Session video ad rules

Only available in Google Ad Manager 360.

Session video ad rules allow you to set when and how pre-rolls appear within multiple video streams. They apply to a user's entire visit to your network's content. For example, you may want to show an ad with the first video in a user's visit to your site and then every three videos after, no matter where the videos are shown.

Standard ad rules allow you to set when and how video ads appear with a single stream.

Learn about the requirements to use video ad rules.

Specific requirements for session video ad rules

Session video ad rules can only be applied to pre-roll ads.

They require the availability of a user identifier, such as a cookie, AdID, IDFA, or PPID. If no identifier is present, session ad rules are not considered, and a lower priority standard rule is selected for serving instead.

If a PPID is provided, and Display & Video 360 programmatic creatives are eligible to serve for ad requests controlled by a session ad rule, the frequency cap can sometimes fail to be applied, in which case users keep receiving ads after reaching it.

Session video ad rules only work if an impression is pinged. However, it's possible for a request-based session ad rule to allow the session counter to increment on a request rather than an impression. This might be helpful if your network uses tight timing windows or if requests are scattered geographically and cannot be matched in time for the next ad rules request.

To learn more about request-based session ad rules, contact your account manager.

Create a session video ad rule

Both standard and session rules cannot apply to the same request. If rules of both types are eligible, the higher priority rule applies. This might be helpful if you only want to show ads every few videos, but also want to ensure that a video with a sponsorship always shows an ad.
  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.

  2. Click Video, then Ad rules, then New ad rule.

  3. Enter a name, select Session as the type, and select a priority.

  4. Configure your rule based on the session ad rule options.

  5. Define date settings and optionally choose to delay applying the rule or set a limit on the number of days it will apply based on the publish date.
  6. Configure targeting to apply this rule to particular ad requests. Ad rules without specific targeting apply to all ad requests, in order of priority.
  7. Click Save.

Session ad rule options

Expand all  |  Collapse all

Pre-roll display frequency
Displays pre-roll ad pods at either the video or minute interval you set, per session. For example, set "3 videos" to show pre-rolls every three videos (even if the user watches from different streams on the page), or set "3 minutes" to show ads every three minutes (even if the user is watching a single stream).
First pre‑roll Displays the first video pre-roll at either the minute or video value you set, depending on whether your frequency is set to minutes or videos.
Ad pods and break templates
Pod type
Ad pods are groups of ads shown in sequence. Standard pods allow you to specify the maximum number of ads and the maximum duration for each ad. Optimized pods allow you to additionally specify the maximum pod duration.
Max ads The limit on the number of ads that can be shown in a pod. The "No max" option is only available for optimized pods.
Max ad duration The duration limit for each ad in the pod. If no ads of the specified duration are available to fill a required ad slot, that slot is not filled.
Max pod duration The duration limit for the entire pod, which is the duration sum of all of the ads that can serve in the pod. This option is only available for optimized pods.
Break template For optimized pods, define how ads should serve with ad spots. You can configure a maximum of 10 ad spots per break template.

Explore overlap in video ad rules

You can use the "Explore overlap" feature to understand how and when multiple video ad rules configured in your network apply at the same time. Rules overlap when their targeting settings define overlapping segments of inventory.


  • Rule A targets "Tablet" device category
  • Rule B targets "Canada"

Rule A and Rule B overlap when an ad request comes from Canada, viewing on a tablet.

To explore overlap:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Video, then Ad rules.
  3. Either choose the rule you'd like to compare against other rules that might contain the same inventory, or click New ad rule to initiate a new rule. 
  4. Ensure that you've defined the rule setting and that the targeting options are selected.
  5. Locate "Explore overlapping video ad rules and view the merged result" and click Explore overlap.

    Example of the "Explore overlap" option in the Google Ad Manager UI, described in text on this page

    The panel that opens displays:

    • A table of any other existing ad rules with overlapping inventory, including a priority and an overlapping percentage
    • The merged result showing overlapping ad rule settings, or those that apply to all of the rules you've selected

    Example of the "Explore overlap" tool in the Google Ad Manager UI, described in text on this page

  6. You can select any or all overlapping rules below to update the merged overlap, or hover over targeting  to see the targeting defined for each overlapping rule.
Note: The overlap tool only shows other overlap for rules of the same type. For instance, if the background rule is a standard ad rule, the overlap tool only shows other standard ad rules.
Learn more about the merge behavior

When you select overlapping rules, the settings from all selected rules and the background rule are merged.

For standard as rules, the merge behavior is:

  1. The rule with the highest priority is chosen first (a lower number means a higher priority).
  2. All of the settings from that rule are compared, except when "Defer" is set on that position type.
  3. All of the next highest priority ad rule are compared.

This process is repeated until "Defer" is not set on the position type.

For session ad rules, the highest priority ad rule's settings are chosen. No merging applies.

The overlap status is based on Ad Manager forecasting, which is derived from sampled historical data. You can use a historical report to view all data that applies to an inventory segment.

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu