Set frequency caps

Limit the number of times people see your ads

Pro tipUse cross-channel connected Connected TV frequency management to limit ad exposure and expand overall reach.

Set a frequency cap across your YouTube and third party Connected TV campaigns.

  1. Navigate to either the campaign or insertion order where you have multiple Connected TV line items spanning across YouTube and third party Connected TV.
  2. Under the Frequency cap section in settings, you will have the option to limit your frequency to a number of exposures per a certain time period.
  3. Fill out the desired frequency cap, and click Save.

How does it work?

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. 

Set a frequency cap for a line item, insertion order, or campaign

  1. Start by opening a line item or insertion order, and click the Details tab at the top. If you want to set a campaign-level frequency cap, navigate to the campaign's settings.
  2. Scroll to the "Frequency cap" section, then set 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. 

  3. Click Save.

Things to consider

  • Insertion order caps: An insertion order's frequency cap will have the effect of capping the frequency caps across line items in the insertion order.

    For example, if an IO has a frequency cap of 4 lifetime impressions, and a line item in the IO has a frequency cap of 3 impressions per day, the line item may ultimately be constrained by the IO'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.

  • Impact to reach: Using a lower frequency cap will reduce the number of impressions your line items can bid on.

  • Simultaneous ads: 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.

  • 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.

About frequency caps across inventory types

Frequency caps in Display & Video 360 may be enforced separately across inventory types, such as environments (mobile versus desktop) and inventory sources (specific publishers).

  • Mobile apps: Display & Video 360 supports frequency capping across mobile apps on the same iOS or Android device when the device’s IDFA or Advertising ID is passed in an impression’s bid request. If the mobile device ID isn’t known for an impression purchased on an open auction, the impression will be excluded by the line items that utilize frequency caps.
  • YouTube: For campaigns or insertion orders that contain a mix of YouTube & partners auction line items, YouTube Programmatic Guaranteed deals, and non-YouTube & partners line items, frequency caps are enforced to the best of our ability for signed-in users across YouTube and Google Ad Manager inventory independently of frequency caps for signed out users.
    • For ad sequence line items: Choose Once per 7 days or Once per 30 days for ad sequence line items. Users will be limited from seeing a step more than once and won't see an entire sequence more than once within the time period you set. 
    • For YouTube in-stream, bumper ads, and CPV in-feed video ads in the auction: 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. When a user reaches the frequency cap, Google will stop showing this line item to the user. For YouTube video action campaigns, frequency cap settings are applied to in-stream video ads only. Frequency cap settings are not applied for in-feed video ads that are part of YouTube video action campaigns.
    • For YouTube Programmatic Guaranteed and Instant Reserve deals: Impressions served through YouTube Programmatic Guaranteed and Instant Reserve deals contribute toward campaign-level frequency caps. If a campaign containing both a YouTube reservation deal and YouTube auction line items (in-stream, bumper, and/or non-skippable ads) reaches its frequency cap, Display & Video 360 will stop showing the YouTube auction line item and optimize the YouTube Programmatic Guaranteed or Instant Reserve deal to no longer serve to the user, as long as the reservation contract fulfillment is not at risk. If you specify a line item-level frequency cap with your account manager during creation of your deal, that frequency cap will always be respected.
  • 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. Additionally, Display & Video 360 supports frequency capping on declared publisher provided IDs (PPID), exchange provided IDs (SSPID), and 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.
  • Audio: There are no special frequency management considerations for audio; it works the same as other creative types in Display & Video 360. For all creative types, frequency capping only works when the publisher is passing a cookie from the device (same as Device ID). While this is possible with audio, it’s not as common. Check with the publisher to confirm.
  • Programmatic Guaranteed deals: 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 frequency cap (set on the campaign-level) based on the publisher inventory that’s available.


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