Monitor impression loss

The impressions lost chart illustrates how many additional impressions that matched your line items' targeting could have been purchased. Use this chart to understand what changes you can make to your line item’s settings in order to win more impressions in the auction.

Chart of lost impressions


  • By default, this chart reflects the selected date range for all of the line items in your insertion order. However, if you want to view impression loss information for specific line items, select the checkboxes next to individual line items and the chart will update in real time.
  • You can edit the date range by clicking the drop down to see up to 30 days of impression loss information.
  • You can click the three dots icon  to download a CSV of the data.
  • You can click Explore for suggestions to reduce impressions lost, and for more detailed impression loss information for each line item. 

Reasons you're not winning more impressions

You may lose impressions for the following reasons:

  • No eligible creative - Your selected line items don’t have any approved creatives. This can be due to:

    • None of the assigned creatives meet the technical requirements for the line item - At least one assigned creative must match the required dimensions, video duration, etc.

    • Third-party creatives are not allowed - If you're using third-party ad servers to serve creatives or pixels, your line item will only be able to purchase personalized ad inventory. For more information on this restriction, see non-personalized ad inventory.

    • The user has not agreed to share their data with one of the creative's third-party domains - This may be related to inventory not allowing all of the ad technology providers in your creative.

    • The creative could not be served due to local policies - This may be related to the creative being for restricted products or services, being unapproved to serve in Russia or China, and/or the creative including calls to an unidentified ad technology provider.
  • Frequency limited - Your selected line items have hit their frequency caps and therefore can't purchase any additional impressions.

  • Below minimum bid - Your selected line items aren't bidding above the floor price for the inventory they target. One example of inventory with a floor price are direct deals.

  • Budget or pacing - Your selected line items have exhausted their budget (either their flight budget or budget for the current pacing period). For YouTube & partners line items, this metric represents an estimate of the number of additional impressions that could have been purchased if your line item had a larger budget. For other line items, this metric counts the number of impressions not purchased due to being out of budget. 

  • Auctions lost - The total number of impressions lost when competing against other line items within Display & Video 360 (in the "internal auction") and against other DSPs on the open exchange ("external auction").

In most cases, losing a high number of impressions is a bad thing, and signifies that you're missing a lot of opportunities to deliver ads to the people you're trying to reach.


  • Data shown in the chart is based on the past 30 days..
  • For YouTube & partners line items, "Loss to budget" data will reflect data from 2 days ago.

Frequently asked questions

How is impression loss calculated?

Impression loss percentages are calculated using the following formulas.

  • Frequency

    Impressions not bid on because of your line item's frequency cap
    All impressions that match your line item's targeting


  • Budget or pacing

    Impressions not bid on because your line item ran out of money (or is limited by your pacing settings)
    All impressions that match your line item's targeting and frequency cap


  • Auction lost

    Impressions bid on but not won
    All impressions that match your line item's targeting, frequency cap, and budget limitations

    Although exchanges don't currently provide a reason you fail to win an impression, some possible explanations include:

    • Your bid is too low.
    • Your creative wasn't approved by the exchange.
    • Or, any number of other reasons decided by the exchange.


    Please keep these reasons in mind if you're losing a large percentage of impressions due to "bid," even though your line item's bid is quite high.

The maximum data sample for measuring impression loss is 14 days, so that if you change the date range in the pacing view to something greater than 14 days, such as "Last 30 days", your impression loss metrics are still going to be based on the past 14 days worth of data. Otherwise, if you change the date range in the pacing view to a shorter period of time, such as "Yesterday", your impression loss metrics will be based only on the period of time you've selected. 
Show me an example

For example, say you have a line item that targets people in Shropshire in England. Over the past hour, 2 impressions from Shropshire were available, and you were able to purchase one of them, because you were outbid by another party on the other one. In this example, your line item would show a bid-based impression loss of 50% because you were outbid on 1 impression out of 2 possible impressions you would have wanted to purchase.

What does 0% impression loss mean?

0% impression loss means that your line item has been able to purchase (i.e. has "won") every available impression that matches its targeting that was available.

What does 100% impression loss mean?

100% impression loss means that your line item hasn't been able to purchase any impressions that were available, because of your line item's frequency cap, budget, and/or bid.

How can I fix impression loss related to video errors?
  • Make sure you can preview your creatives in Display & Video 360.
  • Confirm that your third-party tags are displaying content.
  • Check if your creatives are targeted away from the inventory you're trying to buy.
  • Make sure there aren't any missing or inactivated video assets in your VAST creative.
  • Check to see if there are any other settings or setup issues that would cause your video tags to be unfetchable or unservable.
  • If your creative is hosted in Campaign Manager 360, make sure there aren't any issues with transcoding the creative in Campaign Manager 360.
  • If your creative is hosted by a publisher's third-party ad server, reach out to their exchange to ask why their tags might produce video errors.

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