Glossary: Hyper-casual from A-Z

If you’re new to mobile game development, you’ll know that there are a number of mobile gaming terms and abbreviations that are thrown around in conversation. From CPI to waterfalls (not the literal kind), it’s important for you to understand these terms and how they relate to the publishing of your game.

Whether you’re a seasoned studio or testing the waters of hyper-casual, take a look at the most frequently used terms and abbreviations in hyper-casual that people are using right now. You can even search by letter below!

Ad Whales

People who watch a lot of ads within an app and usually generate a big percentage of the revenue compared to regular users.

Ad Networks

Platforms used for selling and buying advertising like Google, Facebook, Ironsource, Mintegral, Unity etc.

ARPU: Average Revenue Per User

ARPU is calculated by dividing the total revenue divided by the total amount of users.

ARPDAU: Average Revenue per Daily Active User

ARPDAU is similar to the above, but the revenue generated by daily active users.


App Store Optimization is the process of increasing an app or game’s visibility in an app store, with the objective of increasing organic app downloads. 


A data management platform is a software platform used for collecting and managing data. They allow businesses to identify audience segments, which can be used to target specific users and contexts in online advertising campaigns.


A demand-side platform, often abbreviated to DSP, is a programmatic advertising platform that allows advertisers and media buying agencies to bid automatically on display, video, mobile and search ad inventory from a wide range of publishers.

eCPM: Effective Cost per mille

This is the cost paid per 1000 impressions.

Fill Rate

Fill Rate is the percentage of how many of your ad requests have received an ad impression.

IAP: In-app purchases

In-app purchases are real monetary purchases made by users within an app and generally appear as in-game currency, skins, level-ups etc.

IDFA: Identifier for Advertising

The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a random device identifier assigned by Apple to a user's device. Advertisers use this to track data so they can deliver customized advertising.


Interstitial [Ads] are full-screen ads that cover the interface of their host app.

In App Bidding

This is a term monetization folks use for representing "header bidding" but for apps since header bidding is actually sourced from the web, done via JS. In-app bidding is basically client-side real-time bidding that allows all demand partners to bid on the same request at the same time and the winner is defined on the client-side.


Install Per Mille, # of installs per 1000 impressions


Impressions per Daily Active User - Total Impressions / DAU.

Manual Waterfall

A bidding system where price levels are manually assigned to networks for an auction, going from highest eCPM to lowest until there is a fill.

Mediation Platform

A platform where apps sell their inventory to other networks all together rather than one by one. Ex: Mopub.


Return On Investment - (Revenue - Cost) / Cost.

Rewarded Video

Typically an opt-in video ad that when watched by a user, will result in a reward of some kind within the game (extra life, retry, skin, coins etc).


A supply-side platform or sell-side platform is a technology platform to enable web publishers and digital out-of-home media owners to manage their advertising inventory, fill it with ads, and receive revenue.

Show Rate

Percentage of ad requests that become an impression (requests that are filled but aren't shown/seen do not become impressions).


Return On Investment - (Revenue - Cost) / Cost.

Rewarded Video

Typically an opt-in video ad that when watched by a user, will result in a reward of some kind within the game (extra life, retry, skin, coins etc).

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