2018 DOOH Metrics Glossary


Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) Metrics Glossary

As media formats continue to evolve, advertisers need consistency and comparability to efficiently reach consumers with messages that speak to them and engage them in the right time and place. As Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) becomes an increasingly popular medium for marketers and agency-side planners and buyers, IAB’s DOOH Committee has come together to evaluate commonalities between terms in the measurement realm. We have identified unique terms to the DOOH space in this DOOH Metrics Glossary.

This interactive guide aims to serve as a reference for planners, buyers, and strategists who are looking to engage with DOOH media. We hope this effort will simplify the consideration and planning process by creating a simple set of terms that are commonly utilized by sellers and players across the space.

We intend for this Glossary to be an updated resource for the entire advertising community. Is there a DOOH term we’re missing? Have a question, or a suggestion? Don’t hesitate to reach us at dooh-info@iab.com.


Served Impression

An ad that was reported to have begun to render at the screen. Note that in the vast majority of DOOH experiences, all ads (when served) are fully viewable for the entirety of the play. In the digital media world, this term is commonly known as a “play”.

Viewable Impression

In online/digital media, a served ad impression can be only be classified as a “viewable impression” if the ad meets all of the following criteria: it was contained in the viewable space of the browser window, it is in an in-focus browser tab, and it meets pre-established minimum percent of ad pixels within the viewable space and the length of time the ad is in the viewable space of the browser. It is recognized that an “opportunity to see” the ad exists with a viewable ad impression, which may or may not be the case with a served ad impression.  (Source: MRC Viewable Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines Ver. 2.0)

Note: In the Digital Out of Home (DOOH) landscape where there are no individual “browsers” per se, a served ad impression can be classified a “viewable impression” if the ad meets all of the following criteria: it was contained in the viewable space of the screen, it is in an in-focus ad unit that is either Full screen or Partial screen, and it meets pre-established minimum percent of ad pixels within the viewable space and the length of time the ad is in the viewable space of the screen. It is recognized that an “opportunity to see” the ad exists with a viewable ad impression, which may or may not be the case with a served ad impression.

Audience Impression

A unit of measure that includes the total number of people with an opportunity to see (aka traffic), notice, and dwell time, calibrated to the media’s spot length. It can also be explained as the total number of times people passing a digital out-of-home display are likely to notice a message. This concept is sometimes referred to as “Visibility Adjusted Contact”, or “VAC”.

Audience Reach Measurement

A term that provides a count of the total number of people or machines that get ads. In DOOH scenarios, the expected application of Audience Reach Measurement is to count people.

Audience Reach Measurement also refers to a guideline developed by industry bodies that standardizes the measurement of machine based-measures (unique cookies, unique devices, unique browsers) and people-based measures (unique users or visitors). It is critical, and a compliance requirement, that the audience reach measurement organization does not misrepresent machine-based measurements as people-based measurements. The measure’s status as either a people-based or a machine-based measure should be clearly disclosed. For specifics and additional information, please review section 1.2 of the MRC/IAB Audience Reach Measurement Guidelines, https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/AudienceReachMeasurementGuidelines.pdf  

Common DOOH Terms

Audience Composition

The demographic, socioeconomic, or behavioral profile of the network’s audience that is inclusive of the percentage of the total audience falling in each segment.


The geographic area covered by network installations.

Cost Per Thousand

The cost (price) to deliver 1,000 ad impressions on displays in a market.

Cost Per Ratings Point

The cost of one rating point in any geographically defined market.

Dwell Time

The length of time an individual is in a Screen Exposure Zone which is a location from which the screen is visible and, if appropriate, audible. (Source: MRC Digital Place-Based Audience Measurement Standards Version 1)


Presence in the defined Screen Exposure Zone while content is deemed to be viewable, though this does not require that the content be viewed or listened to. Exposure is also often referred to as Opportunity-to-See. (Source: MRC Digital Place-Based Audience Measurement Standards Version 1)


The number of times the target audience is typically exposed to content, advertising, or a specific ad, in the defined time frame. Frequency represents the average exposure when used in conjunction with cumulative reach estimates, though it can also be reported on the basis of specific exposure levels when evaluated in the context of discrete reach estimates through frequency distribution analyses. (Source: MRC Digital Place-Based Audience Measurement Standards Version 1) In a similar vein, Effective Frequency refers to the number of exposures necessary to make an impact and attain communication goals.

