Ads Glossary

ARPU  – Average Revenue Per User

ARPPU – Average Revenue per Paying User

Ad Unit – an advertising vehicle (e.g. a banner, a video ad or an interstitial ad)

Attribution:  Attribution is the process by which user interactions are identified and measured.  By using an attribution partner, marketers can get a better understanding of how certain events lead users to a desired outcome, referred to as a conversion.


Cost Per Action is an advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action. For example, an action after an initial impression and click, like an install, form submit (e.g., contact request, newsletter sign up, registration etc.), double opt-in or in-app sale.


Cost-per-Click (CPC) is the price the advertiser pays a publisher every time a consumer clicks on the ad. The price is set by the advertiser.

CPI  Cost-per-Install (CPI) is the price an advertiser pays whenever the consumer installs the advertised application.  This is a mobile specific term.

CPM (or eCPM)  is the effective cost per mile, also known as the effective cost per thousand impressions. It is a metric best used to compare different ad units.

DSP a platform that enables mobile advertisers to manage all ad exchange and data exchanges through a single interface.

IDFA – Identifier for Advertisers (also IFA)  this is a method of gathering anonymous user data within apps that enables tracking for advertising purposes. This is found in apps using iOS 6 or later.    Allowable uses of IDFA include: (a) Using IDFA to serve advertisements within an app, (b) using IDFA to attribute installs to a previously served ad, and (c) using IDFA to attribute a post-install action such as X number of launches, a subscription, or an in-app purchase.


When an ad is displayed, it counts as an impression to a viewer

Interstitial Ad:

A mobile ad unit that appears between two views within a mobile website or mobile app. “Interstitial” derives from “interstice” which means “a small space between things, especially when part of a series of uniform spaces and parts” (think of a picket fence, which has interstitial spaces between slats).  This is commonly a static ad, but can also have a video window within it.


a platform that allows publishers to strategically fill ads by using multiple ad networks in a programmed system.  They can also use mediation to sell unsold and remnant inventory.

Native Ads

These refer to ads that are designed to fit within an app user experience and feel like part of the app itself.  These can be video or interstitial ads, but they share a common theme in that they are as unobtrusive as possible.  Common formats include scrolling feed ads such as one would see on Twitter or Facebook.

Remnant Inventory

This is advertising space that a publisher or network has left over; it is typically sold at a discount through mediation or offered for promotional purposes

Rewarded Video Ad

-A video ad where the user can watch an ad and then receive a reward for completing the ad view.

Rich Media

A range of interactive and engaging ad formats, including expandable banners, embedded audio and video, all with linkable content.   These tend to be more engaging and have higher click rates, but are bandwidth heavy.

RTB  – real-time bidding engine (or exchange)

This is software that conducts a real-time auction of available mobile ad impressions by receiving bids from multiple demand sources within a set time interval (typically 100ms) and then delivering the ad to the winning bidder.

SSP – supply side provider.   

A platform that enables mobile publishers and operators to manage and sell their advertising inventory through one single interface.

SDK – Software Development Kit.  In mobile advertising, this is a block of code that enables an app to communicate with various ad networks and to allow ads to be displayed and tracked.

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