Trust but Verify with SpringServe

In our latest release, we discuss Trust but Verify, Environment improvements, new macros, reporting additions and expansion of selectable metrics, and UI updates.

Feature Additions

Trust but Verify

We are excited to announce support for AOL’s Trust but Verify (TbV). TbV is a new program from AOL (currently in Beta) that allows ad requests to be sent directly to AOL’s Marketplace, bypassing their initial VPAID response. The parameters sent to AOL on ad request will then be verified if AOL has a marketplace response.

Fewer VPAID responses means quicker response times, lower opportunity rates, and higher opportunity fill. As such, supply tag response times and overall fill rates typically improve (sometimes dramatically).

TbV tags require four parameters: width, height, URL, and viewability. Below is an example of an AOL TbV demand tag:

Viewability takes the form of a new macro, passed as 1 (viewable), 0 (not viewable), or -1 (unknown viewability). At this time, viewability is determined via historical MOAT viewability rates; there is no need to get viewability reporting from AOL to populate this parameter. Additionally, we have found that the SpringServe {{DOMAIN}} and {{ENCODED_URL}} macros perform best with TbV.

Important Considerations

  • TbV only works for JS inventory
  • We have released new macros for detected domain and player dimensions for additional protection if desired (see below section for additional detail)
  • TbV will not work for inventory where have we no viewability data (e.g. CTV and In-App inventory); AOL tags with environment-specific macros (e.g. mobile) have also been found to perform better at this time
  • TbV currently works best for inventory with historically high viewability rates (>70%); the SpringServe Traffic Quality report can be used to identify good inventory candidates right now, and additional support surrounding low viewability supply will be coming soon.
  • If AOL finds discrepancies between what has been sent in an ad request and what they detect, the request will be re-sent to the AOL Marketplace with their detected values. Reporting around these double auctions is available in the AOL UI
  • If, for any reason, not all macros are populated in an ad request, AOL will respond like a traditional AOL tag

How to get started with TbV

Getting started is easy; there are only two steps:
  1. Contact your AOL rep and ask them to turn on Trust but Verify (TbV only works if your account has been enabled)
  2. Update appropriate AOL demand tags in SpringServe with the new TbV format

Please contact your SpringServe account manager with any questions.

New Macros

In addition to the binary viewability macro that is used in TbV tags, SpringServe has released several new macros that pass historical viewability rates. SpringServe can pass this value as both a decimal {{MOAT_VIEW_RATE}} and an integer {{MOAT_VIEW_PERC}}. Certain demand partners may be interested in having this value passed to them.

We have also released macros for detected dimensions and domains. When implemented in your tags, these macros will pass the SpringServe detected domain, URL, or dimensions. The macros are as follows:

  • {{DETECTED_DOMAIN}}
  • {{DETECTED_URL}}
  • {{DETECTED_ENCODED_URL}}
  • {{DETECTED_DOUBLE_ENCODED_URL}}
  • {{DETECTED_HEIGHT}}
  • {{DETECTED_WIDTH}}

Detected macros can be used for TbV tags if desired. You may want to send the detected domain and dimensions to AOL. This can be done either by enabling detection overrides on your supply tags, or by using detected macros in your TbV tags. Detected macros will give you additional protection without the hassle of supply tag detected settings while running TbV tags on untrusted supply. However, there are potential consequences regarding targeting. If there is a high rate of domain or size mismatch between what is declared and detected, requests will not be passed to your demand tags.

Core Improvements

Expanded CTV Support

Disallow VPAID through VAST Only Tags

Unlike desktop, mobile web, and in-app supply, connected TV supply is not compatible with VPAID demand. For this reason, we have give you the ability to disallow VPAID demand when your supply tag is VPAID none.

For CTV, this box should be unchecked. Previously, your demand partner could send a VPAID response to a VAST only tag. With this change, SpringServe will ignore any VPAID response that is returned to a VPAID none tag. This update allows you to ensure that you are truly serving VAST-only demand.

Best Practices for CTV

When trafficking CTV inventory, it is useful to have reporting on app name, app bundle, device ID, and user agents. Using custom key-values will allow you to access this reporting. Create free custom keys and make sure to declare your keys on your CTV supply tags in the settings tab.

Your custom key macros will populate on the export tag tab and you will be able to run reporting on them. To do this, select the dimension key-values or filter based on your desired keys. See our wiki for more details on creating and using custom keys.

We also recommend passing the app name in the url query string parameter. This way, you can use domain reporting to access app names.

For CTV supply tags, we recommend hard-coding the height and width within your tag url at 1080 and 1920, respectively. See below for more details on the tag export for CTV.

