Pacing

Pacing specifies how a line’s daily budget is spent over the duration of the flight. Pacing controls specify how DSP allocates campaign budgets and are integral to line delivery and bid optimization.

DSP automatically adjusts line spend to meet line delivery expectations. If a line under-paces (under-delivers ad impressions) or over-paces (over-delivers ad impressions), DSP attempts to regulate line pacing and bring the line back “on pace” by recalculating the line’s expected spend rate.

Overview

The following line-level pacing configurations to define the logic that DSP uses to regulate line delivery.

Pacing Mode Use Case
Even Pacing Distribute the daily budget in line with time of day and day of week user traffic patterns.
ASAP Pacing Bid on every ad opportunity that matches the line’s targeting criteria up to the daily limit.
Ahead Pacing Over-pace by a set percentage with even pacing logic.

While a line’s daily budget determines line delivery—the number of ad impressions that a line will serve in a 24-hour period, this is only true if the line is pacing correctly. Line pacing is an indicator of its line delivery health.

Line Pacing Optimization

DSP budgeting controls adjust line pacing every five minutes. The goal is to reduce the chance of over-delivery by checking every line every five minutes to ensure that the line is allocating its daily budget appropriately.

  • A line that is under-pacing (i.e. not spending its daily budget in a 24-hour period) is not delivering the expected number of ad impressions.
  • A line that is over-pacing (i.e. spending its daily budget too quickly) is delivering too many ad impressions too quickly and completely fails to reach any consumers later in the day.

Both under-pacing lines and over-pacing lines may require line delivery optimization. Other factors that may affect pacing and impact line delivery are target audiences that are too narrowly defined, insufficient daily budgets, and maximum bids that are set too low.

Note

To learn more on the relationship between line pacing and line delivery optimization, see Programmatic Pacing Optimization.

Billing and Goal Type Constraints

Line-level budget and goal configurations constrain pacing.

Depending on the billing method and goal type configured, line pacing may or may not be available.

Pacing Mode Billing Methods Goal Types
Even Pacing All but CPCV All but CPCV
ASAP Pacing oCPM, fixed CPM None (fixed CPM)
Ahead Pacing All but CPCV All but CPCV

CPCV goals do not support line pacing.

Even Pacing

Even pacing is the default mode of pacing. With even pacing, DSP optimizes line delivery so that line’s daily budget is distributed evenly throughout the day.

The line’s spend rate is dynamically determined based on the remaining daily budget and the hours remaining in the day:

Spend Rate = (Remaining Daily Budget/Remaining Hours)

The DSP implements even pacing somewhat differently depending on how the line’s daily budget is allocated:

Daily Budget Mode Carryover Traffic patterns
Auto Allocated Carries over unspent budget. Time of Day Traffic: Traffic pattern on a bell curve, starting at hour 0, ramping up, and ramping back down by hour 24.
    Day of Week Traffic: More traffic on weekdays, less on weekends and holidays.
    End of Flight traffic: Automatically over-paces all lines by 30% during the final three days of a flight.
User Specified Does not carry over unspent budget. Time of Day Traffic: Traffic pattern on a bell curve, starting at hour 0, ramping up, and ramping back down by hour 24.

To configure even pacing:

Even pacing is the default setting for all lines and requires no special configurations. If you want to use even pacing, do nothing and it will be configured automatically.

ASAP Pacing

ASAP pacing specifies that the platform bid on every ad placement opportunity that meets the line’s targeting criteria.

ASAP pacing is useful to advertisers bidding in private marketplaces or with publisher commitments that require very high or 100% fill rates. In these scenarios, the advertiser typically targets a single deal ID and has an arrangement with the publisher to respond to all ad placement opportunities.

The main objective of a line using ASAP pacing is to deliver every possible impression, which has the following consequences:

  • ASAP pacing is incompatible with bidding optimization. A line using ASAP pacing does must bid flat CPM and cannot optimize towards a goal.
  • ASAP pacing is compatible with the oCPM and fixed-CPM billing methods. It is incompatible with fixed-CPC billing, as that would introduce a major risk of substantially over delivering (on impressions).

It’s best to narrow targeting when using ASAP pacing. ASAP pacing increases the chance that a line will over-deliver—spend its daily budget too quickly. DSP pacing optimization controls run every five minutes. If the line’s targeting is too broad, an entire daily budget could be exhausted in the window between adjustments.

The DSP implements even pacing somewhat differently depending on how the line’s daily budget is allocated:

Daily Budget Mode Carryover Traffic patterns
Auto Allocated Carries over unspent budget. Day of Week Traffic: More traffic on weekdays, less on weekends and holidays.
    End of Flight traffic: Automatically over-paces all lines by 30% during the final three days of a flight.
User Specified Does not carry over unspent budget. Day of Week Traffic: More traffic on weekdays, less on weekends and holidays.

ASAP pacing can be configured using controls in the Line Properties page.

To configure ASAP pacing:

  1. Choose the oCPM or Fixed CPM option in the Billing Method drop-down list.

    ASAP pacing is not supported for Fixed CPC lines.

  2. Choose a daily budget type in the Daily Budget Type drop-down list.

    ASAP pacing works differently depending on the budget type.

    • If the daily budget is Auto-Allocated, DSP calculates daily budget as total reminding budget / total remaining days in flight and spends that calculated daily budget on an ASAP basis.
    • If the daily budget is user-specified, the platform delivers ASAP until the specified total budget is spent.
  3. Choose the None option in the Goal Type drop-down list.

