Both publishers and advertisers in the video world put great emphasis on the fill rate when determining the success of their campaigns. For those unfamiliar with fill rate it can be defined as the ratio between ads successfully played verse requests to find an ad. For example, if there were 100 requests to find an ad and there were 10 ads played, this means the fill rate is 10%. As a general rule of thumb, 10% is a normal fill rate for most properties but of course there is fill rate from near 0% to sometimes even 100% depending on the campaign, the property, the geo, and a whole host of other factors.
But is fill rate the most important metric in the video ad ops world? The answer is that it’s one of the most important metrics but the story behind the fill rate is what really matters.
When looking at fill rate, one also has to look at what’s called the success rate. If the advertiser says they have an ad 20% of the time but have an error of 75% of the time, then not only is the fill rate much lower but the publisher is missing out on other advertisers that could have had a chance to win that spot with a much lower error rate.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the overall CPM rate. What would you prefer…a fill rate of 50% but average CPM of $1.00 or a fill rate of 10% but average CPM of $6.00? Overall, the campaign with the lower fill rate but higher CPM makes the most money.
A third important factor is the stability of the campaign. Both publishers and advertisers want stability in their campaigns but many publishers who rely on video advertising to monetize their websites prefer a steady fill rate so their earnings are also stable. When optimizing a campaign it is important to take into account the average fill rate over at least a week or longer time span and not just a few hours or 1 or 2 days. Fill rate heavily fluctuates between days, months, hours, quarter, holidays, and many other variables.
While there is no doubt fill rate is extremely important for effective video ad ops it is important to look and understand what compromises fill rate to get the maximum CPMs for video publishers.