Wistia Glossary

A glossary of Wistia terms. Definitions, uses, and links to more info. It's pretty rad, if we're being honest.

Caroline F avatar
Written by Caroline F
Updated over a week ago


We appreciate your patience as we work to update the Wistia Glossary to include new features and language!

Wistia uses a lot of terms that might not be the most intuitive when you’re first getting started. What in the world is a Turnstile? Who is my audience? How do I explain this data to my boss? Don’t worry; the glossary’s got you covered!

Welcome to the Wistia glossary! This page will give you a quick intro to some of the terms we use. For a more in-depth explanation, click on any of defined terms to be linked to their help page.


301 Redirect

301 Redirect - 301 is a status code that a server sends to the browser that lets the browser know to send users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested. If you’re importing an existing podcast to Wistia, you should set up a 301 Redirect to make sure that directories know where to find your new content and that your subscribers never miss an episode.

360 video

360 video - 360 video is type of video that is spherical. Within Wistia the viewer can drag and click to look around, or move their phone or computer. To turn on a 360 video head to the Controls section in the Customize panel.


Account Owner

Account Owner - The account owner is a permissions level in Wistia. This user has access to things like the billing profile, account-wide settings, and the API key. There is only one Account Owner per Wistia account.


Action - An action includes any opportunity a viewer or listener takes on your medias to fill out a Turnstile, or click on an Annotation Link or Call to Action. These actions are tracked in your video stats.


Admin - An admin is a permission level in the Privacy & Sharing modal. Admins are folder-specific. Permissions included under the admin permission include all permissions available to a collaborator (upload, download, share, and stats). This is different from an Account Owner and a Manager on your account.

Annotation Link

Annotation Link - An Annotation Link (or annotation) is an in-video pop-up in the right top corner of the video frame. Can be used to link to an outside page, or without a link. They are not customizable or moveable. Annotation links are located in the Customize panel, and are tracked in your video stats. Annotation Links cannot be applied to podcast episodes.


Need tips on Annotation Link best practices? The blog has you covered!


Appearance - Appearance is a menu in the Customize panel. In the Appearance tab you can change the thumbnail for your video (upload a new one, or choose a specific frame for your video), update the player color, and enable or disable comments on the video page within your Wistia account.

Audience Page

Audience page - The Audience page is a Wistia stats view in your account. It’s located under Audience in the Stats header. This page allows an Account Owner or Manager on your Wistia account to see identified viewers of your medias. The Audience page can be viewed three ways: total audience, identified viewers, and exclusively Turnstile entries. The source of the lead will display as Tagged video link or Turnstile: the name of the video.


Autoplay - Autoplay is the term we use to describe when a video begins playing as soon as the page loads.

Average Engagement

Average engagement - Average engagement is a measurement of how much of a given media your viewers watched or listened to. This takes into account the number of times the video was played, its length, and how long your audience actually spent watching or listening. The result is a percentage, so you could say a given media has, for instance, 63% engagement. Average engagement is listed on both the account-wide Trends page and the individual Stats page for a media.



Bandwidth - Bandwidth is the data that gets passed to your viewers when they load a video or play an audio episode. You can check on your monthly bandwidth usage as the Account Owner in the Account > Settings > Usage section of your account.

Beta Features

Beta features - Beta features are Wistia features that aren’t quite 💯 just yet. They’re features we hope to launch into the product in the future, but need some customer feedback first. Beta features can be turned on by the Account Owner on the Account > Settings > Beta Features page. Warning: these features may be a bit buggy, so only proceed if you’re ok with user testing.

Big Play Button

Big play button - The big play button is a player control option for your video. It’s located under the Controls tab in the Customize panel. The big play button is a lightly transparent overlay on your video thumbnail that indicates that the image is a video; it’s a big ol' play button.


Call to Action

Call to Action - a Call to Action (or CTA) is a full video overlay (which also doubles as a link) that can be added at any point in a video’s timeline. Types of CTAs include: text, image, and HTML. Calls to Action are located in the Customize panel. CTAs cannot be applied to audio.


Check out our Library guide for some tips about adding Calls to Action.


Captions - Captions allow you to add text to your medias to help boost SEO benefits and increase the accessibility of your content. Captions is a submenu in the Customize panel. A Wistia user can upload their own SRT file (in any language) or order captions in English. Captions are indicated by the _CC_ button at the bottom of the video.


Channels - Channels are a way of sharing your video and audio episodes in a single, styled media gallery. Channels can be shared via direct link or embedded on your website. Channels can also be used to host and distribute your podcast.


