Support Note: Google Ad Manager (GAM) is the new name for Google's DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP).  We use DFP and GAM  interchangeably.

Ad Sizes and Creative Compatibility

We support several sizes of DFP ads within our mobile app infrastructure.  

  • 300x250 : The MRAID Medium Rectangle ads are positioned at the foot of every article.
  • 320x50 : The MRAID Banner ads are positioned at the bottom of most screens as an "adhesion" unit.  They rotate every 30 seconds.
  • 728x90 : The MRAID Leaderboard ads are positioned on the bottom of screens on the iPad
  • Native Ads: Using the DFP Native Ad system, we support two styles.  At app start up, we display the App Open Ad using the Newscycle App Open Custom Template.  The front page native ad is a Native Content style ad which is included in DFP by default.

** - See Setting up a DFP Native Style below

Ad Flow

This is a simplified outline of the solution and how it will be laid out.

  1. In order to convert to using Google Ad Manager (formerly DFP), you must contact our client services team using intercom.  Access to DFP may require a contractual update and is provided with certain restrictions.
  2. Our integration uses a DFP Native Ad Unit. On startup, the app will detect if it is running with the DFP integration and retrieve the native DFP Ad Unit id exactly as it was entered in the NEWSCYCLE Mobile Publisher.
  3. When an ad request is made, we will attach the following information to the ad:
  • If the devices location is available, the user’s latitude and longitude will be filled in the standard location. This information is standard and so does not have a key.
  • The user’s current postal code will be filled in the targeting information with the key ‘postalCode’. The postal code will be the postal code configured for the app in the NEWSCYCLE Mobile publisher.
  • The current category will be added to the targeting information using the key ‘category’. If the current screen is the front page, the value will be ‘Front Page’,otherwise the value of the category name will be passed to per the caveats underDetails below.
  • The current subcategory will be added to the targeting information using the key ‘subcategory’. If the current screen is the front page, the value will be ‘FrontPage’, otherwise the value of the subcategory name will be passed to DFP per the caveats under Details below..

4.  If the ad view receives an ad, the ad frame will then be displayed with the contents that DFP decides to display. If no ad is received or DFP experiences an error, no ad will be shown.

Details

There are a few caveats that are specific to mobile:

  • Latitude and longitude will only be available if the user consents to allowing their location to be used. If they deny its use, the default postal code will be added in the targeting. Unlike the native clients, this is one or the other.
  • The exact details of whether or not an ad frame is ‘displayed’ will be much more dependent on DFP since these mechanisms do not include the same granular callbacks as the native SDKs
  • IMPORTANT: Category and Subcategory custom key value parameter values will be stripped of characters that cause parsing issues.  Valid characters will be [A-Za-z0-9_], all other characters will be dropped. All whitespace will be replaced with underscores. For example, “Local News” will become “Local_News”

Ad Placements Within Our Apps

It is important to understand the locations of these ad types and sizes throughout the app.  Each spot has specific characteristics that need to be considered when selling and trafficking through DFP.

Medium Rectangle [300x250]

Medium Rectangle (300x250) ads show up on both mobile phones and tablets.  These ads show up at the bottom of articles, directly below the end of the article content.  An impression is only recorded when the ad becomes more than 50% visible.

Here is an example of the placement on a tablet:

The medium rectangle ad does not refresh in any of these scenarios.  These ads provide a nice balance of positioning in the app when the user is known to be engaged either finishing an article or browsing through categories looking for content.  Medium rectangle ads are the most prevalent on the iPad where they make up the majority of the advertising opportunities.

Mobile Banner [320x50]

Mobile banners are available only on phones.  They are anchored to the bottom of the several screens including the front page, the category screen, the article screen, slideshows.

The mobile banner ad slot refreshes automatically on a 30 second timer.  If you need this timer altered, open a support ticket with mobile-support@newscycle.com.  Additionally, be aware that we dodge the banner (hiding the banner from the screen) when showing front page inline or bottom of article medium rectangles.  This is an effort to comply with the standard advertising terms of service regarding multiple ads on screen at one time.  (See DoubleClick for Publishers Service Agreement or Ad Exchange Publisher Service Agreement)

Leaderboard [728x90]

Leaderboard ads are available only on iPad devices.  These ads are longer to fit the either the landscape or portrait orientations of the tablet devices.  Within our apps, these ads are used are anchored to the bottom of articles when reading on an iPad.

