Line item types and priorities

How line items are selected for delivery based on type and priority

Line item type and priority are a starting point to determine how a line item competes with other line items, yield groups, and Ad Exchange for impressions. Line item type and priority are only one factor of many in ad selection.

How line item type and priority affect delivery

Each line item must specify a line item type. Line item types are mapped to a numeric priority value that serves as a guide for ad selection. The lower the number, the higher the priority.

For example, guaranteed "Sponsorship" line items are priority 4, while non-guaranteed "Bulk" line items are priority 12. When these line items compete for an impression, the Sponsorship line item is prioritized over the Bulk line item and (all other things being equal) wins ahead of the Bulk line item during ad selection.

Why did my line item exceed its limit?

A line item's delivered impressions total might exceed the daily or lifetime cap by a small amount due to delayed impression counting or simultaneous requests that occur as the cap is reached.

Guaranteed line items

  • Sponsorship (priority 4)

    Serve based upon a defined percentage of impressions and a start and end time. Use this line item type for directly sold campaigns when your buyer wants to "takeover" a page or site. Can also be use to evenly rotate line items regardless of impression volume.

  • Standard (priority 6, 8, or 10)

    Serve based upon a defined impression goal and start and end time. Use this line item type for directly sold campaigns when your buyer wants a specific number of impression to serve. Delivery pacing is adjusted to meet the defined goal.

Ad network and exchange line items

These line item types are not available to every network. If you don't already have an Ad Exchange account, contact a sales representative or one of our partners to create an account.

  • Ad Exchange (priority 12)

    Allow publishers to use one or more Ad Exchange accounts across inventory.

  • AdSense (priority 12)

    Allow publishers to use one or more AdSense accounts for various segments of inventory. By default, Google Ad Manager users can enable ad units for AdSense delivery.

Non-guaranteed line items

These line item types are intended for impressions not eligible for Standard or Sponsorship line items. If AdSense and Ad Exchange are not eligible to compete, the priority sequence within non-guaranteed inventory is network, then bulk, then price priority, then house line items.

Since non-guaranteed inventory can safely be superseded, these line item types are not included in lists of contending line items when performing a forecast. If want to offer guaranteed inventory to an advertiser or buyer, use Sponsorship or Standard line items.

 

Priority and Preferred Deals

The Preferred Deals line item type has a fixed priority value that ensures it wins ahead of the Open Auction and all other line item types except Sponsorship and Standard line items.

Preferred Deals priority better reflects buyer expectations when purchasing inventory via this deal type. 

This means that:

  • Sponsorship and Standard line items serve ahead of Preferred Deals regardless of whether the Sponsorship and Standard line items resulted from traditional campaigns (set up under the "Delivery" tab) or Programmatic Guaranteed campaigns (set up under the "Sales" tab).
  • Preferred Deals serve ahead of Price priority, Network, and Bulk line items, including third-party line items, and ahead of any line items set to "House".
Learn more about Preferred Deals.
  • Network (priority 12)
    Serve based upon a defined percentage of impressions. Use this for your partner ad networks which don't have an impression goal.
  • Bulk (priority 12)
    Serve based upon a defined impression goal, but because the inventory for bulk line items isn't guaranteed, the impression goal functions more like an impression cap, limiting the number of impressions that can be delivered. Use this for partners who have ordered a maximum number of impressions but aren't concerned about delivery timelines or guarantees.
  • Price priority (priority 12)
    Serve primarily based on price, with optional daily or lifetime delivery caps. Use this line item type to fill your site's unsold inventory with the highest-paying line item available.
  • House (priority 16)

    Whether dynamic allocation is active or not, House line items only serve when no remnant line items (Network, Bulk, Price Priority), Ad Exchange or Open Bidding demand are available to serve. That is, House line items are treated as if they have a $0 rate and do not compete on price via dynamic allocation.

    House line item CPM determines ranking of eligible House ads but do not need to meet any floor price set in unified pricing rules in order to be eligible to serve an ad, thereby effectively serving as a fall-back ad. Learn more

  • Click-tracking only (no priority)
    Consist of text only, usually hypertext, and not images. These are used to track clicks in your content, such as a "Start shopping" link in an email. If you set a goal, the click tracker will stop working when that goal is met.

Non-guaranteed line items in dynamic allocation

If AdSense or Ad Exchange are eligible to complete in dynamic allocation, Ad Manager ranks all eligible remnant line items by their value CPM and chooses the highest value remnant line item. If there is no value CPM, Ad Manager uses the line item CPM rate instead.

  • For Network line items, their weight determines how often they compete against other remnant line items. For example, if a Network line item has 100% weight, it always competes against other remnant line items based on its rate. If a Network line item has 50% weight, it competes against other remnant line items about half of the time.
  • For Bulk line items, their pacing determines how often they compete against other remnant line items. For example, if bulk line item is behind schedule, it has a higher probability to compete against other remnant line items based on its rate for the opportunity to win the impression. If a bulk line item is far ahead of schedule, it has a lower probability to compete against other remnant line items because it doesn’t need the impression to stay on schedule.
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