How OpenX Ad Server delivers ads for line items

Last updated on January 11, 2018

For each line item, you need to set the priority order for ad delivery, what type of inventory that the line item is intended for, and how you want OpenX to deliver ads for the line item when it wins an impression. You do this by setting a Buying Model, an Inventory Type, and an Ad Delivery Mode.

Buying models

For each line item, specify one of the following buying models, which determines the priority order in which OpenX Ad Server considers line items for delivery:

Inventory types

Each line item is intended for a particular type of inventory, which affects the types of ads that you can create for each line item. For example, a Web line item can support flash ads, but an email line item can only support image ads. The selected inventory type also affects the targeting criteria for the line item; that is, you can only target inventory of the same type. You specify this during line item setup, through the Inventory Type setting, which can be one of the following:

  • Email Banner. Supports ads that display in email messages. These line items can contain image ads only.

  • Linear Video. Supports ads that play in sequence with video content in a video player. These line items can contain linear video ads. (If it is a companion line item, it can contain all ad types.)

  • Mobile. Supports ads that display in a mobile web browser or within a mobile app. These line items can contain the following types of ads: mobile image and mobile HTML.

  • Native. (OpenX Ad Server only) Supports a range of custom ad formats expressed using the OpenRTB dynamic native ads API, such as:

    • IAB ads with native elements

    • In-feed

    • Native in-feed video

    • Paid search

    • Promoted listings

    • Recommendation widgets

  • Non-linear Video. Supports ads that play during video content in a video player. These line items can contain the following types of non-linear video ads: image, HTML, flash. (If it is a companion line item, it can contain all ad types.)

  • Web. Supports standard display ads. These line items can contain the following types of ads: image, HTML, flash, third-party.

Ad delivery modes

For each line item that you create, you must specify how you want OpenX to deliver ads for the line item when it wins an impression. The line item's Ad Delivery Mode can be one of the following:

About companion line items

When you set up a companion line item, you must target at least one ad unit group. When Ad Server receives a call for an ad unit group, it uses the Master Ad Unit setting to determine whether a companion placement should be served to the webpage. The master ad unit anchors the delivery of companion ads in a single call for the ad unit group. If a companion line item wins the impression for the master ad unit, the remaining ad units are filled with ads from the companion line item as appropriate, based on the selected Fill Method for the line item (Best Fit or All or None). Remaining ad units not filled by the companion line item go through the normal ad selection process. If a companion line item is not selected for the master ad unit, each ad unit referenced by the ad unit group goes through the normal ad selection process and no companion line items are considered.

Targeting is tied to the ad delivery mode. Because you must target ad unit groups for companion line items, OpenX does not allow you to change a line item's Ad Delivery Mode setting to or from Companion.

About billable and non-billable impressions

Each time OpenX selects and serves an ad for a line item, it counts an impression. Each impression is either non-billable or billable. Non-billable impressions include those for House line items, as well as those for non-master companion ads, which serve for companion line items. That is, in the case of companion line items, the impression for the master ad unit counts as a billable impression, and the impression for a non-master companion ad unit (anchored by the master ad unit) is a non-billable impression. For example, if OpenX delivers 10,000 synchronized impressions of two ads for a companion line item, the impressions for the master ad unit are billable (10,000 impressions), and those for the non-master companion ad unit are non-billable (10,000 impressions). For line items with an Ad Delivery Mode setting of Equal Weighting or Manual Weighting, billable impressions are counted each time OpenX selects and serves an ad for the line item.