Inspect in-stream video ad delivery

Inspect ads that appear in your in-stream video content

See which ads are eligible to deliver to your in-stream video content to better understand the DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) ad selection process or troubleshoot issues related to delivery. Simply enter a video ad tag to see ad request and delivery details. You can then share the details with other users in your network.

Delivery Inspector for video doesn't support features that require context, such as frequency caps, or cookies, such as session ad rules.

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Below are some common questions answered by DFP 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?

Get started

To inspect ad delivery, you need to paste a video ad request tag into DFP 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 ad tag with Chrome Developer Tools

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser and navigate to the page with the video 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 Developer Tools panel's "Filter" box, 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 video ad tag.

Open DFP to collect ad delivery details

  1. Sign in to DoubleClick for Publishers.
  2. Click Delivery and then Troubleshoot and then Video.
  3. In the "Enter video tag to troubleshoot" box, paste your video ad tag.
  4. (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 environment for targeting.
  5. Click Troubleshoot.
    The troubleshooting information appears on the same page. To share the details with another user in your network, click Share this session.

Inspect delivery details

In the delivery details that appear on the DFP Troubleshoot page, you'll see some of the following details:

  • A timeline of the placement of video ads in the content.
    Hover over each break for more information about the positions where the ads have been inserted, ad duration, etc.
  • 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," etc.). 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.

Share the details

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

  1. Above the details that appear on the Troubleshoot page, click Share this session.
  2. From the pop-up that appears, click Copy URL.
    The URL is now coppied 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

The Simulate request feature 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. You can then change targeting and tag information to try and get the desired line item to win the simulation.

When you click Simulate request as mentioned above, the following sections appear.

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

“Original request” section

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” section

This section shows what would happen if you were to request this ad slot again. It includes:

  • Ad request details: The request and targeting information for the simulated request. It defaults to the current settings.
  • Winning line item details: 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. Here are details of the possible non-delivery reasons.
  • 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, etc.
  • 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.
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