Ian’s Online Ad Business Glossary

Reading Time: < 1 minute

As I write more about the online advertising business, I realize I need a glossary to send people to for certain terms. So here it is. It’s incomplete, of course, but will get better over time. Definitions for terms in italics can be found elsewhere in the glossary.


Advertising Inventory: The supply of opportunities to display advertising in a particular medium.

Advertising Network: An organization which buys advertising inventory from a group of publishers and sells it to a group of advertisers and media agencies.

Agency: A company that provides advertising services to an advertiser. These services usually fall into two categories: creative services (originating ideas for campaigns and creating advertising as part of these campaigns) and media services (buying advertising inventory on behalf of the advertiser).


Rich Media Advertising: Advertising which provides some level of interactivity (other than just clicking through to a destination site), or which employs audio or video.


Network: See Advertising Network


Trafficking: The process of implementing code in an ad server or publisher site to enable an ad to be displayed.