Chapters - Chapters is a feature in the Customize panel. Chapters appear as dots on the play bar of a video or audio episode, and can be navigated using the Chapters icon in the player. Chapters are also tracked in media stats. To add a chapter, select Customize.


Collaborator - A collaborator is a user on your Wistia account. Collaborators are invited via their email address at the folder-level, and can have different permission levels on specific folders. These permissions include: upload, download, share, and stats.


Comments - Comments are a way for viewers and users within your Wistia account to interact with your content. Comments can be time-coded, for easier review and feedbacks, and are raw text only (sorry, no text stylings). Comments can be turned on or off in the Appearance tab in the Customize panel.


Contact - Contacts is a term that’s synonymous with Users within your Wistia account. They’re actively added to your account with their email address via the Users page in your account, or from the Privacy & Sharing modal on a folder.


Controls - Controls is a menu in the Customize panel. This is where you can add or remove player controls including: big play button (and the time stamp on it), small play button, play bar, settings controls (video quality, and playback speed), volume control, full screen button, and the Wistia banner. You can also set your video controls be appear on video load.


Customize - Customize is a feature within Wistia that allows you to customize your medias. 🖌 Here you’ll be able to change the Appearance of your videos, update the player Controls, add Share buttons, require a Password, and add Chapters, a Call to Action, a Turnstile, Annotation Links and Captions. The Customize option is located on your Wistia video page. This menu also houses Load Settings.



Derivative - Derivatives refer to copies of your media within Wistia. When you upload your video, our servers will create multiple versions of your videos for different environments — like for mobile viewers, and those with slower internet speeds. This way, Wistia ensures that your medias can be played in every environment.

Domain Restrictions

Domain restrictions - Domain restrictions is a feature that allows you to only permit medias to be embedded in certain domains. Domain restrictions is an Account Owner privilege, and can be accessed from under the Account > Settings > Account menu.



E-v1 - E-v1 is our JavaScript library included with every embed code: //fast.wistia.com/assets/external/E-v1.js. This is where the magic lives — it’s how we pull in stats, update customizations, and track views. So make sure it’s on your site!

Email merge tags

Email merge tags - Email merge tags are a way to share your videos in email campaigns. Email merge tags display a thumbnail (with a play button overlay) for the video in an email campaign, and link out to a specified page. Most email merge tags also track viewers' email addresses, and are tagged as identified viewers in your Audience page. Check out the full list of the email merge tags we provide on the Integrations help page.

Embed & Share

Embed & Share - Embed & Share is a modal that houses all different types of embed codes, and ways to share your medias with the world. Here we house: inline embeds (both standard and fallback, or iframe), oembeds, popover embeds, email merge tags, and social sharing links. Embed & Share can be accessed on your media’s page.


Need an overview of all of the ways you can share you awesome content? Check out the Sharing Videos page!

Embed code

Embed code - An embed code is a snippet of code that you can add to your site to put additional content (like a video!) on your webpage. Wistia supplies lots of different types of embed codes including: asynchronous (or standard embed codes), iframe (or fallback embed codes), and oEmbeds.

Embed links

Embed links - Embed links allow you to create more versatile playlists with your Wistia videos. Embed links can be used with the standard embed, and keep all of the customizations added in the Customize panel.

Engagement Graph

Engagement graph - An engagement graph is an aggregate view of your entire audience’s viewing or listening experiences. The engagement graph will show you which parts of your media were interesting, and which lost viewers' attention. The blue part of the graph shows average engagement across all viewers and listeners second-by-second. The orange section shows rewatch data. Engagement graphs can be accessed on your media’s page by selecting Stats.


Episodes - are the containers for audio or video medias in a Channel. You can customize episodes and track their performance with your audience. Episodes in a channel can be in a published or unpublished state. Only published episodes will be visible to your audience.


Export - Exporting is a term we use a lot at Wistia. You can export a lot of things — videos or audio contetn on your computer for upload to Wistia, analytics from your account, and media in your account. Exporting is just the fancy term we use for sending things to and from Wistia.


Fallback embed

Fallback embed - The fallback embed is a type of inline embed code. It’s an iframe embed code, and it’s a pretty resilient little thing. It should only be used if the standard embed isn’t working as expected. Hence, fallback. ☔️ The fallback embed is located in the Embed & Share modal.

Fixed size

Fixed size - Wistia embed codes can be responsive or fixed. A responsive embed code will fit into whatever size container it is placed into, so it works great on all devices. A fixed embed will remain a static size, and will not adjust to its environment. It’s a good option if you’re working with a site that isn’t responsive, or if you have special circumstances to need a fixed size.