    ASAP pacing is only supported for lines without goals.

  4. Choose the ASAP option in the Pacing drop-down list.

    A notification appears prompting you to confirm that you want to enable ASAP pacing. ASAP pacing is incompatible with line goals and bid optimization. ASAP increases the likelihood that the line will overspend:

  5. Click the Yes I’m Sure button.

Ahead Pacing

Ahead pacing provides advertisers with greater control over how line budgets are allocated during a flight by enabling them to over-pace their daily budgets.

Advertisers sometimes want to front-load line delivery (that is, increase the number of ad impressions) at certain points in the line’s flight. For example, to align with a product launch or other marketing activities or to over-pace weekday delivery to compensate for weekend drops in supply.

Like ASAP pacing, Ahead minimizes the risk of under delivery. Ahead pacing provides both flexibility and control to increase line delivery, without needing to create separate lines or to rely on ASAP pacing. Both ASAP pacing and Ahead pacing enable the advertiser to over-pace line delivery.

Ahead pacing can be configured using controls in the Line Properties page.

To configure Ahead pacing:

  1. Choose any option in the Billing Method drop-down list.

    ASAP pacing is compatible with all billing methods.

  2. Choose a daily budget type in the Daily Budget Type drop-down list.

    Ahead pacing works differently depending on the budget type.

    • If the daily budget is user-specified, the line will over-pace the daily budget every day until the total budget is consumed. The amount over-spent is determined by the pacing acceleration value specified. For a detailed discussion, see Scenario 1: User-Specified Daily Budget.
    • If the line’s daily budget is auto-allocated, the line’s spend rate is dynamically determined based on the line’s remaining total budget, the remaining days in the flight, and the line’s pacing acceleration value. For a detailed discussion, see Scenario 2: Auto-Allocated Daily Budget.
  3. Choose any option in the Goal Type drop-down list.

    Ahead pacing is compatible with bidding optimization. A line using Ahead pacing can specify a line goal of any goal type and leverage bid optimization.

  4. Choose the Ahead option in the Pacing drop-down list.

  5. Specify the line’s pacing acceleration value.

    The pacing acceleration value specifies the percentage over the daily budget that the line may spend per day. Ahead pacing is the product of the even pacing value multiplied by the pacing acceleration value: (remaining budget/remaining days)* pacing acceleration value.

The following sections describe three use cases for Ahead pacing.

Scenario 1: User-Specified Daily Budget

If the daily budget is user-specified, the line will over-pace the daily budget every day until the total budget is consumed. The amount over-spent is determined by the pacing acceleration value specified.

The line’s spend rate is the product of the daily budget multiplied by the pacing acceleration value:

Spend Rate = Daily Budget * Pacing Acceleration Value.

For example, if a pacing acceleration value of 50 is specified, the line will deliver 50% more than the line’s daily budget per day.

The diagram shows how a line’s total budget is expended much more quickly with ahead pacing than it would with even pacing.

Ahead Pacing Specified Amount

In this case, the line’s total budget would be exhausted before the end of the line’s flight.

Scenario 2: Auto-Allocated Daily Budget

If the line’s daily budget is auto-allocated, the line’s spend rate is dynamically determined based on the line’s remaining total budget, the remaining days in the flight, and the line’s pacing acceleration value.

The line’s spend rate is the product of the ratio of the remaining total budget divided by the remaining days in the flight multiplied by the pacing acceleration value:

Spend Rate = (Remaining Total Budget/Remaining Days)* Pacing Acceleration Value.

In this case, the line runs throughout the scheduled flight but the amount spent per day gradually drops off over time.

Ahead Pacing

Scenario 3: Last Three Days of Flight

The DSP automatically over-paces all lines by 30% during the final three days of flight. This is true all lines using even pacing and ASAP pacing.

The BrightRoll handles lines using ahead pacing somewhat differently:

  • If the pacing acceleration value is set above 30%, the specified pacing acceleration value is used to calculate the daily budget in the last three days of the flight.
  • If the pacing acceleration value is set below 30%, the default value of 1.3 (30%) is used as the multiplier to calculate the daily budget in the last three days of the flight.

The DSP calculates the line’s daily budget using a pacing acceleration value of 1.1 (10%) as the multiplier for the first seven days of the flight:

Spend Rate = (Remaining Total Budget/Remaining Days) * 1.1

But during the final three days of the flight, a pacing acceleration value of 1.3 (30%) is used instead:

Spend Rate = (Remaining Total Budget/Remaining Days) * 1.3

In this scenario the line delivers impressions throughout its flight dates, but will start with higher daily budget and gradually drop over duration of the flight with least daily budget on the last day of the flight.

Ahead Pacing

Monitor Pacing

The Lines page (a.k.a. line dashboard) displays high-level information about all of the lines in a campaign in a tabular format.

Two columns in the dashboard are of special importance for line pacing.

  • Lifetime pacing displays line pacing performance for the entire duration of the line. Adjustments to the reporting period do not affect the data displayed in this column.
  • Filtered pacing displays line pacing performance within the reporting period, i.e. the date range you specify using the dashboard’s date filter.

Using controls in this page you can easily monitor, analyze, and compare line pacing performance for active, paused, and expired lines across time.