Passbacks

Note: This functionality needs to be enabled by your Account Manager.

Passbacks are backup ad sources for when a third party ad fails to show for whatever reason. The purpose of passbacks is to increase your fill rate by providing extra chances for an ad to be actually displayed to a viewer. Passbacks are called upon in sequence until an ad is delivered or there are no more ad sources in the list. The player does not make any new requests to Pulse to get the passback ads, they are included in the first ad response. The last ad in the passback chain is always an ad served from Pulse, or an empty ad if no suitable ad was found in Pulse.

Enabling Passbacks

You enable passbacks from the Settings menu in Pulse (Pulse Settings icon), by going to 3rd party Ad-serving settings.

Setting Description
Enable passback Check the box to enable passbacks from 3rd party ad sources to maximize your fill rate. This function is disabled by default.
Allow max number of passback ad sources Select the maximum number of passbacks (1 to 9). This refers to the maximum number of passback candidates in the passback chain and defines how many ad sources get offered the chance to "be on standby" for a position. The default setting is 2.
Passbacks have two additional settings built in, related to timeouts, to offer the best user experience. To change these settings, please contact your Account Manager.
  • 3rd party timeout: defines how long the ad player should wait to get a response from a 3rd party redirect. The default setting is 2 seconds.
    • With passbacks disabled, the ad player hands control to the video content if no ad is returned after this period.
    • With passbacks enabled, the ad player requests a new ad after this period.
  • Total passback timeout: defines how long the ad player should wait before giving up and handing over control to the content when passbacks are enabled. The default setting is 4 seconds.

Requirements

  • Pulse SDKs: passback functionality is automatically available in all the Pulse SDKs.
  • VAST Integration: to be able to use the passback functionality, your Account Manager must enable one or both of the following passback delivery methods:
    • Passbacks delivered through a VPAID 1.0 ad, which means that the video player needs to be able to handle Flash and the VPAID 1.0 protocol.
    • Passbacks delivered through a VPAID 2.0 ad, which means that the video player needs to be able to handle Javascript and the VPAID 2.0 protocol.

    If both passback delivery methods are enabled, then the player can select the one that suits best.

Error Template

When the ad player receives no ad or an error, it requests a new ad. If you would like to provide your 3rd party ad source with a template to send if they have no ad, you can use the VAST template below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<VAST version="2.0"/>

Ad Selection without Passbacks

  1. Player makes an ad request to Ooyala Pulse for one ad per ad position.
  2. Ooyala Pulse goes through all goals in all campaigns and selects one ad for delivery based on targeting, priority settings, the goal's delivery status, and so on.
  3. The player receives the selected ad and tries to play the associated media file. If the selected ad is a 3rd party ad, the player receives a 3rd party VAST URL, requests the link, and tries to play the returned media files.
  4. If the 3rd party ad fails to show for whatever reason, an ad is not shown to the viewer and that inventory is lost.

Ad Selection with Passbacks

  1. Player makes an ad request to Ooyala Pulse for one ad per ad position.
  2. Ooyala Pulse goes through all goals in all campaigns and selects one ad for delivery based on targeting, priority settings, the goal's delivery status, and so on.
  3. With passbacks enabled, Pulse also checks if the selected ad is a 3rd party ad. If so, Pulse makes additional selections for the same ad position, according to the standard delivery rules, to provide other alternatives to the first choice ad.
    Note: Any ad from any campaign goal can be selected as a passback ad source (3rd party ad or locally booked media file). The same goal can never be selected more than once per ad break regardless if it is selected for passback ad selection or not.
  4. The player receives the selected (first choice) ad along with the number of passbacks you configured in your settings. It tries to play the first choice ad. If the selected ad is a 3rd party ad, the player receives a 3rd party VAST URL, requests the link, and tries to play the returned media files.
  5. If the 3rd party ad fails to show for whatever reason, the player can now use the extra passback/backup ads to try them one by one until an ad can be shown to the viewer.
    Note:

    If the total passback timeout is reached before a functioning ad is selected for playback and a direct-booked Pulse ad was selected as the last candidate in the passback chain (step 3), that ad is guaranteed to be shown to the viewer.

    For example, you have configured the maximum number of 8 passback candidates. Pulse selected a direct-booked Pulse ad as the 8th (last) candidate in the passback chain. The total passback timeout of 4 seconds was reached by the time the player unsuccessfully tried to play the 5th candidate. The player now skips to the last candidate and shows the direct-booked ad to the viewer.

Was this article helpful?