Folder - Folders are how medias within Wistia are organized. A folder can contain one or more videos and/or other types of files, and an account can contain multiple folders. Each folder has its own folder-level stats, and several features apply specifically at the folder-level. These features include Privacy & Sharing and Move & Copy. These tools can be accessed from each folder’s page.

Full screen

Full screen - Full screen is a button on the Wistia player that allows your viewers the opportunity to watch your video in full screen. The video will entirely take over the viewers screen until they exit. The button can be added or removed in the Controls section of the Customize panel.


Nothing to see here. 👻


Hashed ID

Hashed ID - A hashed ID is the 10-digit string of letters and numbers at the end of your media’s URL. So the hashed ID of this media — https://support.wistia.com/medias/64jchp8ot0 — is 64jchp8ot0. We use the hashed ID to identify your media in the embed code, and generally keep track of it in the backend.


Heatmap - A heatmap is a graphical representation of an individual viewer or listener’s experience. It shows which sections of your medias a viewer watched/listened (green), rewatched (yellow, orange, or red), or skipped entirely (white). Heatmaps have lots of data associated with them including: total number of medias of yours they’ve played, their viewing or listening device, their location, the URL where they watched the video or played your episode, IP address of the viewer, their total engagement, and their contact email or name (if available).


HLS - HLS (or HTTP Live Streaming) is the form of video delivery we use here at Wistia. HLS allows us to deliver the highest quality video for your viewers without them having to change a thing. HLS uses adaptive streaming, which will automatically flip to the highest quality version or your video based on the internet speeds available.


Inline embed

Inline embed - An inline embed is a type of embed that loads and plays the media inline with the other content on your site. Inline embeds are different from popover embeds, which “popover” the rest of the content on the page. Types of inline embed codes include: standard embed, fallback embed, and the oEmbed. You can also make inline embed codes responsive or fixed size. The inline embed is available in the Embed & Share modal.


Integrations - Integrations allow Wistia to pass specific viewing data to third-party platforms. We’ve got a big list of integrations partners, with email marketing, Turnstile, and marketing automation. Integrations can be set up by the Account Owner under Account > Settings > Integrations.

IP Filtering

IP filtering - IP filtering is a feature that allows you to filter out certain IPs from your Wistia stats. IPs can only be listed as individual numbers, not ranges. IP filtering is an Account Owner privilege, and can be accessed under the Account > Settings > Account menu.



JSON-LD - JSON-LD (or JavaScript Object Notification for Linked Data) is how we inject SEO metadata into the Wistia embed codes.


🚶 Keep moving along.


Link in email campaign

Link in Email Campaign - see: email merge tags.

Load settings

Load Settings - Load Settings is a button in the Customize panel. This option allows you to copy the customizations from another video within your Wistia account.


Locked - Locked is a privacy state for a folder. A locked folder is only accessible via a Wistia login and an invitation from the Account Owner, a Manager, an Admin on the folder, or someone with sharing permissions. This state can be changed in the Privacy & Sharing option on a folder page, or via the padlock next to the folder’s title.



Manager - A Manager in a Wistia account is a step below an Account Owner. Managers can create and manage folders, add contacts and manage their permissions, update customizations for videos, view Private User Sessions and video [stats] (#stats), and access the Move & Copy panel. Managers can also have account ownership transferred to them by the Account Owner.

Marketing automation

Marketing Automation - Marketing automation is a marketing tool that allows you to market to and trigger certain workflows based on a leads' behavior. All of Wistia’s advanced integrations work a little bit differently, so check out our pages on HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot.


Media - Media is the technical term we use to encompass anything and everything you could possibly upload to a folder or Channel in your Wistia account. There’s a ton of different media file types, but the most common are: video, audio, doc, and image. Any media that is uploaded to Wistia that isn’t recognizable (can’t be displayed or read) will be available for download.


Heads up! We only supply embed codes for video and audio files.


Metadata - Metadata is the data in your site that describes your site’s content (so Google knows what’s up!). Metadata helps to improve your site’s search engine ranking. At Wistia we use JSON-LD to inject metadata into the head of your website with our standard embed codes. See also: video SEO.

Move & Copy

Move & Copy - Move & Copy is a side menu in-app that allows a user to move and/or copy medias between folders in your account. You can also move medias to another account on which you are the Account Owner or Manager. Moving medias between account will reset stats. Copying is done by holding down the CMD or CTRL key while the video is being dragged. Move & Copy can be accessed on a folder page or from the Add modal in a Channel.


