1. Contact & Support

Glossary of Ad-Tech and Sovrn Terms

Not sure what a certain word or term means? Check here to find terminology.

Sovrn Terms


Sovrn Platform Beta - the new platform which shows all your products from one place. You're able to access Advertising, Commerce, and more from your dashboard found here

Screen Shot 2022-04-06 at 1.24.01 PM


Sovrn Advertising  - a.k.a. Ad Exchange, Meridian. These are all terms for the soon-to-be legacy platform for managing Sovrn ad zones. Find out more about this product here

Screen Shot 2022-04-06 at 1.08.27 PMScreen Shot 2022-04-06 at 1.10.15 PM



Sovrn Commerce - previously Viglink. The soon-to-be legacy platform for managing affiliate marketing with Sovrn. Find out more about this product here

Screen Shot 2022-04-06 at 1.13.20 PM

Screen Shot 2022-04-06 at 2.55.47 PM


Connect - is a technology for publishers, which allows them to deliver multiple products to their site through 1 tag implementation. Learn more here

Screen Shot 2022-04-19 at 9.45.03 AM


Signal - a technology that monitors how a user is interacting with a webpage and its ad units. It does this by listening to user events sent to the browser via the Signal Beacon, to know where the user is focused and whether they are actively engaging with that area of the page. Learn more here

Screen Shot 2022-04-19 at 9.40.58 AM


Signal Beacon - is an analytics tool that allows us to capture user interactions. When delivered to the page, it is able to measure both how the user is interacting with the entire page, and with each of the ad slots on the page. Learn more about Signal here

Other Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 



Above/below the fold (ATF/BTF) - If an ad appears at the top of the page in plain sight (above the fold) or if the user needs to scroll down the page in order to see it (below the fold). According to the IAB, a viewable impression is a minimum of 50% of the pixels in view for 1 second.

Ad calls / ad requests - the amount of opportunities an ad has to serve, how much traffic a publisher sends through requesting an ad

Ad network - an online advertising network or ad network is a company that connects advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements. The key function of an ad network is aggregation of ad space supply from publishers and matching it with advertiser demand.

Ad Server - a computer/web server that stores, maintains and serves digital advertising assets for one or more websites or mobile services. One of its primary functions is to manage the pacing of delivery for advertising campaigns based on rules, and provide reporting on campaign performance. A “homegrown server” is one built internally by a publisher. E.g. DoubleClick for Publishers, OAS, etc.

Ad Space/Ad Slot - 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 Tag/Ad Unit - an ad tag is a piece of HTML or JavaScript code that your webmaster or developer inserts into the source code of a web page. There is usually a separate ad tag for each ad that you want to display on your website.

Asynchronous Ad Tag - an ad tag that loads within an iframe, so that it loads asynchronously of the rest of the page

AG - an abbreviation for Automated Guaranteed, AG is the automation of traditional digital direct sales, often of publishers‟ reserved inventory. In Automated Guaranteed deals, the RFP and campaign trafficking processes are automated, inventory and pricing are guaranteed, deals are negotiated directly between sellers and buyers and facilitated by a technology platform. Direct integration with publishers‟ ad servers allow for real-time availability of impressions and direct line item insertion for trafficking.

AP - an initialism for Automated Performance , AP is workflow automation, similar to Automated Guaranteed. Ad Tag/Ad Unit deals campaign performance is guaranteed, rather than impressions. The two main performance metrics for these deals are Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost-Per-Install (CPI).

API - stands for application program interface. Is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. The API specifies how software components should interact.

Align - to match publisher zones (supply) with the appropriate partner ad campaigns (demand)

ATD - an initialism for Agency Trading Desk , ATDs are specialized media buying groups, most commonly working within (or for) an advertising agency. They use either proprietary technology or a Demand Side Platform (DSP) to buy and optimize media campaigns on ad exchanges, ad networks and other available inventory sources they are connected with. Examples include IPG's Cadreon and The Publicis Group's VivaKi's Nerve Center.

Audience Targeting - the practice of using data to imply an audience, either by demography, life stage or some sort of intent like people who have searched for information on a car or new phone purchase. For example, to reach an "auto intender,” advertise to them wherever they are online - not just on auto sites. Agencies buy audience targeted impressions as it increases their efficiency and for many types of products, especially packaged goods. They are looking to reach broad audience segments like Adults 18 - 34 or Women 35 - 54 etc. 



