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eCPM Targets Best Practices
eCPM Targets Best Practices

A guide to setting prices

Dessy John avatar
Written by Dessy John
Updated over a week ago

What are eCPM Targets?

eCPM (effective cost per mille) Targets enable publishers to set target minimums for the price point in which advertisers pay for impressions of ad placements in their games.

Who are eCPM Targets for?

eCPM Targets are intended for publishers who mediate ads served from multiple networks, whether through a 3rd party mediation provider or via internal mediation efforts. This allows publishers to specify the price points they target by network and by placement, providing a prioritized ranking of which ad network to call for each available impression.

Who are eCPM Targets NOT for?

eCPM Targets are not intended for publishers who use Unity Ads as their exclusive network for running ads. In these cases enabling any minimum pricing thresholds will limit the demand for your inventory and ultimately result in less revenue.

How do I know how to price my placements?

Pricing is always a balance of charging the highest possible price that enables the largest amount of your available inventory to “fill”. This varies by many factors, including game type, popularity of the game, advertising demand from ad networks and exchanges, and types of advertisements (i.e. banners vs videos), to name a few. Determining the right price points is a matter of frequent testing. It’s important to note that the ideal pricing last month may not equate the ideal pricing next month, as the market for auctioning ad inventory is ever changing.

What are some best practices for setting targets?

Give your price points enough space from one another in your waterfall

Setting eCPM Targets extremely close to each other (e.g. within $0.25 USD) is generally not recommended as the complexity is almost certain to outweigh any revenue benefit. Strategically placing your price points apart from each other to capture a greater variance of bid levels reduces both the time to deliver an ad as well as the time in managing your efforts.

Place Unity Ads at high, medium, and low price points in your waterfall in order to maximize both your eCPM and fill rate

In addition to separating Unity eCPM Targets from each other, it is best to separate them across your entire mediation stack. For example, if for a given placement you work with 3 ad providers totaling 12 price points, it is recommended to serve Unity Ads at the top, middle, and bottom of the waterfall to maximize your potential revenue

Prevent cannibalization across price points

If you run multiple Unity price points in mediation, you may find that the highest price drives sufficient fill while the next price point drives very low fill. This is likely due to the lower price being close enough to the higher price where much of the incoming advertiser bids in that range are captured by the higher price. In these cases, it often makes sense to raise your highest target until your second target sees increased fill. We recommend slow increases of $1-2 USD at most and waiting at least 3 days for performance to stabilize. Note that weekday performance will likely differ from weekend performance.

Understand regional differences

Prices can vary dramatically depending on the region in which your ads are being served. Ensure this is taken into consideration if setting region specific eCPM Targets. Unity’s 2020 Mobile Game Monetization Report shows the relative difference in eCPM by continent, which you could use as a starting point in determining your own regional price differences.

Understand genre differences

Just as different regions have different price implications, the type of game you operate generates varying advertising demand as well. It can be difficult to know exactly how your game genre impacts pricing, but ultimately advertisers follow consumer eyeballs. Consider the popularity of your category when estimating what price levels you may be able to set, as general eCPM benchmarks can be misleading due to dramatic variation by game type.

Do not update the same eCPM Target more than once over a period of 3 days

eCPM Targets should be optimized with regularity. However, it does take time for ad delivery to completely adjust to new price levels. Allow for the algorithms to fully adapt to price changes before concluding that they should be changed again. It is typically safe to assume stability of results from a price change after about 3 days.

Avoid using Unity Ads with multiple mediation platforms for the same placement

If you use multiple mediation platforms (e.g. Mediation A and Mediation B), we recommend preventing any overlap in Unity placements across those platforms. This may mean running all of your Unity placements through one of your mediation platforms, other running some Unity placements through Mediation A and others through Mediation B. As different mediators do not necessarily operate in the exact same way, calling a single network from two separate sources at the same time can cause the ad serving to function improperly on one or both mediation providers.

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