Occasionally, you may notice while listening to your monetised stream that some of your breaks do not get filled with programmatic ads. Below we will  some reasons why this may happen.

Ad demand is low

Certain seasons, such as the holiday season, tend to see higher ad-spend from industries making use of market demand. Boosts in ad fill rates have also been witnessed as the financial year draws to a close. Conversely, this means that there are times in the year when ad-spend is low and the pool of available ads is small. In these periods the likelihood of breaks being filled may reduce.

Session buffer is full

If your monetisation configuration utilises insertion behaviour, listeners will slowly get pushed out of sync with real-time as their session continues. This is in line with a buffer dictated in the edge server configuration responsible for monetisation. When this buffer is full, no further ads will be inserted until the edge server can make back some of the deficit by stripping silence from the stream.

Inventory is low

Inventory is the term used by advertising companies to refer to the potential impressions available, combining projected audience size, reach and listening duration. If this is deemed low, your station will be less attractive to advertisers and therefore may receive fewer ads from the ad server.

Best practices

It is worth checking what behaviour your configuration is set to in terms of the behaviour when a break cannot be replaced in its entirety. This will have a big effect on what happens if an insufficient number of ads are returned to fill the length of a midroll break when requested or triggered. These are the four available options for this scenario:

  1. Skip break entirely (if the break cannot be completely filled, the break will be skipped)
  2. Inject the 1 available ad using insertion behaviour (as opposed to replacement)
  3. Inject the 1 available ad using replacement behaviour
  4. Use a "fallback on nearest metadata" rule to drop listeners back in at an appropriate time (recommended)

If you are unsure which of these rules is applied to your ads configuration, or you need reminding of any elements of your config, please contact our support team.

It's also worth considering the ad lengths that you request. Short breaks (30-90 seconds) tend to have a better fill rate as the ad server is more likely to consistently respond with a sufficient number of ads to fill the break.

See our following explainer articles with more advice on how to optimise your monetisation setup:

Monetisation: Programming and Distribution Considerations
Monetisation: Configuration Considerations