Inspect in-stream video and audio ad delivery

You can see which ads are eligible to deliver to your in-stream video or audio content to better understand the Ad Manager ad selection process or troubleshoot issues related to delivery. Simply enter a VAST ad tag URL to see ad request and delivery details. You can then share the details with other users in your network.

Delivery tools for video and audio ads don't support features that require context, such as frequency caps, or cookies, such as session ad rules.

Below are some common questions answered by Ad Manager delivery tools:

  • Which ads delivered on my page?
  • Why these ads and not others?
  • Are my line items and creatives are set up correctly?
  • Why is my line item behind schedule, or not delivering at all?

View related Skillshop training course

Get started

To inspect ad delivery, you need to paste a video ad request tag into Ad Manager delivery tools. You can find the video ad tag using Chrome Developer Tools or third-party software, such as Charles and Fiddler.

Find your video or audio ad tag with Chrome Developer Tools

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser and navigate to the page with the video or audio ad request.
  2. From the Chrome menu bar, click View and then Developer and then Developer Tools. The Developer Tools panel opens at the bottom of the page.
  3. From the Developer Tools menu bar, click Network. The record button is automatically activated. It's important that the inspector is in record mode before you refresh the page.
  4. Refresh the page to restart the video ad and collect information in the Developer Tools panel.
  5. In the "Filter" field of Developer Tools, type doubleclick.net/gampad.
  6. Click one of the values in the "Name" column.
  7. To the right of the "Name" column, click the Headers tab.
  8. Next to "Request URL", copy the entire URL. This is the ad tag URL.

Troubleshoot and see ad delivery details

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Delivery and then Delivery tools and then In-stream video and audio ads.
  3. In the "Enter video or audio tag to troubleshoot" box, paste your video or audio ad tag URL.
  4. (Optional) Select a specific line item to troubleshoot.*
  5. (Optional) Click Advanced to enter additional parameters that might affect ad delivery:
    • Country: Country in which the video ad will be displayed — used for targeting.
    • User agent: A text string sent to the server that identifies the browser, operating system, and targeted environment.
  6. Click Troubleshoot. The troubleshooting information appears on the same page. To share the details with another user in your network, click Share this session.

*If you want to inspect a line item to see additional information about non-delivery causes, or to check line item eligibility, step 4 is required.

Inspect delivery details

In the delivery details that appear, you'll see some of the following details:

  • A timeline of the placement of ads in the content.
    Hover over each break for more information about the positions where the ads have been inserted, ad duration, and so forth.
  • A summary of the winning ad rule for each break.
    • Click Details to see display-only settings from the ad rule.
    • Click the ad rule ID to view the ad rules page and update settings.
  • A simulation of the ad for each position in the ad rule (labeled as "Standard pod request," "VAST video ad," "Pre-roll ad break," and so forth). It can be one ad, a series of ads, or a pod of multiple ads.
    • Click More info to see line item debugging information, with links to additional details as needed.
    • Click Simulate request to help determine why a different ad delivered than the one you expected.
  • To see more details, in the “Action” column, click Inspect for an overview of the request and additional information.
(NEW) If you selected a specific line item, clicking Inspect will now show even more information, including creative details, additional insights about programmatic delivery channels, and more. From the Overview tab, you can see more details about line item eligibility, including targeting differences between the ad request and the line item.

Share details

You can share the details with users who have access to your network. This helps you collaborate with others to help determine a plan for troubleshooting your line items.

  1. Above the details on the Troubleshoot page, click Share this session.
  2. Click Copy URL. The URL is now copied to your clipboard and ready to be pasted
  3. Send the URL to a user with access to your network. Tell the user to paste the URL into their browser.

Simulate ad requests

A simulation shows which line item would win if you were to request the ad slot again. If an unexpected line item wins the simulation, you can see why. Change targeting and tag information to try and get the desired line item to win the simulation.

When you click Simulate request, Ad Manager runs a simulation and provides the details outlined below. 

The "Simulate request" feature doesn’t retain information on page or server state. Therefore, competitive exclusions, roadblocks, and frequency caps will not match the original request.

Original request

This section recreates how the ad request you selected on the Troubleshoot page actually delivered. It includes:

  • Ad request details: The request and targeting information for the winning line item.
  • Winning line item details: The delivery details for the winning line item.
  • View non-delivery reasons: Click this button to see reasons why other line items were selected to serve over this one in cases that this line item was eligible. Here are details of the possible non-delivery reasons.

Simulation

Shows what would happen if you were to request this ad slot again. 

Ad request details

The request and targeting information for the simulated request. It defaults to the current settings.

Winning line item 

The delivery details for the line item that wins the simulation.

Search for the line item you were expecting to win

If an unexpected line item wins the simulation, you can use this box to search for the line item you thought would win and click Go. You’ll see a pop-up with the details for the winning line item on the left side, and the reasons for non-delivery of the line item you searched for on the right side.

Learn more about causes for line item non-delivery

Rerun simulation

You can change the targeting and tag information under "Ad request details" and then click Rerun simulation to see if the winning line item changes. If you eventually find a simulation that provides the desired winning line item, you can go back and update the actual targeting and tag information.

Why is the line item that won the simulation different from the original winner?

There are several possible reasons for this. Here are a few:

  • Every run request, whether actual or simulated, happens dynamically. As a result, several things can change from one request to the other, including run time, goals, new line items to compete against, and so forth.
  • The ad selection process can result in different line items serving from one ad request to the next.
  • The simulation only considers one ad slot at a time. Therefore, if original winning line item is part of a request with multiple ad slots, like a roadblock, it won’t win the simulation.
  • The line item reached a frequency cap.
  • The line item met its delivery goal.

Why did my line item not deliver 100%?

Ad Manager distributes impression delivery based on both the Deliver impressions setting for the line items and Ad Manager pacing rules that attempt to optimize delivery. Changes to pacing may affect traffic and delivery.

If your line item isn't delivering properly, understand more with the line item delivery troubleshooter.

Learn more about delivery pacing

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