Knowledge base

Ad Units and Placement management


An Ad Unit represents the ad format settings of a collection of Placements, as well as a single surfacing point to display ads in your game. This allows developers to create waterfalls for high volumes of Placements with similar settings. Whereas Placements once represented ad format settings and eCPM target settings, moving forward they will be separate entities inside Unity's taxonomy.

Transitional period

During the first rollout phase of Ad Units, existing customers with established projects will continue using the legacy Placements system. New Organizations creating new projects will use Ad Units, and not see the Placements page in the dashboard. When creating a project, you can define whether it will use Unity as its exclusive ad provider, or a third-party (mediated) provider. Exclusive customers will only see the Ad Units page in the dashboard. Mediated customers will see the Ad Units and Placement Management pages in the dashboard.

Org Project Unity Ads exclusive 3rd-party mediated
Existing Existing Legacy Placements Legacy Placements and eCPM Targets
Existing New Legacy Placements Legacy Placements and eCPM Targets
New New Ad Units Ad Units and Placement Management

If your project uses Ad Units, please read on. Otherwise, see the legacy Placements documentation.

Ad Units

The following applies to Ad Units:

  • The Ad Units page will replace the Placements page in the Monetize dashboard.
  • Ad Units contain ad format settings such as platform and ad types.
  • Multiple Placements can belong to a single Ad Unit.
  • Exclusive Unity Ads customers can use Ad Units as static surfacing points to show ads in their game, for ad format settings with no eCPM targets.

For more information, see documentation on Ad Units.

Placement management

The following applies to Placements:

  • The Placement Management page will replace the eCPM Targets page in the Monetize dashboard.
  • Other ad networks may refer to Placements as “line items” or “instances”.
  • A Placement contains all eCPM target settings.
  • A Placement always adheres to a single Ad Unit, and cannot exist without one.
  • Placements inherit the ad format settings of their associated Ad Units. This means you can quickly adjust the ad format settings of many eCPM targets within the single Ad Unit they are linked to.

Note: It is important to understand the difference between Placements in the context of Ad Units, and the legacy Placements system, which represented the ad format settings as well and are now replaced by Ad Units.

For more information, see documentation on Placements and eCPM targeting.

Why is this important?

Placements were originally built for non-mediated publishers, without waterfall management in mind. Placements historically represented a single surfacing point to show a single type of ad with Unity Ads as the only provider. As a result, Placements functioned as containers for both ad format settings and eCPM target settings. This works well if you have a small number of Placements and a simple collection of country-specific eCPM targets.

However, this model becomes unwieldy when managing many Placements, each with many geo targets. Ad Units consolidate ad format information into a single object, creating easier management. A single Ad Unit is linked to many Placements that inherit its format settings, allowing you to manage geo targeting and optimization on a single dashboard page. Benefits include:

  • Greater efficiency, less setup: When you want to create a new slot in your mediated waterfall, instead of creating a new Placement, going to the eCPM pricing page, and creating targets for each geo for the new Placement, you can simply create a Placement, set its targets, and locate the Placement ID in the same location.
  • Superior reporting: Legacy Placements did not have a standardized ad format structure, which made it impossible to report performance aggregated by format, ad type, and waterfalls, due to inconsistencies.
  • Single-Placement loading: Without the Load API or Ad Units, the Unity Ads SDK would request ad fill for every Placement in your game every time it needed content. This increased latency, as you not only had to request but fill multiple auctions for all Placements. Ad Units reduce the number of auctions and calls to a specific Ad Unit of similar Placements.
  • Effective waterfall management: eCPM targets provide predictable ad performance, giving publishers greater control over what value ad networks offer when stack-ranking them.
  • Industry alignment: Unity Ads now has concepts that represent both Ad Units and line items, reducing confusion for users working with Unity and other ad networks in mediation.

Ad Units in mediation.

Frequently asked questions

What do I set at the Ad Unit level?

Ad Units contain the following:

  • Platform (iOS, Android)
  • Ad format (rewarded video, interstitial, banner)
  • Settings (Ad Unit Name, Status, Ad types, Muting, Skip Timer)

What do I set at the Placement level?

Placements contain the following:

Will my legacy Placement IDs still work in mediation?

Yes, existing Placement IDs will keep their format settings and not impact your business. Note that this does not apply to Organizations created after February 9, 2021.

Can my Placement Name be different from my Placement ID?

Yes. You can still edit the Placement Name at any point. The Placement ID, however, will never change once created.

Can my Ad Units be surfacing point-specific or format-specific?

Both. Ad Units allow for customization and can be used both ways.

Will this change reporting?

Yes! Thanks to the standardized taxonomy, you will now see eCPMs and fill rates by ad format, which was not available before.

What about the eCPM Targets page?

Customers using Ad Units can use the Placements Management page to set eCPM targets. The previous eCPM Targets page will eventually be deprecated.

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Last updated on 6th May 2021