Nope — keep scrolling friend.



oEmbed - An oEmbed is a link that tells a site (most commonly WordPress how to embed content from a third-party platform. This “embed code” type is a URL where the specifications are added as a string on that URL. It can be accessed in the Embed & Share modal under the Inline Embed tab.


Password Protection

Password - Password Protection is a feature within the Customize panel. It allows you to — you guessed it — require a password before your videos. To add a password, head to the Customize panel on your video’s page. Passwords can only be added to videos.

Play bar

Play bar - The play bar is a visual representation of the timeline of the media. It shows where your viewer or listener is at any given point in your contetn. The play bar also includes a thumbnail preview on hover for videos, so your viewers know what’s coming up next. It can be turned on or off in the Controls menu of the Customize panel.

Play rate

Play rate - Play rate is a measurement of how often people choose to play your media. This takes into account the number of times the media was loaded, versus the number of times it was actually played. Play rate is listed on both the account-wide Trends page and the individual media stats page.

Podcast Directory

Podcast Directory - A podcast directory like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher, provides a place for your audience to access and listen your podcast.

Podcast Host

Podcast Host - A podcast host is the home(🏡) for your podcast, like Wistia! Podcast hosts will create an RSS feed for your podcast so it can be distributed to different podcast directories.

Popover Embed

Popover Embed - A popover embed is a way to embed a video or audio episode in which the media pops over the rest of the pages content in a lightbox. The media is only played when the thumbnail (or text link) is clicked, which launches the video. Popover embeds can be customized to adjust the thumbnail size (or update the copy of a text link), and can be responsive. They are located in the Embed & Share modal on the media’s page.

Privacy & Sharing

Privacy & Sharing - Privacy & Sharing is an in-app modal that allows for granular private sharing. In this menu a Wistia user can set a folder to locked or unlocked. A user can also: add an admin to the folder, give upload and download permissions, allow users to share the folder, and access stats. Here a user can add or remove viewers and collaborators.

Private User Sessions

Private User Sessions - Private Users Sessions is where we house all of the logged in views in your Wistia account. To prevent logged in views from messing with your public media stats, we separated out invited users into Private User Sessions. Here you’ll be able to see which medias and folders your users viewed, edited, and/or uploaded, how much of each media they’ve watched (their heatmaps), and if they viewed any stats. Private User Sessions is located under the Account header and can be accessed by the Account Owner and any Managers.


Nothing here, keep going :)


Replace Video

Replace video - Replace video is an option on a video’s page within your account. Replacing a video is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — it allows you to replace a video without having to update the customizations, or re-embed the video.

Responsive embeds

Responsive embeds - Responsive embeds are a way of embedding a media so that the player fills the entire space of its parent container. Responsive embeds will adjust to the size of the window, so they’re great for all environments (including mobile!).


RSS Feed URL - An RSS Feed is like a newsfeed for your Podcast. As soon as you publish a new episode of your Podcast, its information will be added to the RSS Feed. You and your listeners (and Podcast distribution services like Spotify and Apple Podcasts) can access this RSS Feed at the RSS Feed URL. You can find an RSS Feed URL in any Channel where you’ve enabled Podcasting!



Section - A section is a subset of a Wistia folder. Sections divide up folders to help keep your account organized. They can be added by hovering right below the title within a folder. They can be renamed using the Edit button.


SEO - SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of including metadata in your site’s code and content to improve search engine ranking. Wistia helps you optimize your medias for SEO with JSON-LD and video SEO.

Set Folder Defaults

Set Folder Defaults - The Set Folder Defaults feature allows users to apply the customizations of one video to all other videos in the same folder. When setting folder defaults users have the choice of applying these customizations to all videos already in the folder, all new videos added to the folder from now on, or both. The customizations that will be applied include Appearance, Controls, and Share buttons. You can find the Set Folder Defaults feature on a video’s page.

Share buttons

Share buttons - The share buttons are in-player social sharing buttons. They allow your viewers to share your medias further in their social networks. The Share option is located in the Customize panel. Sharing options include: embed, email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, download.

Share permissions

Share permissions - Share is a collaborator-level permission. It allows the collaborator access to the Embed & Share modal, and access to the Privacy & Sharing modal for a folder. A collaborator with the Share permission will only be allowed to grant access to those permissions which they already have access to. Allowing Share permissions can be done in the Privacy & Sharing modal from a folder page.

Small play button

Small play button - The small play button is an controls option that can be turned on or off in the Controls section of the Customize panel. It’s a small play button that appears next to the play bar in the Wistia player.

Social sharing

Social sharing - Social sharing is a tab in the Embed & Share modal on the video page. It provides a direct URL to your video (something like https://support.wistia.com/medias/64jchp8ot0) that is able to be shared on most social sites.