Gross Rating Point

A term used to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media vehicle or schedule. In the DOOH landscape, GRP means the total number of impressions delivered, expressed as a percentage of a market population. One rating point represents impressions equal to 1% of the market population. In the calculation of GRPs, total impressions must first be reduced to the in-market impressions of individuals who live in the defined market and are part of that market’s population base. A frequently referenced term with GRPs is Target Rating Points (TRPs), which is the sum of the ratings generated by a segment may be called Target Audience GRPs or more simply TRPs.


The percentage of respondents who claimed to have noticed a screen.

Media Unit

A unit defined by the DOOH network, used to describe the physical device on which a DOOH ad unit will play. Most often for digital place-based networks, a media unit is a single screen, however in locations where multiple screens are combined to portray content that is larger than one screen, the entirety of the group of screens may be referred to as a single media unit.

Message Duration

The interval of time when a DOOH message is viewable.


The net (unduplicated) count or percent of the defined universe of the target audience exposed to content, advertising, or a specific ad, in a Screen within a defined time frame. This time frame can be a day, week, or month, or even less-frequent time periods although more frequent reports are generally desirable to users. (Source: MRC Digital Place-Based Audience Measurement Standards Version 1)


A device or medium designed to deliver Digital Place-Based, Digital Out-of-Home, and/or Advertising content whether it be video, audio, or both.


Any audience reflecting the most desired consumer prospects for a product or service, defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity or income; or their combinations for any geographic definition. Expanded targets include purchasing, behavioral, and audience segmentations.

Unique Traffic

The unduplicated audience that has an opportunity to see any message during a reporting period.


A geographic universe or coverage definition stated on the basis of population amounts is required for Digital Place-Based / Out-of-Home Networks subject to measurement. These may be customized (or limited) based on the specific attributes of the network and the associated Venue Traffic. In some cases a customized universe can be stated or a general population estimate (e.g., US Census estimates) for media comparability purposes. (Source: MRC Digital Place-Based Audience Measurement Standards Version 1, w/o the “Out-of-Home” reference in the first section)


The place and location of the advertising network and screens. Examples include supermarkets, office buildings, gas stations, and other places where consumers can be found. (Source: MRC Digital Place-Based Audience Measurement Standards Version 1)

Creative Specification Nomenclature

Consumer Experience

is the way the Primary Ad unit is experienced by a person watching the screen.

Primary Ad unit

refers to the dominant area of advertising displayed on the screen. The Primary Ad unit should be described as either Full screen or Partial screen.

  • ‘Full Screen’ means the ad unit is the only visible asset running on the screen.
  • ‘Partial Screen’ means the Primary Ad unit is accompanied by content and/or a companion ad unit or some other visual enhancement (such as ticker, clock, or logo).
    • Companion Ads may be text, static display ads or rich media. A Companion Ad will run adjacent to an ad unit and/or programmed content.  
  • ‘Audio’ means consumers will be able to both see and hear the advertisement.  
  • ‘Playback Format’ means the final format that the ad unit will be played across the network. Networks shall disclose the playback format. 

Primary Ad unit orientation

should be referred to as either Landscape or Portrait.  

  • Companion Ad unit orientation should also be referred to as either Companion Landscape or Companion Portrait

Audience Targeting Terms

Audience Composition

Attributes of the audience of a given campaign or set of campaigns. Very often based on demographic (e.g. 56% male/44% female) or geographic attributes.

Audience Reach %

Percentage of an addressable target audience reached by a given campaign.

Behavioral Profiles

Profile based on past-observed behavior, typically within 30-90 days of recency. Behavioral profiles may or may not refer to a profile about unique users.

Behavioral Segments

Segmenting audiences that are defined by previous behaviors, frequently their recent online behavior, or offline purchases and visitation. For example, an auto advertiser may seek to reach anyone who’s visited an auto review site in the last 30 days.


Profile based on past purchase behavior, such as: What items? When? How much was spent?

Census Demographics

The U.S. Census Bureau’s population statistics.

Consumer Spending Data

Data on consumer spending.

Demo Targeting

Targeting audiences that are defined by demographic attributes i.e. age, gender, household income, presence of children.