For viewability data on CTV tags, ask your demand partner if there is an impression pixel in the XML of the demand tag or if they have one that you should implement in SpringServe. In the case of the latter, add it on the settings tab of your demand tag.

Supply Tag Environment

We have made Supply Tag Environments more robust. Appropriate macros are now automatically selected according to the selected environment. Examples of tags with default macros are as follows:

  • Desktop: http://vid.springserve.com/vast/xxxxxx?w={{WIDTH}}&h={{HEIGHT}}&url={{ENCODED_URL}}&cb={{CACHEBUSTER}}
  • Mobile Web: http://vid.springserve.com/vast/xxxxxx?w={{WIDTH}}&h={{HEIGHT}}&url={{ENCODED_URL}}&cb={{CACHEBUSTER}}&ip={{IP}}&ua={{USER_AGENT}}&lat={{LAT}}&lon={{LON}}&dnt={{DNT}}
  • In-App: http://vid.springserve.com/vast/xxxxxx?w={{WIDTH}}&h={{HEIGHT}}&cb={{CACHEBUSTER}}&ip={{IP}}&ua={{USER_AGENT}}&lat={{LAT}}&lon={{LON}}&dnt={{DNT}}&app_bundle={{APP_BUNDLE}}&url={{APP_NAME}}&app_name={{APP_NAME}}&did={{DEVICE_ID}}
  • CTV: http://vid.springserve.com/vast/xxxxxx?w=1920&h=1080&cb={{CACHEBUSTER}}&ip={{IP}}&ua={{USER_AGENT}}&app_bundle={{APP_BUNDLE}}&url={{APP_NAME}}&app_name={{APP_NAME}}&did={{DEVICE_ID}}

Note that the CTV template uses the {{APP_NAME}} macro for both the url and app_name fields. Passing the app name to the url parameter allows you to have reporting. If you export your tags in this manner, you can see app names when running a domain report. Passing the app name to the app_name parameter ensures that it is passed to your demand tags. This tag also includes hard-coding the height and width, which we have found to improve performance of CTV tags.

Reporting on Environment is also available in the main reporting page. Environment can be used as a dimension and/or filter.

API and Reporting Improvements

Traffic Quality Report Updates

You can now run your traffic quality report in UTC and America/Los Angeles time, in addition to America/New York time.

Detected dimensions have also been added to the Traffic Quality report; select Detected Width or Detected Height in the dimensions. The resulting report will show the pixel dimensions detected by Moat.

Additional Reporting Dimensions

Campaign code is available as a dimension in the main reporting page. Campaign codes are unrestricted labels that you can apply on the settings tab of a campaign. Clicking in the Campaign Codes filter will display your existing campaign codes.

Domain reporting is now available for supply and demand labels. This data is maintained for the last 2 days. Please schedule reports if you foresee needing data for your archives. See our wiki for more information about scheduling a report.

Selectable Metrics in Scheduled Reports

Scheduled reports now support selectable metrics. Click on the Metrics section to reveal selectable metrics. If you want to send a financial report to your team, for example, you can now select only your desired metrics on a scheduled report.

Scheduled reports that were created before this update will include all metrics. You can edit the Metrics in the settings tab of an existing scheduled report.

API Additions

We have added support for recently added fields:

  • Supply tag environment – environment
  • Allowing flash demand on a JS tag – js_vpaid_flash_enabled
  • Allowing VPAID demand on a VAST only tag – vpaid_none_allow_vpaid_demand
  • Post-impression detection, sampling rates for components can be set using post_imp_detection_enabled, post_imp_percentage_moat, and post_imp_percentage_whiteops

Note that when enabling post-imp detection, post_imp_detection_enabled must equal True and at least one of post_imp_percentage_moat and post_imp_percentage_whiteops must be greater than 0.

UI Improvements

Comparison Chart Updates

Opportunity Fill has been added to quickstats comparison charts.

If you are optimizing by Opportunity Fill, it can be helpful to look at this information for at-a-glance analyses.

Partner Users

You can now better manage your supply and demand client users from the Users tab of the Partner page.

Like the main users page, you will see a checkmark in a teal circle when the user is active. Clicking on this icon will change the status of the user from active to inactive and the icon will change to a red circle. You can also log in as the user by clicking the icon in the far right column of the table. Logging in as a user allows you to see what they see when logged in to your SpringServe account.

Data Tables Updates

Data tables throughout the platform have been reformatted. This update is in preparation for bulk actions, which is coming soon! With the exception of the add supply and demand modals, filters are now collapsed by default. This gives you more screen real estate to see what matters most while still allowing you to drill down when you want. Clicking the Filters button will expand the filters. You can still filter by managed and DC tags by using the new pillbox next to the search bar.

Bug Fixes

Various bug fixes and performance improvements.

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