The leaderboard ad slot refreshes on a 30 second timer.  If you need this timer altered, open a support ticket with mobile-support@newscycle.com.  Additionally, be aware that we dodge the leaderboard when showing the medium rectangle at the bottom of an article.  This is an effort to comply with the standard advertising terms of service regarding multiple ads on screen at one time.  (See DoubleClick for Publishers Service Agreement or Ad Exchange Publisher Service Agreement)

Targeting

DFP provides some targeting options for advertisements out of the box.  Targeting by app (ad unit), geography, device type and connection are all built into DFP.  It is common for ads targeting news to be sold by the section or subsection.  We refer to these as categories and subcategories.  For instance your app may have a category "News" with two subcategories, "Local News" and "National News".  In this scenario, you might want to sell a client an ad that targets both "Local News" and "National News".  We support all of this navigation based targeting using DFP's key-value system.  The key "category" is used to set the category for which your ad is eligible.  If an ad had the key "category" with the value "News" it would be eligible to show in slots displayed for any location within the "News" category of the app.  If an ad was intended to run in just "Local News" we would set the key "subcategory" to "Local_News".  This would allow the ad to run in the category News under the subcategory "Local News" but not under the subcategory "National News".  Note that because of DFP limitations, valid characters will be limited to [A-Za-z0-9_], all other characters will be dropped.  All whitespace will be replaced with underscores. For example, “Local News” will become “Local_News”  Also note that once you have established your targeting configuration, future name changes to categories or subcategories can cause your advertising to stop delivering. CAUTION: Changes to category or subcategory names can impact ad delivery! Once a section is targeted with ads, name changes for that category or subcategory need to be reflected in ad targeting information as well.  You can find specifics about the DFP targeting mechanics here.

Video Pre-roll Support

Video pre-roll is supported on video plays throughout the app.  The platform uses a single VAST tag url to request video ad inventory every time a video playback is initiated.  We support VAST 2.0 specifications and additional support information can be found here. (note that you need to consider iOS and Android when evaluating your support options)  You can use DFP to generate VAST tag urls or you can request a VAST tag url from a third-party vendor of your choice.  You can read more about configuring and customizing your pre-roll here.  Note that VAST tags use a custom targeting solution that is similar to our key-value targeting for our banner spots but that it requires you to make some adjustments to your tags when exporting them from DFP.

DFP Custom Rendered Ad Support

DFP introduced a new advertising concept in 2015 which allows us to build more unique integrations.  Instead of locking app developers into a specific layout, these ads provide developers with much more flexibility allowing us to tightly integrate the experience with the app.  These ads look more appealing giving your advertisers a boutique ad feel, generating more engagement and better return on investment.

App Open Ad

The app open ad is launched as the front page of the app is displayed after loading.  It darkens the entire screen and requires the user either hit the close button or swipe it  up or down to proceed into the app.

In the picture above, the mobile phone is on the left and takes a 640x770 image and the iPad layout is on the right and takes a 1080x1040 image.  This advertisement does not auto dismiss, it must be interacted with by the user to proceed into the app.  This is an important sales point when discuss with clients because this ad ensures some engagement.  This style of ad supports only JPEG or PNG images and does not support animation.  This ad will appear when the app is started but will only show once per app startup.  You will receive similar number of impressions as you do app sessions.

Front Page Inline Ad

The front page inline ad is integrated into the content laid out on the front page of the app.  It is designed to be visible without being obtrusive to the users experience.  It receives a special, consistent placement on the front page on both phone and iPad layouts.

The mobile phone appearance is on the left and the iPad appearance is on the right.  Both platforms use a 640x360 image integrated as a full width experience on phone or a half width experience on iPad.  This style of ad supports only JPEG or PNG images and does not support animation.  

See our guide, DFP Native Custom Format Setup for more information on setting up and administering Native Ad types.

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