Geographic Targeting

Targeting audiences defined by their location in the real-world. Location attributes can vary from granular attributes such as mobile/GPS-enabled latitude/longitude data to broader attributes such as DMA or state/province. In technical specifications, targets may simply be referred to as “geo”, “user”, “audience” without spelling out the full term.

Look-alike Targeting

Targeting audiences that have some number of attributes in common with an audience of interest. For example, an advertiser may target “look-alikes” of past purchasers, i.e. folks who share demographic or behavioral characteristics of past purchasers, but have not themselves made a purchase.

Psychographic Targeting

Targeting audiences defined by personality, interests, attitudes or mindsets, e.g. Financial Optimists, Environmentally-Conscious Consumers. Often driven from offline surveys and stated preferences.


Targeting audiences that are defined by having recently shown interest in said advertiser, interest most often being defined as visiting the advertiser’s web site.


Dividing a broad group of consumers or businesses into subgroups (known as segments) based on shared demographic/psychographic/behavioral attributes. Segmentation is often used to create target audiences (comprised of one or more segments) or to customize an offer or message for specific segments.

Target Audience

A specific group that an advertiser seeks to reach with its campaign. Target audience is defined by a certain attribute or set of attributes (e.g. Women aged 18-24, Sports Car Lovers, Shoppers In-market for a New Sedan).

Performance Measurement Terms

Ad Recall

The estimated number of people likely to remember your ads within days of being exposed.


The extent consumers are familiar with a brand or product.

Brand Health

The way a brand is viewed by its customers, and how your audience feels about your brand. Also known as “Brand Equity”.

Brand Lift

A measurement of an advertising campaign’s effectiveness in driving a positive shift in customer awareness and perception of a brand.


Metric to indicate the statistical significance of the lift observed. Generally, results that are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level or higher are suitable for making business decisions. Results that are statistically significant at the 80% confidence level or higher can be considered directional.


The extent a consumer will consider a brand for purchase.

Conversion Window

Number of days after exposure where a vendor will attribute visits to a campaign. This can vary by business and category.

Cost per Lift Store Visit

The advertising price per exposed user visiting the store that can be attributed to the advertising campaign. This can be found by taking Ad Spend divided by Lift Store Visits.

Exposed - Store Conversion Rate

Rate at which exposed audience visited the store per impression served.


A measurement of an advertising campaign’s effectiveness in driving consumer perception of a brand.

Foot Traffic Attribution

The measurement of an advertising campaign’s influence on physical visitation to a specified location. This enables advertisers to understand the drivers of in-store visitation.


Percent difference in visitation rates between exposed audience and unexposed audience. Also known as “Incremental Lift”.

Lift Store Visits

Portion of Store Visits by exposed audience attributed to lift (incremental visits above baseline visits).

Purchase Intent

Purchase intent is a measure of the probability that a consumer will purchase a service or product.


Consumer response to brand advertising.


Advertising messaging influencing the consumer perspective and drive purchase decisions or the desired brand impact.

Store Conversion Rate

Rate at which exposed consumers visited the store per impression served.

Store Visits

Total number of store visits attributed to the campaign, based on store visitation behavior observed and the total number of impressions for the campaign.

Unexposed - Store Conversion Rate

The rate at which unexposed members of the audience visited the store.

Additional DOOH Resources

Please find additional resources that may be helpful for DOOH planning, buying, and measurement. Many of these documents are also referenced throughout the tabs in the Glossary.


About the IAB DOOH Committee

The members of IAB’s Digital Out-of-Home Committee work to define the growing digital out of home space as a channel, while positioning its place in the larger digital media mix and interactive advertising industry.

The IAB DOOH Committee includes representatives from the following companies:

  • Acquia
  • BroadSign
  • Clear Channel Outdoor
  • Cuebiq
  • Dailymotion
  • Geopath
  • GfK MRI
  • Good Apple Digital
  • Groundtruth
  • IAB Canada
  • Intel
  • Intersection
  • IPONWEB Inc.
  • Liquidus
  • Live Nation
  • Magna Global
  • NBCUniversal
  • Netmining
  • Neustar
  • Nielsen
  • NinthDecimal
  • NYIAX, Inc.
  • Oath
  • Outfront Media
  • Panasonic Avionics
  • Placed
  • Prohaska Consulting
  • RhythmOne
  • Rubicon Project
  • SITO Mobile
  • Sizmek