Beacons / Pixels - a 1x1 pixel tag typically used by an advertiser or a third party ad server to track a unique user's activity over time.

Black list/block list/exclusion list - a.k.a. exclusion list. a list of domains that a publisher or demand partner do not want to see

Bot traffic - Bot traffic is the part of fraudulent online traffic and activities artificially generated by automated bots and spiders.



Container tag - is a code snippet used in web development that removes the need for multiple data tracking codes being placed directly on the site. Instead, one code is placed on every page on a site.

Content Integration - advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope. Also known as "Web Advertorial".

Contextual Ads - existing contextual ad engines deliver text and image ads to non-search content pages. Ads are matched to keywords extracted from content. Advertisers can leverage existing keyboard-based paid search campaigns and gain access to a larger audience.

Cookie-Sync - the mechanism by which an SSP cookie ID can be matched to a DSP cookie ID. The purpose is usually intended to improve the audience match.

CPM - cost per thousand impressions

CPC - cost per click

CPA - cost per action

Creative - the visual advertisement that displays within a javascript ad tag when a call is monetized by a demand partner



DAA - stands for Digital Advertising Alliance, DAA is a group of trade organizations involved in online who push for self-regulation including: AAAAs, AAF, ANA, DMA with support from the CBBB. The alliance includes over 5,000 companies. in the space.

Demand Partners - an entity, which buys inventory from the publishers to display their advertisements. Demand Partners include advertisers, ad agencies, Agency Trading Desks and marketers employed by the advertiser.

DSP - stands for Demand Side Platform, a DSP is a company that handles automated media buying from advertisers across multiple sources using unified targeting, data, RTB optimization, and reporting. Generally, DSPs connect directly to Supply Side Platforms (SSPs, like Sovrn) to enable publishers to package and sell inventory.

Dynamic Ad Insertion - the process by which an ad is inserted into a page in response to a user's request. Dynamic Ad Insertion allows alteration of specific ads placed on a page based on any data available to the placement program. At its simplest, dynamic ad insertion allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces. In more sophisticated examples, the ad insertion could be affected by demographic data or usage history for the current user.



EBDA (now just EB) - Acronym for Exchange Bidding in Dynamic Allocation, which is Google’s answer to Header Bidding.  It’s a server-side solution where exchanges and SSPs can bid on publisher inventory along with Google’s AdX in a unified auction.

eCPM - the average rate at which an ad call is valued. Stands for effective "cost per thousand impressions", calculated by (revenue*1000)/impressions

EFP - effective floor price



Fill Rate - rate of monetized calls divided by the total amount of ad call requests.

First-Party Data - user information captured from registrations or stored data on a user within retail sites, social media, site newsletters, forums and subscriptions for content on websites.

Flat-Rate Pricing - a pricing model that uses a fixed rate for the media instead of being based on a CPM (Cost Per Impression) or CPC (Cost Per Click). Flat-Rate Pricing is generally used by sites for large sponsorship programs, or by sites that sell listings or small presence in directories. In addition, flat rates are found on smaller sites with limited pages and ad impressions or those that use fixed ad units (instead of dynamically served ads).

Floating Ads - a piece of code containing the agreed-upon terms (negotiated pricing, for example) between an advertiser and a publisher that allows the advertiser to access the publisher‟s inventory.

Floor Price/Price Floor - a fixed CPM (Cost Per Impression) a publisher sets that is the minimum for which they are willing to sell their inventory. This option is only really relevant for auction based transactions.

Frequency Capping - the process in which the frequency of an ad is limited by a publisher to prevent the same ad from continuously capturing the ad space on its website and earn more revenue by selling the same ad space to different advertisers. For example, if an ad is capped to five views per visitor per day, then on the sixth visit from the same visitor on the same day, this same ad will not be displayed and will be replaced with another ad. For Frequency Capping, cookies are used by publishers to track the number of times a particular ad is displayed to a visitor in a given period (instead of dynamically served ads).



GDPR - The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

Gross Impressions - The total number of exposures to an online advertisement or message.

GRP - stands for Gross Rating Points, GRP is a term often used in traditional advertisers to identify the sum of ratings for a specific media vehicle or schedule. It represents a percentage of the target audience reached by an advertisement using the formula: Gross Rating Points (GRP) = frequency X % of reach.

