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Understanding Inventory: Advanced Q&A
Author: Jeremy Argue Reference Number: AA-00365 Views: 2907 Created: 2012-07-26 15:29 0 Rating/ Voters

Below are some advanced questions and answers that cover differences between numbers users might see in the Inventory Availability report and the Time Filled Report.

Q. How much inventory do we have available? Because according to our calculations we can still sell more impressions on the stations, but yet we are struggling to meet our current impressions.
A.  The Inventory Avails Report is the best tool to gauge how much inventory you should have over a future time period.  Remember, this uses a set of past play data and looks at the station’s past listening patterns to make a projection of what should be available in the future.  While you should have some inventory left over it is not recommended that you allocate 100% of it in campaigns because Impression counts and projects are a function of listenership and listenership fluctuates from month to month.  While it is usually an upward trend, it is possible to have dips.  The avails tool tries to take this into account when it makes its projections.  But it is a fluid tool and the numbers change depending on fluctuations in inventory size.

Q. How is the Inventory Available being figured?
A. It uses a algorithm that looks backward at the past 10 weeks of fill data and listenership data, then applies patterns in that data to project the future.

Q. Can we see how much inventory there is for our Mobile audience or audience from specific DMA's?
A. Yes!  Users can run the Avails report on any group of a host of targeting criteria including DMA's, Devices, Country codes and custom codes.  To do so just click the magnifying Glass icon in the Filter by DMA line.  Then, from the pop-up screen, choose the proper type of criteria needed and select as many from the category as needed.  The resulting Avails Report will reflect only inventory associated with the specifically defined parameters.

Q. How exactly does the pacing of ads work?
A. Pacing is an internal system that the Campaign Manager uses to determine when an ad is playable or not playable.  The system is inherrently designed to even out the play of ads so that it doesn't Front Load or Back Load schedules.  Now, this system doesn't completley deliver ads on a specificly even play becasue the system does not know when ad breaks will occur in the future, it does look to smooth the play out over the flight range.  Essentailly if an ad is pacing at 100% it is 100% on target to meet the flight goal.  If an ad is pacing at more than 100% then that ad is over-delivering for its flight gaol.  And if an ad is pacing at less than 100% then it is under pacing in its current flight.  The system uses the total amount of time in the scheduled flight to determine how an ad is delivering and it will pause play pf an ad if it is over-delivering in its flight range.  If an ad is underdelivering, the system puts it into the pool of available ads that should be played in upcoming stop sets. 

Q. Why do the %Unused and the %Used not match?
A. Which used and Unused numbers are you referring to?  I ask, because if I deduct the Market, Corp, 3rd Party and Unpaid Impression counts from the Time Filled Report Total Impressions column, I always get 0 – which is what we should get since the Total Impressions is what did run over the past time frame.

Q. How is the %Unused figured? And how can we best use it?
A.  If you are referring to the Time Filled Report then this is the percentage that is equal to the proportion of the Unpaid impressions column to the Total Impressions column.  The Unpaid Impressions column is the total of all impressions served to content that was NOT in the Paid CPM, Paid PI, or Target Spot categories.  Over a past time frame, this will give you the number of impressions that were used by Fill material.

Q. In the time filled reports there are Market Reserve and Corporate Reserve where most of our impressions are, could you further explain the definition of those?
A. Sure thing!  Market reserve tracks all Paid Campaigns (CPM or PI) that were scheduled by users with a market level account.  The Corp Reserve column tracks the Impressions for all campaigns that were scheduled as Paid Spots (CPM or PI) by users with a corporate level account.

Q. We also noticed during the “black out” times in the fall during football season, spots were still running and getting impressions, and were matching up to the breaks during the game, but nothing was playing over the stream except for our black out message we have included to run. Is the “black out” a glorified mute button? Is there a way to set that so when we are in black out mode the commercials completely stop for that time period? KLIN and KFGE are the stations that use the black out the most. We were looking at Oct 22, 2011.
A. There are a couple of different ways to run blackouts.  If the blackout is run using the Injector then only the impressions of the items set to play during the blackout will be counted.  However, IF the blackout is generated by switching the audio source and the Injector is left running as is, then our system will think that it is still running and count impressions.  Which is what it sounds like happened in this case.  And, actually that is what should happen in that scenario.  That being said, it is very possible, in fact hundreds of stations, use the Injector Manager to schedule and manage the blackouts.  I can give you a few different executions that might get you a more fitting result, but we will need to know a little more about exactly what the Programming department wants to accomplish in the blackouts.  

Q. How much of our inventory is filler? Since we have increased the stream impression promises in February with new or renewed contracts our filler impressions have lowered. We have changed some of the filler spots to a lower priority than what they originally were. Should we change all of the fill spots to the lowest priority possible?
A. This varies depending on several factors; how many paid campaigns are in the system, how many listeners listen, what the durations of the items are and so forth.  Remember, the way the system is build, Fill content WILL ONLY PLAY IF THERE IS NO PAID CONTENT AVAILBLE TO BE PLAYED.  I put that in caps just to highlight it, please don’t think that I was yelling.  J  I stress that because a lot of people think that fill content is “taking up” inventory.  The reality is that Fill content (psa’s promos, liners, sweepers, songs, etc) can only play if there are no paid campaigns available.  Even if a station is 99.9% sold out, it’s possible for Fill content to play.  Remember, all Paid Content is paced to deliver pretty evenly over its flight and if an ad is pacing too far ahead in its flight, the system dynamically pauses play of that ad and holds it in an “off” mode until the system “sees” that enough time has passed to allow the pacing to drop back down to an acceptable level.


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