertising campaign or PMP is applied to the entire network of websites within an Ad Network. It is actually a form of internet marketing where an online advertising campaign is applied to a wide collection of websites without the ability to choose specific sites.
  • Run of Site, also referred to as ROS, is an advertising term that pertains to advertisers giving up control over the placement of their ads. Run On Site (ROS) is a criterion for advertising targeting that enables you to target ad impressions just for certain websites. The ad is directed to particular publishers/domains in the ad network.
  • RTB is an advertising term that describes an automated process of selling and buying ad inventory through a programmatic online auction. Real-time bidding (RTB) is an automated method that allows marketers to make real-time bids for certain display ad locations.
  • Run of Network (sometimes referred to as “RON”) is the term where an advertising campaign or PMP is applied to the entire network of websites within an Ad Network.
  • Run of Site, also referred to as ROS, is an advertising term that pertains to advertisers giving up control over the placement of their ads. A run-of-site (ROS) campaign allows for the placement of advertisements on any page of a certain website.
  • Second Party Data is the type of data collected and stored about customers, and it’s commonly used for marketing and advertising purposes. Second-party data is bought directly from the entity that owns it. The vendor gathers information directly from their customers, and it all originates from the same source.
  • A Second Price Auction (sometimes referred to as a Vickrey Auction) is where each bidder submits a bid which is the highest amount they are willing to pay. The highest bidder wins but the price paid is the second-highest bid plus $0.01
  • Advertisers can sign up for a self service DSP which allows them to purchase ad impressions systematically.
  • Sell Through Rate is a sell-side metric that is sourced and calculated from a Publisher's Ad server and is represented as a percentage. The Sell-Through Rate compares the quantity of current or anticipated inventory with the quantity sold over a predetermined time period.
  • Share of Voice is a phrase often used in media planning and buying. Share of Voice is expressed as a percentage and represents the relative portion of ad impressions bought compared to all ads available for that given period of time.
  • SOV is a phrase used in media planning & buying. SOV is the relative portion of impressions bought to all ads for a time period. It measures your brand's exposure and how much you control the discourse in your sector.
  • A SSP (referred to as a Supply Side Platform) is a software platform used by publishers to monetize their inventory with ad exchanges, ad networks, and DSPs at the same time to sell impressions at their highest value in real time.
  • A Supply Side Platform (referred to as SSP) is a software platform used by publishers to monetize their inventory with ad exchanges, ad networks, and DSPs at the same time to sell impressions at their highest value in real time.
  • Third Party Data is data collected for advertising purposes. Third Party Data is collected from multiple sources and based on demographics and behaviors. Any data gathered by an organisation without a direct connection to the user the data is being collected on is considered third-party data.
  • Uncoupled Data is a Programmatic term that refers to allowing an advertiser to use a data segment or audience for campaign activation in their own DSP. Allowing an advertiser to use a data segment or audience for campaign activation in their own DSP is known as "uncoupled data" in programmatic.
  • VAST or Video Ad Serving Template is an IAB specification that explains how video players communicate with ad servers, and serve ads. Ad platforms and video players employ the VAST standard to serve and playback digital video ads.
  • vCPM is an advertising metric that stands for Viewable Cost per Mille. vCPM tracks the cost for viewable thousand impressions. This indicates that rather than paying for ads that are served, advertisers are instead paid per 1,000 visible impressions of the ad placed.
  • Video Ad Serving Template or VAST is an IAB specification that explains how video players communicate with ad servers, and serve ads. The VAST template for constructing ad tags that supply videos players with advertisements.
  • Video Completion Rate is a video advertising metric represented as a percentage. It indicates the number of times that a video plays to the end. It shows how many times a video has played through to the finish. The benchmark for video completion rates, which is commonly regarded by marketers and their ad agency, is 70%.
  • Viewability or viewable impressions is an advertising metric used to define impressions which can actually be seen by users. The probability that a user would actually view an advertisement is referred to as viewability.
  • View Through Rate (or VTR) is an advertising metric describing the number of times an ad has been viewed completely. View Through Rate, which is typically used for video commercials, represents the proportion of viewers who have seen the whole video ad out of all those who have been exposed to it.
  • VPAID or Video Player-Ad Interface Definition is advertising technology that complements VAST (Video Ad Serving Template). A powerful interactive in-stream ad experience is made possible by VPAID, a standard interface between video players and ad units.
  • It is an advertising metric describing the number of times an ad has been viewed completely. The number of completed views of a skippable advertisement over the total number of first impressions is known as the View Through Rate (VTR).
  • A White Label DSP (Demand-Side Platform) is essentially a fully customized and rebranded DSP product that agencies, advertisers, or companies can use as their own.
  • A Whitelist is a list of website domains that the advertiser is willing to serve its ads on. Many advertisers who buy advertising programmatically will only buy from a whitelist or against a blacklist.
  • Win Rate is the percentage that measures the total number of impressions won in programmatic buys divided by the total number of impressions bid on. The number of impressions won over the number of impressions bid is measured by a win rate, a percentage indicator used in programmatic media marketing.