Guaranteed Inventory - within programmatic media, a type of transaction that mirrors a digital direct sale where the deal is negotiated directly between buyer and seller, and the inventory and pricing are guaranteed. The campaign runs at the same priority as other direct deals in the ad server. Within programmatic, this guarantee of sold inventory is automated through the technology platform (SSP), from the RFP and through the campaign trafficking process.



Hard codingLiterally placing the ad tag within the code on the publisher's webpage instead of placing the tag within an ad server. 

Hashed email - a hashing algorithm transforms email addresses into hexadecimal strings, so an email becomes an unrecognizable combination of numbers and letters. This code cannot be traced back to the email address, but the behaviors attached to the email address can be recorded, meaning it can be used to obtain data about an individual’s online behavior without marketers obtaining the email address and or individuals identity. 

Header Bidding - an advertising technique that serves as an alternative to the Google “waterfall” method. Sometimes referred to as advance bidding or pre-bidding. Publishers can simultaneously offer ad space out to numerous SSPs or Ad Exchanges at once by placing javascript code on the page. When the page is loaded, it reaches out to all supported SSPs or ad exchanges for bids before its ad server’s own direct-sold inventory is called. Publishers can even choose to allow the winning bid to compete with pricing from the direct sales.

House ads - in the event that an ad impression is not able to serve or there is no available buyer, Sovrn creative-specific ads will run to fill the space.



IAB - stands for Interactive Advertising Bureau, IAB is a non-profit trade association devoted exclusively to maximizing the use and effectiveness of interactive advertising and marketing.

IAS - Integral Ad Science. a third party fraud pixel. 

IBV tag - A code of javascript that publishers can either hard code onto their webpage or place into an ad server. We have both an in-house IBV player as well as a Vidible IBV option for our publishers.

Impressions - views of a given web page. The number of potential impressions is used to determine the cost of displaying an ad.

iframe- a tag that loads independently of content

Interstitial Ads - ads that appear between two content pages. They are also known as Transition Ads, Intermercial Ads and Splash Pages.

Introstitial Ads - Like an Interstitial Ad, a full page ad served so that a user navigating to a home page or other web page, will see the ad prior to accessing the site's content.

Inventory - In the context of digital advertising, this is the space available on a publisher‟s property that is designated specifically for the placement of an ad.

IMU - stands for Interactive Marketing Unit , IMU is the standard ad unit size endorsed by IAB.







Large Rectangle - The IAB definition of a standard ad unit size measuring 336 x 280 pixels.

Latency - the amount of time it takes for server requests to load on a web page. It can involve multiple factors: A specific user’s network connectivity, low bandwidth in a user’s Internet connection can delay the time it takes for network requests/responses on a web page, and thus delay the loading of video players and ultimately the delivery of advertisements. 



Midroll - Video ads serve in the middle of content in various pods. Usually they play once the video has run for a certain percentage of time (for example quartile midroll ads serve at 25%, 50%, 75% into the video content).



Native Advertising - advertising that is contextualized to appear as a part of the content experience and developed by brands, specific publishers, or media platforms. The intention is to create relevance between the advertising message and the environment in an effort to improve advertising effectiveness for the consumer and for the advertiser.

Non-Guaranteed Inventory - content that is sold by publishers through ad networks and using ad exchanges/branded marketplaces. Often the publisher is willing to be more flexible on the pricing of this inventory, as the delivery is equally flexible for the advertiser.

Non-Premium - pages that are not prominently featured or are deep into the site. However these pages still retain a value for the advertiser.

Non-Qualifying Page Impressions - page impressions which should be excluded from traffic or measurement reports, such as unsuccessful transfers of requested documents, successful transfers of requested documents to a robot or spider, and/or pages in a frame set are called non- qualifying page impressions.



Open RTB/oRTB - a standard protocol for real-time bidding intended to set the requirements bar and simplify the connection between suppliers of publisher inventory (exchanges/branded marketplaces, SSPs, etc.) and competitor buyers of that inventory (bidders, DSPs, etc.).



Passback - a third party ad tag that is called if our partners fail to monetize on the incoming ad call.

PMP - stands for Private Marketplace , PMP is a customized, invitation-only marketplace that provide publishers with the ability (through an SSP) to designate certain inventory and sell it to a select buyer or group of buyers with an emphasis on margin improvement for the seller. Unlike a direct buy, which can be quite labor-intensive, buyers in a Private Marketplace use programmatic methods to purchase from publishers.

Post roll - A video ad serves after the video content has completely finished.

