Manage frequency with frequency caps

Limit the number of times people see your ads

Pro tip Manage ad exposure to expand the reach of your ad across different channels and device types, including web, app, and Connected TV.

To set a frequency cap:

  1. Navigate to a campaign, insertion order, or line item.
  2. To set a campaign frequency cap, click on campaign settings. To set an insertion order or line item frequency cap, click on the Details tab.
  3. Under the “Frequency cap” section, set the desired frequency cap, and click Save.


How does it work?

Frequency capping helps you maximize the number of ad impressions by managing how often ads are shown to a given user. You can set frequency caps across all inventory types, including non-personalized inventory, different environments (mobile, desktop, connected TV) and inventory sources (specific publishers). 

About frequency caps across inventory types

For campaigns or insertion orders with line items that have a mix of inventory types, Display & Video 360 uses modeling and available identifiers to apply the frequency caps. The identifiers include privacy-focused inputs such as publisher provided IDs (PPID), exchange provided IDs (EPID), and Identifiers for Advertising (IFA). Learn more about frequency caps for different inventory types.

Measure the impact

When you set a frequency cap for a campaign, you can measure the number of additional users reached at that campaign because of the frequency cap. Learn more about Added Reach Measurement for campaigns.

Setting a frequency cap

You can set a frequency cap for the following:

  • At the line item level: Sets the frequency cap for the individual line item only. 
  • At the insertion order level: Sets the frequency cap for all line items under that insertion order.
  • At the campaign level: Sets the frequency cap for all insertion orders under that campaign. 

For each frequency cap, you can change the following settings:

  • Exposures: This is the maximum number of times your ad can show to the same user.
  • Time period: This is the time period for the cap, such as one day or two weeks. Display & Video 360 considers "Lifetime" to be 3 months.

Considerations

  • An insertion order's frequency cap will cap the frequency caps across line items in that insertion order.

    Example of insertion order frequency caps

    For example, imagine an insertion order has a frequency cap of 4 lifetime impressions and a line item in the insertion order has a frequency cap of 3 impressions per day. The line item will be constrained by the insertion order’s frequency cap. This is similar to how an insertion order's budget limits the maximum spend of its line items, regardless of each line item's budget.
  • Using a lower frequency cap will reduce the number of impressions your line items can bid on.
  • If a frequency cap hasn't been met, it's possible to serve several of your ads to a given user on the same page at the same time. Each impression purchased will be counted individually towards the cap.

Inventory types and frequency caps

Inventory type How frequency caps work
YouTube

Display & Video 360 supports frequency capping for:

  • YouTube & partners auction line items
  • YouTube Programmatic Guaranteed deals
  • Instant Reserve deals for signed in and signed out users 

Note: Frequency cap settings are not applied for in-feed video ads that are part of YouTube video action campaigns.

If the videos in the line item are used in other YouTube & partners line items, impressions and/or views from other line items for a given user will count towards the frequency cap of the line item.

Mobile apps Display & Video 360 supports frequency capping across mobile apps on the same iOS or Android device when the device ID or publisher-provided identifier is provided in the bid request.
Audio Display & Video 360 supports frequency capping when the device ID or publisher-provided identifier is provided in the bid request.
Connected TV

Display & Video 360 supports frequency capping across connected TV apps on the same device when the device’s Identifier for Advertising (IFA) is passed in an impression’s bid request. Additional supported IFA types include:

  • Publisher provided IDs (PPID)
  • Exchange provided IDs (EPID or SSPID)
  • Shorter-lived session IDs (SESSIONID).

This is in alignment with the IAB’s published OTT IFA Guidelines

If the connected TV device IFA or other supported IFA types aren’t known for an impression, the impression will be excluded by line items that use frequency caps.

Programmatic Guaranteed deals

Available for YouTube, Google Ad Manager, Magnite DV+, Magnite CTV, SpotX, and Xandr

Programmatic Guaranteed deals have the ability to pass on impressions once the campaign frequency cap has been met. Display & Video 360 prioritizes on meeting the spend amount set in the deal terms, then optimizes to the campaign-level frequency cap based on the publisher inventory that’s available.
Guaranteed deals and non-guaranteed deals or auction line items

If a campaign with both a guaranteed deal and non-guaranteed deal, or auction line item, reaches its frequency cap, Display & Video 360 will:

  • Stop showing the non-guaranteed or auction line item
  • Optimize the guaranteed deals to no longer serve the user as long as the reservation contract will be fulfilled

Limitations

  • Once a frequency cap is set, it can take several minutes for Display & Video 360 to update.
  • Exposure data is stored for 90 days. 
  • Due to differences in cookie and device ID settings, advertisers may see fluctuations in delivery and performance when cookies or device ID are unavailable. Some insertion orders and line items that use frequency capping use machine learning and historical data to model frequency caps when cookies or device ID are unavailable.

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