Line items

Sponsorship line items

You can deliver high priority, time-based ads by setting percentage goals of matching ad requests where they will serve. #lineitems

Sponsorships are high-priority line items that deliver a percentage of available matching requests. This type of advertising is sometimes called "share-of-voice" because the advertiser gets a certain share of the page views on your site. Learn more about line item types and priorities.

Sponsorships are generally time-based ads, and can be sold based on cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), or cost per day (CPD). All targeting criteria is available for sponsorship line items. If targeting criteria is selected, the percentage basis becomes the percentage of matching impressions. A lifetime impression limit can be set to cap the total number of impressions delivered to a sponsorship.

Exclusive and competing sponsorships

Percentage goals are set for sponsorship line items, which determine the percentage of matching requests where they will serve. They're served ahead of other line items of the same priority, up to the goal you set.

100% booked

If you set a goal of 100%, and no other sponsorship targets the same inventory and criteria, then the sponsorship serves exclusively. If you set a percentage less than 100%, line items of equal and lower priority can be served along with the sponsorship.


Example of correct sponsorships

1 Exclusive sponsorship: A single line item is booked for 100% of the matching requests. Since no other sponsorships are booked, this line item will deliver as booked.
2 Competing sponsorships: Two line items are booked, each for 50% of matching requests. Since the total of these two line items equals 100%, these line items will deliver as booked.
3 Multiple competing sponsorships: Three line items are booked, one for 50%, and two for 25% of matching requests. Since the total of these three line items equal 100%, these line items will deliver as booked.


  • Child-directed inventory may not serve the sponsorship line item unless it is first approved for child-directed traffic.
  • Delivery of competing sponsorship line items is not affected by price.
  • Forecasting of partial sponsorship line items might not be completely accurate for new ad units. This is because the "available impressions" forecast metric is dependent on historical data.
  • The "Sponsorship Priority" feature prevents First Look from serving before 100% sponsorship line items if First Look CPM is higher than the sponsorship CPM.
    To turn on this feature, go to Admin and then Global Settings and then Ad Serving Settings.

Less than 100% booked

If the total percentage of all eligible sponsorships equals less than 100%, sponsorships are ordered randomly at each request within the same line item priority. Each request in turn gets a chance to serve with a probability equal to its percentage. 

Calculate anticipated delivery of less than 100% competing sponsorships as follows:


For two 40% sponsorships, the probability of serving for each is
0.5*0.4 + 0.5*(1-0.4)*0.4 = 32%

Another example


There are two sponsorship line items: Sp A and Sp B.
Overall, expect each line item to win ~22%

If Sp A starts first, it has a 25% chance of winning: 
                        = 0.5 × 0.25
if Sp B starts first, Sp B needs to lose (75%) then it wins its own Sp A roll (25%) 
                        = 0.5 × 0.75 × 0.25

The anticipated delivery 
                        = (0.5 × 0.25) + (0.5 × 0.75 × 0.25) at approximately 21.88% or 22%
(or within a reasonable variance range due to traffic patterns, seasonality and so forth).

Overbooked competing sponsorships

When multiple sponsorships targeting the same or overlapping inventory and criteria have goals that add up to more than 100%, delivery becomes harder to predict. You should generally avoid competing sponsorships booked for more than a total combined 100% of available inventory.

Example of sponsorships warning

4 Overbooked competing sponsorships: Two line items are booked, one for 100%, and another for 50% of matching requests. Since the total of these line items equals 150%, neither will deliver as booked.
  Calculate anticipated delivery of an overbooked sponsorship

When sponsorships contend for impressions beyond 100%, delivery is based on the ratio of each line item's percentage to the total booked percentage:

Line item's booked percentage / Total booked percentage for all sponsorships

Using the example in (4), above, you should get the following final delivery amounts:

Line item 1:  100% / 150% = 67%

Line item 2:   50% / 150% = 33%

Setting different priorities for the line item makes behavior more predictable and the order of sponsorships is, therefore, sequenced.


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