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Fill Rate

Learn how an ad fill rate is determined and its importance to FAST and AVOD channels.

What is a Fill Rate?

A key performance metric used in digital advertising – particularly for FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) and AVOD (Advertising-based Video On Demand) channels – fill rate represents the ratio of successfully served ads to the total number of ad requests sent to the ad server.

In other words, ad fill rate measures the efficiency of an ad delivery system in filling available ad slots with actual advertisements. It is proportional to the number of ads returned by the ad decision server for the ad breaks where ad placement requests are made. 

A high ad fill rate indicates that a significant portion of ad requests are being fulfilled, resulting in more revenue for publishers and a better experience for advertisers. Conversely, a low ad fill rate suggests that a considerable number of ad requests are going unfilled, which can impact a channel’s ad revenue and lead to missed monetization opportunities.

The ad fill rate is a crucial metric for publishers and streamers as it directly affects their revenue generation and campaign effectiveness. It is often used to assess the performance of ad networks and ad delivery technology, helping stakeholders make data-driven decisions to optimize their advertising strategies.

How is the ad fill rate calculated?

To calculate the ad fill rate, simply divide the total ad impressions, or ads served, by the total number of ad requests from an ad network and multiply by 100.

Formula for ad fill rate = (Total number of ad impressions/Total number of Ad requests) x 100

How can you increase ad fill rates?

While the ideal fill rate is 100%, achieving this is unlikely as ads will be selected from the inventory based on its “fit” for the target audience – not every ad is relevant from a performance perspective. Additionally, technical issues, such as long load time, proper tagging, and scheduling errors can negatively impact ad fill rates.

Expand the demand pool

Partnering with the largest DSPs (demand-side platforms), direct programmatic buyers, and brand advertisers ensures a solid demand base for your channel. It’s also key to diversify your demand sources to minimize the amount of unsold ad space without devaluing the inventory.

Master the science of scheduling 

Channels with long viewing sessions have fewer unfilled ad spots because viewers are less likely to leave at ad breaks, compared to viewers of short viewing sessions. This scheduling decision often creates a lower rate of abandonment of requested ads, which is a significant driver of use rate reduction. 

Scheduled inefficiency is a simple problem to fix. Ads are typically 15 or 30 seconds, so a straightforward way to prevent impossible-to-fill gaps is by scheduling ad breaks that are multiples of 30 seconds. If scheduling inconsistencies cannot be avoided, consider creating short, scheduled promos to fill any surplus time to keep your monetization metrics up. It’s also recommended to keep ad break durations under 2 minutes to prevent churn

Avoid technical snafus

There are a few technical issues that can impact ad fill rates if not handled properly. First, be sure to test VAST requests and responses. The problem can typically be spotted in an ad server report that shows how well demand is monetized, and can help avoid wasting advertiser money. 

Additionally, it is not recommended to use the Ad ID to track ads because the ad insertion system thinks it is a new creative, ignored the ad insertion opportunity, and transcodes the ad again, which causes unnecessary cycles and does not provide an accurate view of the creative performance.

Wurl enables maximum yield

AdPool connects your supply to an extensive network of DSPs, programmatic buyers, and direct advertisers – as well as exclusive performance marketing demand from advertisers in the AppLovin network to maximize fill and the value of your inventory. With competitive payment terms at net 15 days, you can keep a healthy cash flow to grow your revenue potential. Get started increasing your fill rate with AdPool.

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