Standard embed

Standard embed - The standard embed is a type of inline embed code. Standard embeds load asynchronously, so they don’t hold up page load speeds on your site. They’re fast and resilient, and work in almost every environment. They’re highly configurable using our JavaScript Player API, but can also be used right out of the box. The standard embed code injects JSON-LD metadata into the head of your page for SEO markup. The standard embed can be accessed from the Inline Embed tab in the Embed & Share modal.


Stats - In Wistia, stats can refer to either the Stats menu in your account header, or an option for an individual media on a media’s page. The Stats menu in the header contains three ways of looking at account-wide stats: the Trends page, the View Stream, and the Audience page. The individual media Stats page includes the video’s engagement graph, an overview of specific data about the video (including average engagement, total plays, and play rate), and a list of all viewers or listeners and their heatmaps.



Thumbnail - The thumbnail is the name we use for the display frame for your video (the image that’s shown before your viewers click play). The thumbnail can be uploaded as a separate file for chosen from any frame in your video. You can change the thumbnail in the Appearance tab of the Customize panel.

Total plays

Total plays - Total plays is a measurement of the total number of times a given media was played. This means that a viewer either pressed play, or the media was set to autoplay. Total plays are listed on the individual media stats page.

Trends page

Trends page - The Trends page is located under the Stats header in your Wistia account. Trends offers you a high-level view of the video stats across your account, and a folder basis.


Turnstile - Turnstile is what we call our email collector. Turnstile can be added at any point in your video’s timeline. It can also double as a gate (the Skip Button can be disabled). Fields include: first name, last name, and email address. Turnstile is in the Timeline Action menu of the Customize panel. Turnstile entries are tracked on the Audience page of your account, and on an individual video basis as Action stats.


Check out our Library guide for using Turnstile to generate the most leads.



Unlocked - Unlocked is a privacy state for a folder. Unlocked folders are accessible to anyone with a direct link to either the folder URL or the video URL. This person will have access to view all of the videos in the folder, but nothing else in your Wistia account (ie, no other folders). The default state for all folders is unlocked, but this setting can be changed in the Privacy & Sharing (located on a folder page), or by clicking the padlock next to the folder’s title.


Upload - Uploading is the act of adding content to your Wistia account. You can upload lots of different file types, but to use Wistia to its fullest potential we recommend videos that are MP4 files, with an h.264 codec. Uploading can be accessed from a folder page or by dragging and dropping the file into your browser.


User - A User is someone who is actively invited into a Wistia account via an email address. They have a login and password. Viewers and Collaborators are the two types of Users you can add. The Users management tab is located under the Account header, and can be accessed by the Account Owner and any Managers on the account.


Video SEO

Video SEO - Video SEO is a feature within Wistia that helps to improve your site’s ranking in organic search. With the standard embed code we inject metadata (including the video thumbnail, title, description, and transcript) into the head of your site’s page to improve search ranking. No extra steps necessary — just make sure to use the standard embed!

View Stream

View Stream -The View Stream is a chronological list of everyone who has watched any of your videos, along with their heatmap and other information about them, like device they were using, their IP address, and their location. If a viewer has been identified — for instance, if they filled out a Turnstile form — their entries in the view stream will also include their email address, and their name if they provided it. You can find the View Stream under the Stats menu in the header of your account.


Viewer - A viewer is a user on your Wistia account. Viewers are invited via their email address at the folder level, and can only access your video with a Wistia login. Viewers can be added in the Privacy & Sharing modal, which is on a folder page.

Viewer page

Viewer Page - The viewer page allows you to see the entire history of one viewer of your videos. It’s important to note that this refers to public stats — not private. You can find the viewer page of any public viewer by clicking on their heatmap.



Waypoint - A waypoint is a small indicator below the timeline of a video when a Call to Action, Turnstile, or Annotation Link is being edited. The waypoint indicates where one of these will appear, and how long it will be visible. Waypoints can be dragged around the timeline, and will disappear after the customizations are saved.


Wistia - Your friendly, neighborhood video and podcast hosting provider. 🏩

Wistia banner

Wistia Banner - The Wistia banner is a Wistia logo at the bottom of your videos. It can be disabled on paid accounts. It’s located in the Controls menu of the Customize panel.

Wistia URL

Wistia URL - The Wistia URL of your account (or subdomain) is the string of letters and numbers that appears before wistia.com in your account URL. This can be changed at any time without affecting your embedded medias. Heads up though, any oEmbeds or social sharing links used will no longer work after the change.

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