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Terms Glossary

Term Definition
Ad Server A technology platform that, at a minimum, supports the delivery of advertising creative to a publisher’s placement in response to a user viewing the property, and the associated tracking on critical ad metrics. The vast majority of ad servers include more complex logic to handle decision-making on aspects such as advertiser and/or ad selection, budget pacing and capping, and targeting logic.
Advertiser Any company looking to promote their brand, service, or product; for example, showing its creative on publisher web pages to induce the user to make a purchase, etc.
Advertising Network A company that serves as a broker between a group of publishers and a group of advertisers. Networks traditionally aggregate publisher inventory and broker that inventory to advertisers or other ad networks.
API An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of routine definitions, protocols, and tools for building software and applications.
ARPU / Average Revenue Per User A useful performance indicator that divides the total revenue for a given period of time with the number of active users in an application. ARPU is useful as an indicator of the overall health of the business, or as a means of distinguishing the relative value of different segments of users. For example, comparing the ARPU for a set of users acquired from one partner versus another partner provides insight into the relative value of marketing efforts with these two partners.
Attribution The process by which a traffic source is credited with the conversion. For example, when an advertising partner is credited with an app install. Attributions are verified by matching advertising identifiers (e.g. Google’s Advertising Identifier or Apple’s Identifier for Advertising) available on both the ad click and the conversion.
Attribution Window The maximum time allowed between an ad click or impression and a conversion when performing attribution. Attribution windows are determined on a per-partner basis and are part of your contract with your advertising partners.
Chargeback Chargebacks are essentially taking money back (or refusing payment) for installs determined to be fraudulent. They happen in two directions. Advertisers will send us reports with installs flagged for fraud that they are asking us to remove from their billable amount for the month. We also reserve the right to “charge back” our pubs, since we’ll not be paid for fraudulent installs. So, once we agree with clients on their final billable amounts, we’ll use that reporting to make our case to our Pubs for why we’re refusing to pay them for flagged installs.
Cohort Window of time after install selected by an advertiser for tracking and measuring selected KPIs. Example: Advertiser A says “we’re using a 7 day cohort when measuring ROAS” This means that Day 0 is the day of the install and then they are looking to measure the return on ad spend (ROAS) that occurs within 7 days from the install. This means you want to give your installs 7 days before evaluating them for quality. We often call this time “baking.”
Click URL If a publisher is being paid on a cost-per-click basis and wants to track clicks, they can provide click-tracking URLs where a partner can ping them on every click.
Click-through Occurs when a user clicks on an ad and is taken to an app store, advertiser’s web landing page, or taken to a specific screen in the app.
Click-through Rate The number of clicks divided by total impressions served for a particular creative or campaign.
Completed Video / View Occurs immediately upon completion of the video ad play when percent complete is 100%. Users with completed plays are typically the users that then click on some call-to-action.
Conversion When a user signs up, makes a purchase, or performs some other desired action in response to a marketing activity. Also called an acquisition or action, especially to distinguish it from clicks in an acronym.
CPA (Cost per Action) A measure of the cost to an advertiser for each individual action, such as a sale or registration, completed as a result of a visitor engaging with their advertisement. It is effectively the cost for a single conversion, and it is often used as the payment model for a campaign. In cases where an advertiser is not paying on an action/conversion basis, they will convert their media spend to an effective cost per action (eCPA) to understand campaign effectiveness and profitability.
CPC (Cost per Click) A measure of the cost to an advertiser for each individual click on their advertisement. CPC is frequently used as a payment model in digital media contracts. As with CPA, advertisers will regularly compare total media spend to total clicks for a campaign, to understand their effective cost per click (eCPC), even if that’s not the contracted payment model for a campaign.
CPCV (Cost per Completed Video/View) A measure of the cost to an advertiser for each time a video ad is viewed through completion. See also Quartiles.
CPI (Cost per Install) A measure of the cost to an advertiser for each user that installs their mobile app. CPI as a payment model is an extension of the CPA model, specific to the case of mobile application installs.
