Knowledge base

eCPM targets

Note: This page applies to customers using legacy Placements. If you use Ad Units, please see the Placements management and eCPM targets documentation.

eCPM (effective cost per mille) is the average price your game earns from advertisers per thousand impressions. When setting eCPM targets, Unity will target that price and optimize to deliver the maximum demand at the desired eCPM.

Important: While this can help drive your desired eCPM, implementing these restrictions will limit delivery and potentially impact your overall revenue. Higher targets have a higher risk of decreasing overall revenue by filling less.

To access the eCPM targets tool from the Monetize dashboard, select the project you want to configure, then select Monetization > eCPM Targets on the left navigation bar.

Configuring eCPM targets in the Unity Dashboard.

Configuring eCPM targets in the dashboard

Use the dashboard interface to set eCPM targets by app store, region, and Placement. To set a new target, click Add eCPM Targets.

In the creation modal, specify the platforms, Placements, and geos to target.

Platforms

Use the Platform field to select one or more platforms to target (All, iOS, or Android). Selecting All applies targets to both platforms at the same time. The number to the right of each option in the drop-down represents the number of eCPM targets you’ve created for that platform, along with the maximum number of targets allowed.

Tip: Selecting the incorrect platform is a common mistake, so make sure you set the correct platform selected when configuring prices.

Placements

Use the Placements field to select from a drop-down of available Placements or legacy Placements to target. You can target a specific Placement in your game, or include all Placements. You must create Placements in the dashboard for them to appear in the eCPM menu.

Tip: If you intend to set different prices for different geos, it’s good practice to use a unique Placement ID for each geo group (see below).

Important: If you use a mediation provider to optimize across multiple networks, you must also configure any Placement IDs used for eCPM targeting in your mediation platform.

Geo targets

Use the Geo Targets field to select which countries to target. The default setting (Global) includes all countries. You can select from Geo Collection presets (recommended), or manually choose which countries to include.

At least one geo target is required per eCPM target. Click + Additional eCPM Targets to add additional geo targets with distinct price points (see the example in the eCPM Target Floors section below).

Note: The eCPM targets feature prioritizes geo-specific prices over the global price setting, which is a blended average for all countries (including those with specified targets). For example, if you set a $10 U.S. target and a $5 global target, eCPMs for non-U.S. countries will be lower than the global target so that the blended average for all countries is $5.

eCPM Target Floors

Use the eCPM Target Floor field to set the eCPM target for each geo target. If you have multiple geo targets for a given platform and Placement configuration, an eCPM Target Floor field will correspond to each target.

The following example shows an iOS and Android configuration for a single Placement, targeting two different geo groups with unique targets.

Adding a new eCPM target.

Configuring eCPM targets in a CSV

You can import a .csv file to bulk-add or -edit eCPM targets. You can download the template can from the dashboard help text, or export your existing configuration by clicking the Download button.

Configuring eCPM targets by CSV.

Edit the form by filling out the following columns:

  • countryCode is the 2-letter country code for the desired geo target. Use GLOBAL for the global designation. Note that exporting your targets to CSV converts any applied Geo Collections into a list of countries when you re-import.
  • platform corresponds to the platform (Android or iOS) the eCPM target applies to.
  • placementID is the ID of the desired Placement or legacy Placement target. Note that Placement IDs are case-sensitive, and must match the dashboard exactly.
  • targetPrice is the eCPM value you're targeting for the corresponding combination of geos, platforms, and Placements. Note that prices must use general format (as opposed to Number, Currency, or Accounting).

When you finish editing, save the document as a .csv file and use the dashboard Upload button to import your changes. You must verify any changes before saving them to the dashboard. The verification modal will advise you if any errors exist in your file.

Uploading an eCPM targets CSV template.

Price adherence

Price adherence depends on impression volume. Placements that receive less than 2,000 impressions per day may not meet their targeted eCPM prices. Ideally, a targeted Placement receives 10,000 impressions per day or more, to provide enough data points for optimization. Given enough data, price adherence should occur within 24 hours, however it may take up to 72 hours depending on impression volume. If a Placement is not adhering after 3 days, please contact Unity.

eCPM best practices and FAQs

Who are eCPM targets for?

eCPM targets are intended for publishers that mediate ads served from multiple networks, whether through a 3rd party mediation provider or 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 that use Unity Ads as their exclusive ad network. 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?

You should always try to strike a balance of targeting the highest possible price while enabling the largest amount of your available inventory to fill your ad requests. There are many variables that influence this, such as the game’s genre, popularity, advertising demand from ad networks and exchanges, and types of advertisements (for example, banners versus video ads). Unity recommends frequent testing to determine the right price points. 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?

Space your price points out in your waterfall

Setting eCPM targets too close together (for example, within $0.25 USD) is generally not recommended, as the complexity will almost certainly outweigh any revenue benefit. Strategically placing your price points apart from each other to capture a greater variance of bid levels reduces the time to deliver an ad, and your time spent managing targets.

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 three ad providers totaling 12 price points, try serving Unity Ads at the top, middle, and bottom of the waterfall to maximize your potential revenue.

Limit yourself to 5 Unity line items in any given waterfall

You may be tempted to add as many price points as possible to maximize the fill rate for a given Placement. However, this can create unnecessary complexity and management overhead. In extreme cases, it may even create some moderate latency serving ads, thus offsetting or even reducing revenue. For optimal performance, Unity recommends no more than 5 Unity Ads price points for a given Placement.

Prevent cannibalization across price points

If you run multiple Unity Ads 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 that incoming 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. Unity recommends slow increases of $1-2 USD at most, and waiting at least three 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 that ads are served. Consider this when setting region-specific eCPM targets. Unity’s 2020 Mobile Game Monetization Report shows the relative difference in eCPM by continent, which you can use as a starting point to determine your own regional price differences.

Regional eCPM relationships.

Understand genre differences

Just as different regions have different price implications, the type of game you operate also generates varying advertising demand. 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 in a 3-day period

While it’s good practice to optimize eCPM targets regularly, it takes time for ad delivery to completely adjust to new price levels. Allow for the algorithms to fully adapt to price changes before deciding to change them again. It is usually safe to assume the results of a price change are stable after about three days.

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

If you use multiple mediation platforms, Unity recommends preventing overlap across those platforms for Unity Placements. This may mean running all of your Unity Placements through one of your mediation platforms, or running some Unity Placements through Mediator A and others through Mediator B. Different mediators do not necessarily operate in the exact same way, so 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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Last updated on 2nd Mar 2021