Today, we are announcing new policy around ad unit decommissioning, user experience updates to manage active/inactive ad units, default policies around Ad network enablement, and changes to the Ad impression measurement methodology for Windows apps. You may be impacted if you are monetizing using Ads on your Windows app leveraging the Microsoft Advertising SDK (UWP or 8.x apps).
1) Auto enabling new ad networks for Manual ad units on UWP apps
Our team continues to evaluate and onboard new Ad networks to improve yield and offer better variety of demand (formats, market specific demand) for our publishers. Today, when a new ad network is onboarded to our system, UWP ad units that are configured with the ‘Manual configuration’ option do not benefit from these networks as they are not automatically turned on for the Manual ad units. We will be making a change over the next few weeks to turn on any new ad networks by default for all our UWP ad units independent of the Manual or Automatic configuration. For ad units in the Manual configuration, since the ad network waterfall configuration is determined by publisher’s choice, these ad networks will be added to the bottom of the waterfall order. The publisher can then make necessary changes to reorder or opt out of the ad networks as necessary. As always, our recommendation is to choose the ‘Automatic’ ad unit configuration to benefit the most from our platform’s yield maximization capabilities.
2) Policy updates around decommissioning of Ad units
We are implementing an ad unit decommissioning policy wherein an ad unit that hasn’t generated any Ad request over the last 6 months will be subject to deactivation and deletion. We don’t expect active apps to be impacted since we look for a prolonged period (6 months) of ad unit inactivity before we deactivate. However, there may be exceptional circumstances where you may be affected. For instance, if you created an ad unit several months ahead of app deployment time and trying to use this ad unit as your app goes live. Or, you are trying to reuse an existing ad unit from your previous inactive app into your new app. Recommendation in both cases is to use newly created ad units instead of reusing an existing one to avoid potential Ad revenue loss.
Along with this policy announcement, we are making changes in the Windows Dev Center dashboard to make it easy to view active and inactive Ad units. Ad unit state is identified in a separate Status column; in addition, you can choose to view just the Active or Inactive ad units by choosing the appropriate filter on the top of the page.
3) Transitioning to Standards based Ad impression measurement
Standards based Ad impression measurement requires that the ‘Ad must be loaded and at minimum begin to render’ to be counted as a valid impression. For Ad networks that are relying on other methods such as server based Ad impression counting, we are making changes to gradually migrate all our Windows app ad units over the next few months closer to Standards based measurement. More specifically, the impression counting will rely on techniques such as firing an ad network impression beacon upon starting to render the Ad on the client. This is done to better adhere to the IAB standards around Ad impression counting and to be fair to the advertisers. This will also benefit apps that are striving to do right by making sure that Ads are rendered on the client and are viewable.
If you are following standard guidelines put forth in our documentation and recommendations from earlier blogs on how to design the Ad placements in your app, you should not see adverse impact on your Ad monetization. However, if your app is designed in a way that interferes with the rendering of the Ad, you may see a negative impact on your App Ad revenues. For instance, if you are placing an Ad in a UI dialog box that can be easily dismissed by the user before the Ad gets a chance to render or your app is pulling Ads on a background thread, these Ads that previously were possibly counted as valid impressions will not be counted in the new standard. We strongly recommend you to evaluate your app for such practices and actively fix these issues to minimize impact to your Ad revenues.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments!