A Guide to Unified Pricing Rules

With unified pricing rules,you can centrally manage the target CPMs or floor prices across all your programmatic demand. 

Where does unified pricing rules apply?

You can use unified pricing rules on Ad Exchange primary (mapped) accounts. The target CPM or floor prices in unified pricing rules are applicable in the following contexts-

  • In Open Auction via Authorized Buyers, which was earlier known as Ad Exchange Buyers
  • Private Auctions, irrespective of whether Open Auction optimization was enabled or not
  • First Look demand
  • Third party exchanges that take part in Open Bidding
  • Remnant line item types- Price priority Network and Bulk
  • Linked accounts with Ad Exchange

Pricing is not applicable to AdSense backfill or the campaigns that have been negotiated via Programmatic Direct.

How are Unified Pricing rules applied?

  • If in any case, two unified pricing rules target overlapping inventory, the rule that bears higher price is applicable.
  • The rule that has the high price is applicable for Ad Exchange demand, if in any case a First Look pricing rules target overlapping inventory.

Pricing for everything-

By default, there is a pricing rule for everything and applies on everyone and all creative types and sizes. But you can also optionally put down specific pricings for individual advertisers, brands, sizes and more. When that is done, there is another optional setting, pricing for everything, and the price set for it is applicable to whichever advertisers, brands, sizes, you think, and for which you set varying prices. 

It is advisable to set the price under “Pricing for everything” to a slightly lower value than what includes advertisers, brands, sizes and more or to leave the option for the same as disabled.

Remnant line item types and prices-

In the auction, Price Priority, Network and Bulk line items can compete and the three are affected by the Unified Pricing rules. The line items of such a kind must have a CPM that meets or surpasses the values set in unified pricing rules to compete in the auction.

Unified pricing rules are not applicable to-

  1. House line items
  2. Line items that have zero rate and with no value CPM set


The blocking function is not provided by unified pricing rules. Via Protections, you can manage blocks. Blocks are not supported for Open Bidding Traffic.

Pricing for Different sizes-

In unified pricing rules, you will find multi-size pricing, which is an optional settings that shows that Pricing for everything is by default enabled. The option is applicable to all sizes and is not limited to the ones for which a set pricing has not been set.

Pricing for different creative types- 

The pricing rules can be set to be applicable on only display or video creatives. The floor prices and/or target CPMs are still applicable across all inventory formats. To determine which floor/target CPM should be applicable, the demand’s  creative type is used. 

If Ad Manager is unable to decide on the creative type, whatever floor/target CPM stands applicable for Display creative type is applied.

How to add pricing rules for display or video creatives-

  1. You need to be sure about your inventory being opted into video via “ad experiences” protection.
  2. In accordance with Step 5 of the procedure given below, choose- Set pricing for specific items.
  3. Click on Edit, then choose Video/Display and click on Done.

Programmatic Direct-

On Programmatic Direct campaigns, unified pricing rules do not apply, which includes Programmatic Guaranteed, be it Standard or Sponsorship, and Preferred Deal line items which have been created under Programmatic Direct. 

Pricing for advertisers, buyers, and bidders-

In unified pricing rules, you can configure advertiser and brand specific pricing and they are applicable only to Ad Exchange ad Open Bidding Demand. However, they do not apply to remnant line items and Per-buyer and per-bidder pricing is not available yet.

How to get pricing information in the bid request for Open Bidding buyers?

  • The price floor is placed in the bidfloor field for OpenRTB.
  • It is placed in the minimum_cpm_micros field, for Ad Exchange proto.

The bids that are below the floor are shown as “Bid was below the minimum threshold” in RTB Breakout.

Ad Exchange linked accounts-

The manner in which Ad Exchange pricing rules work is very similar to the working of unified pricing rules. Unified pricing rules which are set in the Ad Manager network of the primary Ad Exchange account are applicable to any inventory that is backfilled from linked Ad Exchange accounts.

How to create unified pricing rules?

Upto 200 unified pricing rules can be applied per Ad Manager network and here is how you create it-

  1. Go to Inventory Pricing Rules.
  2. Click on New unified pricing rule.
  3. Set a name for the pricing rule.
  4. Choose the inventory on which you want this rule to apply, next to targeting.
  5. Set pricing options, next to Pricing.
  • The pricing rules are by default applicable to everyone and all sizes and types of creatives and you can per your wish choose Set pricing for specific items and put in a different floor price or target CPM for particular items. 

On selection of Set pricing for specific items, a checkbox appears as an additional option and has “Pricing for everything” and you can select the checkbox and set a floor price or target CPM for this option.  The value set under Pricing for everything includes any advertisers, brands, sizes or creative types, if enabled. 

  • Select Set floor prices for fixed CPM or set target CPMs.

Set floor prices- for this the lowest winning bid, must not be less than the floor prices

Set target CPMs- which can bring you more revenue over time if you work the floor prices to match more bids. On individual bid requests, floor prices can be higher or lower than the target CPM you specify. The average CPM of your inventory is equal to or higher than your specified target CPM.

  1. Click on Save. 

Management and troubleshooting of unified pricing rules-

You are given a bunch of tools and reporting insights by Ad Manager which aid in the management of your inventory in the auction and pricing.

Affected line items from any rule-

You can see the number of remnant line items which are shown below the price set in the rule, for whatever unified pricing rule you make. It does not take targeting into account and total line items shown is compared to the price in a rule with the CPM on remnant line items.

You can see affected line items by simply entering a floor price or target CPM. The section- Affected remnant line items shows any Price Priority, Network and Bulk line items which are lower than the price you have specified. For example, you can see- “There are 29 line items below the floor price set in this rule.” You have to click on the number of line items, which here would be 29, to be taken to table and must be filtered for affected line items.


In line item troubleshooting, we see the line items that are lower than the value set in unified pricing rules. The “non-delivery cause” would be “below pricing rule floor.” So, you can click through the pricing rules that seem to affect the line items here.

Report on unified pricing rules-

For reporting on unified pricing rule activity, click on Unified Pricing Rule dimension, which you will find under the Historial report type. 

Report on multi-size pricing-

You can find reports on multi-size requests by use of Creative size(delivered) and Requested ad sizes.

No pricing rule applied

There are cases under which the No pricing rule is applicable-

  • When the impression goes unfilled.
  • The auction candidate does not have eligibility for unified pricing.
  • For multi size requests as no pricing rules can be given to unmatched requests.

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