CPM (Cost per Thousand or “Mile”) A measure of the cost to an advertiser for each 1,000 advertising impressions served on their behalf. CPM was the earliest payment model used in digital advertising, and is still in use as a basic pricing model for many media contracts. Similar to CPC and CPA, advertisers will regularly compare total media spend to total impressions for a campaign, to understand their effective cost per thousand (eCPM), even if that’s not the contracted payment model for a campaign.
CPV (Cost per Video / View) A measure of the cost to an advertiser for each display of a video ad. See also Quartiles.
CR (Conversion Rate) The ratio of whatever you define as a conversion against the measure of the efforts used to drive it, such as impressions or clicks.
CTI (Click to Install) Usually written as CTI. This refers to the period of time between when a user clicks on our offer and when they complete the Install.
CTR (Click-through Rate) The ratio of clicks to impressions, this measure helps advertisers understand the effectiveness of their pay-per-click campaigns. CTR = clicks / impressions.
Deep Linking The action of sending existing users (i.e. users who have already installed the app) to a specific screen within a mobile app instead of the app’s default/main screen or app store landing page.
Deferred Deep Linking Extends basic deep linking with the ability to send new users (i.e. users who have not yet installed the app) to a specific screen within a mobile app. This is accomplished by persisting the deep link until after the user has installed the mobile app and is launched on first app open.
Destination URL The URL users will be redirected to in an advertising campaign, usually an app store page. Also known as a download URL.
Events Downstream in-app actions that occur after the initial app install; events do not include updates, opens or close events. The completion of in-app events is one of the primary indicators of user engagement for an app.
Fingerprint Matching A mobile attribution methodology that matches conversions (installs, opens, events) to ad clicks and impressions by redirecting a user through a measurement URL and collecting basic (and not always 100% unique) information (such as IP address) from mobile device headers. This attribution method is particularly useful in cases where a unique device ID (such as IFA or Google AID) is not available.
Frequency The rate at which individual users are exposed to an ad.
Google AID The Google Advertising Identifier. A user-specific, unique, re-settable ID, provided by Google Play services for advertising purposes. Enables users to reset their identifier or opt out of interest-based ads within Google Play apps.
IDFA / IFA Apple’s identifier for advertisers. An alphanumeric string that is unique to each device that you can use for serving advertisements, as well as a flag that indicates if a user has enabled the limit ad tracking feature.
Impression When an ad is fetched from its source and the user sees the ad. For banner ads, this event equates to when the ad is displayed. For video ads, this event equates to when the first frame of the video is displayed.
In-banner Video A video creative played in standard banner placements rather than in a video player.
In-stream Video A video creative played in video players. They use VAST XML to ensure proper rendering in players and are shown before, in the middle of, or after other video content.
Insertion Order An agreement and set of specifications between an advertiser and another company (agency, publisher, ad network, etc.) that governs the delivery of advertising inventory.
Install Assists When an advertising partner does not have the last click or impression, but the click/impression occurred within the attribution window prior to the conversion.
Install Referrer The Google Play Install Referrer is a URL parameter that allows you to track installation referrals through the Google Play store. Google Analytics uses this parameter to automatically populate campaign information in your Google Analytics account for your mobile app.
Install Volume The total amount of installs of a mobile app.
Installs Installs credited to a traffic source, such as an advertising partner. Attribution is given to the source responsible for the last click/impression before the install, as long as it falls within the partner’s attribution window. Installs which cannot be attributed are labelled as organic installs.
Inventory The total amount of impressions that a given publisher/network has to offer (usually given a certain period of time, e.g. monthly inventory is in the range of X impressions).
Last Click The dominant attribution model in digital advertising, last click attributes conversions to the advertising partner responsible for the click that was closest in time to that conversion.
Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) LAT is a user-enabled setting on iOS, Android, and Microsoft, that indicates the user does not want to be targeted for advertising. Developers must follow the LAT setting per the developer requirements of these respective platforms.