Premium Inventory - ad impressions sold directly by the publishers' sales force, or impressions served that yield higher performance and therefore higher CPMs, such as on the home page or above the fold.

Programmatic Advertising - blanket term for any algorithmic based digital advertising strategy

Programmatic Direct - an umbrella term for all electronically facilitated deals between buyers and sellers across both guaranteed and Non-Guaranteed inventory utilizing Automated Guaranteed workflow, Private Marketplace, or RTB.

Preroll - A video ad serves before the video content plays

Price Floor - the lowest payout rate a publisher is willing to accept. If a partner does not monetize at a rate greater than the publisher floor price, the publishers passback tag will be invoked.

Publisher - a digital entity that provides content or services with the primary goal of offering a consumer value proposition, and deriving advertising as a business model.




Redirect - a webserver function that sends a user from one URL to another. Redirects commonly take the form of an automated redirect that uses one of a series of status codes defined within the HTTP protocol.  

Re-Targeting - A technique that uses information about a consumer's web browsing habits to re-send an advertisement to them on a different publisher's website. This is achieved through pixel tagging or other code that enables a publisher to recognize a particular user.

Roast - a defined group of ad campaigns

RTB (Real Time Bidding) - a viceroy auction where partners see the incoming ad call and the user data simultaneously and bid against each other for rights to monetize the call and place a creative, in real time. 120ms response threshold required.

OpenRTB compliance information may be found here.



Second price auction - An auction in which the bidder who submitted the highest bid is awarded the object being sold and pays a price equal to the second highest amount bid.

Semantic Targeting - targeting where a computer system examines all the words on a web page to identify the meaning of those words and not just the simple context to determine appropriateness for an ad placement.

Share of Voice - percentage of total impressions delivered for a specific advertiser, or advertiser category, over a given period of time.

Share of Wallet - percentage of buyer spend directed towards a specific advertiser, or advertiser category, over a given period of time.

Spot Buying - transactions that exist within an exchange environment with pre-negotiated, fixed pricing (CPM, CPC, etc.). Typically, these are given a higher priority than open marketplace or Private Marketplace transactions. These types of deals are the result of advertiser demand for a more predictable offering within the exchange space.

SSP - stands for Supply-Side Platform, SSP is a technology platform that provides a publisher with brand control, pricing and packaging tools and reporting capabilities in order to help them manage their inventory assets in a programmatic advertising world; also known as a “Sell Side Platform”.

Synchronous Ad Tag - an ad tag that loads along with the rest of the page



Third-Party Data -
user data that is collected, repackaged, and processed by companies that track and analyze consumer characteristics or preferences. This information can be used for future ad targeting and digital marketing purposes.

TLD - stands for Top Level Domain, TLD is the last segment of the domain name. The TLD is the letters immediately following the final dot in an Internet address.

Transparent Inventory - for advertisers, inventory transparency refers to the fact of knowing where (on which publishers‟ websites) their ads are displayed.





VAST tag An ad tag that, when placed in a browser, should respond with an XML tree. This tag basically streamlines communication between a video player and ad servers. It communicates information such as: the ad to play, how to play the video, what should be tracked as the video plays. This information is passed via macros in the tag.

VPAID tag - Very similar to a VAST tag, however, this tag can be used to communicate for both non-linear and interactive ads. A VPAID tag allows us to hold our own auction within the tag and pass back auction information from the RTB process.

VPAID error / VPAID Opt-Out - The auction is won and the video tag loads but then demand doesn't want it for various reasons so they opt out of serving the impression. This isn't a good thing because it increases latency as well as decreases the fill rate. There are hundreds of reasons why an opt-out can happen so it's hard to look at that granular detail. A good error rate usually is around 95% or below for video. After a VPAID error occurs we are able to be a part of the auction only one more time before it goes to someone else.

VPAID timeout - An error occurs during loading or starting a video ad. VPAID waits for the timeout and then notifies that an error occurred. 

Viewability - is an online advertising metric that aims to track only impressions that can actually be seen by users. For example, if an ad is loaded at the bottom of a webpage but a user doesn't scroll down far enough to see it, that impression would not be deemed viewable.



WaterfallThe auction that takes place within the VAST process and determines who the demand source and the advertiser will be behind an ad based on the bids for that ad space on the demand side

White list/inclusion list - a vetted list of acceptable domains for a publisher or partner to send/receive ad call





Yield Optimization- Several buyers competing on available content.



Zones - unique identifier for an individual ad unit in the Sovrn network.