PubMatic’s Aggressive Blocking Revolutionizes the Video Ad Quality Game

Post on January 29, 2018 by Karl Moats

Karl Moats
‎Director of Product Marketing

Bone-crunching blocks. Spectacular stops. Towering walls that punish any error. December delivered a defensive clinic chock full of stingy guarding and record-high blocks. Except we aren’t talking about football. We are talking about video ad quality.

Last month, we discussed video ad errors, at large, and their potential causes. This month, we are taking a look at how PubMatic is working to combat high error rates and arbitragers.

PubMatic unveiled a potent new scheme—Aggressive Blocking—to block video creatives with high error rates, and it has changed the Ad Quality game. The statistics speak for themselves.

After Aggressive Blocking was deployed on December 4:

  • The average daily Error Rate plunged 19%
  • The average daily Fill Rate improved by 38%

What Aggressive Blocking Does for Video Ad Quality

While we cannot divulge the exact science, we can share Aggressive Blocking was devised through comprehensive analysis and on-going conversations with publishers frustrated with persistently high error rates across the industry in 2017.

What unfolded was a delicate dance balancing blocking creatives and platform spend exposure. If we blocked too many creatives, there would be too little platform spend permissible. If we blocked too few creatives, there would be too much vulnerability to fraud on the platform.

We initially blocked creatives with more than a 90 percent error rate, as we wanted to protect most of the platform spend. However, through trial and error, we discovered lowering the creative error rate did not dramatically impact spend on the platform as we reached our golden ratio. We are pleased to report Aggressive Blocking reduced the platform Error Rate to the lowest levels ever recorded by the end of December. With continued tweaking and innovation, we anticipate even more promising results in 2018.

What’s Next?

In conclusion, we at PubMatic know ad quality is critical to publishers. Protecting publishers from malware, low-quality and non-compliant ads is core to our very mission.

We will not stop working to provide better brand safe user experiences for publishers. Finally, we encourage our fellow programmatic teams to band together to fight for a cleaner, more brand-safe ecosytem.