CTV Glossary

ACR (Automatic Content Recognition)

Captures viewership information from anything that hits the glass regardless of its source (over the air, set top box, VOD, video games, streaming). 

  • ACR Types:
    Video: Uses real-time capture of video fingerprints from the TV and compares to a source database for content identification
    Requires software be embedded into hardware of Smart TVs or set top boxes
  • Audio: Leverages a mobile or tablet device application and the device’s microphone to detect content being played on TV.
     Recognizes content based on audio clips via SDKs within device apps

Advertising-Based Video on Demand (e.g., Hulu, Peacock); these services are ad-supported and are available at a lower cost for consumers.


Broadcast Video on Demand (e.g., NBC); these services are typically included in a cable subscription fee.


A device that connects to or embedded in a TV to support video content streaming. CTVs include PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, smart TVs, and more.

  • What’s included in CTV advertising? Digitally delivered ads to TV sets via their own internal internet capabilities or external capabilities delivered by streaming devices, Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles.
  • What’s not included in CTV advertising? CTV excludes ads delivered to computers, phones, tablets, or other non-TV devices, and it doesn’t include network- or broadcaster-sold inventory from traditional linear TV or addressable TV advertising.
  • Is OTT included in CTV advertising? Yes, if the video is streamed via a TV set.

Demand-side platform is a technology that allows an advertiser to buy CTV advertising with the help of automation.

FAST (Free Ad Supported TV)

These services are ad-supported and are typically free of charge to consumers. These may also occasionally be categorized as AVOD and include PlutoTV, The Roku Channel, etc).

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OS (Operating System)

The bootable software in smart TVs that makes it possible for a user to access and control advanced features and connected devices. Captures data regarding which OTT services are being used by the end user, but generally does not have visibility into the content within the apps or apps and content viewed through other devices plugged into the TV (eg, cable box, streaming box, etc).

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

Anyone who is a smart TV manufacturer.

OTT (Over The Top)

An “over-the-top” media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product. The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.


CTV is a digital medium which means that they can serve as an advertising platform. This new medium has surfaced companies who can sell, buy, and measure advertising. (e.g., Freewheel, Magnite/spotX, Roku/OneView, The Trade Desk, Yahoo/Verizon CTV, etc.)


The publishers of CTV content: CTV Channels, Virtual MVPDs, and Web/Mobile Publishers.

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Sell-side platform is a technology that enables CTV media owners to manage their advertising inventory, fill it with ads, and receive revenue.


Subscription Video on Demand (e.g., Netflix); these services charge a monthly subscription fee.

STB (set-top box)

STB data connects to a physical address and household, which provides a "truth set" for TV viewership. Complete visibility into linear and VOD viewership is available, but doesn’t capture OTA and streaming viewership. Data is generally delayed by several days and all cable operators are all regional. 

Streaming Service

an online provider of entertainment (music, movies, etc.) that delivers content via an Internet connection to a subscriber’s TV, computer, or mobile device. Popular streaming services include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Disney+, Apple TV+, and Roku Channel.

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Walled Garden

A closed ecosystem in which all operations are controlled by the ecosystem operator (think Google and Facebook). As the walls around their inventory and data continue to rise, advertisers are forced to buy, execute, and measure campaigns across multiple publishers.