Lookback Window See Attribution Window.
LTV (Lifetime Value) This measure typically represents how much net profit comes from the future relationship with the user, but can also reflect non-monetary events indicative of engagement or other measures of value.
Macro A dynamic string variable appended to measurement URLs and postback URLs that acts as a placeholder for inserting dynamic data.
Measurement URL The primary mechanism for measuring ad clicks/impressions to be used for attributing a subsequent conversion to the appropriate advertising partner. Advertising partners link their ads to a measurement URL such that user-generated ad clicks get logged by a measurement platform for downstream attribution.
Non-windowed Contributions Interactions (i.e. ad clicks or impressions) that preceded a conversion, but occur outside of a partner’s attribution window.
Organic Installs Users who installed an app as a result of organically-driven browsing or searching in the app store. Your organic install rate is one of the key indicators of your brand’s / app’s impact / reach and can be increased by optimizing your app store assets.
Partner Adoption A reflection of the percentage of clients who have run campaigns with a particular partner (how broadly the partner is adopted by clients).
Postback URL A URL request to a third-party server that notifies them of a conversion event (install, in-app event, etc.).
PPC (Pay per Click) A type of advertising campaign in which advertisers pay publishers a commission for each ad click.
Premium Inventory Publisher inventory that is sold through direct channels in advance; i.e. guaranteed inventory. Often premium inventory is from a site’s homepage, or has some other elevated level of desirability.
Programmatic Buying Buying through automated means; for example by setting up a campaign in a real-time bidding (RTB) exchange or other automated system, as opposed to manual purchases.
Publisher Source of inventory that owns and operates content.
Quartiles A type of impression measurement typically used for video ads. Quartiles measure the extent (percent complete) of a video ad’s playback, in 25% increments. Quartiles convey how much of the video ad the user watched.
Re-engagement Distinct from user acquisition, re-engagement refers to a marketing campaign designed to reach existing users of an application, with the express purpose of driving them to engage with the app again. These campaigns often leverage user targeting to hone in on users who might have lapsed in their usage of the app or for whom a particular promotion is highly relevant. The effectiveness of re-engagement is measured in the ability to bring the targeted users back to the application, and ideally generate a conversion of some sort.
Reach The number of unique users who can be reached by advertising.
Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Bidding on inventory in real-time. The bid is often dynamically generated based on past performance of creatives, inventory, user groups, and other parameters.
Remarketing See Re-engagement
Remnant Inventory Available inventory after premium inventory has been pre-sold by a direct salesforce.
Rich Media Rich media refers generally to media that has non-standard characteristics. Rich media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) Usually abbreviated. Calculation is the revenue generated by ad spend divided by total ad spend.
SDK (Software Development Kit) A computer programming package that includes a set of tools for developing software on a particular platform (code libraries, debugging utilities, sample code, documentation, etc.).
Supply Inventory available for demand, entities that have ad space available. Supply and inventory are often used interchangeably.
Supply-side Platform Enables publishers to access demand from a variety of networks, exchanges, and platforms via one interface.
Technology Partners Third-party entities who provide additional insight into your user’s in-app activity post-conversion.
Trading Desk Generally refers to buyer-side platforms, most commonly within or working for advertising agencies.
User Acquisition The act — and let’s face it, the art/strategy — of gaining new users, generally achieved via advertising campaigns driving traffic to download your mobile app.
VAST Video ad serving template. This is an XML-based video ad serving protocol. It was created to provide a uniform way for video content to be transferred from ad servers to video players on web pages.
View-through Occurs when a user views an ad and then ends in the app store, advertiser’s web landing page, or taken to a specific screen in the app. View-through conversions only have a view and no click for attribution. View-through rate is the ratio of conversions to ad impressions.
VPAID Video player ad-serving interface. Supports more interactive rich media video formats.
Yield Management The use of tools and business practices to maximize revenue.
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