What are Bulk Line Items in DFP?

Introduction to DFP

DoubleClick for Publisher(DFP) is a Google-owned third party ad server that helps publishers in serving impressions to their websites. It has a number of impressive built-in features for streamlining the entire sales process of online ads involving publishers and advertisers. The biggest advantage that publishers and advertisers have in DFP is that they can maximize their AdSense revenue, as AdSense can be easily integrated with DFP. DFP boasts of a user-friendly interface, effective optimization methods and a consummate support team. All these and other factors make DFP one of the most popular ad servers in the world.

DFP Line Items

In DFP, a publisher has to add the names of the advertisers from which it is running one or more ads. For each of these advertisers, the publisher has to create an order which is basically a folder containing the line items. A line item defines an advertiser’s agreement with the publisher to buy the specific number of impressions ( for CPM), clicks ( for CPC) or time ( for CPD) during a certain time at a certain price. Each line item also includes details with respect to the positioning of the advertiser’s ad and, optionally, the time of the week at which it will get showcased and also to whom it will be displayed.

Each line item in DFP has a type. Now each type has a default priority value. Thus all line items have priority values of their own. Line item types and priority values decide how the line items will be organized for ad selection. The type and priority of a line item define how DFP will organize the competition between all the other line items for each ad impression.

For example, if a line item of priority 4 competes with a line item of priority 12 for an ad impression, DFP prioritizes the line item of priority 4 over the one of priority 12. So the rule is that lower the number, higher the priority.

There are 7 different line item types in DFP – Sponsorship, Standard, Network, Bulk, Price Priority, AdExchange/AdSense and House.

What are Bulk Line Items?

Publisher websites have two types of ad inventory- guaranteed inventory and non-guaranteed(remnant) inventory.

Non-guaranteed inventory is the remaining part of the ad inventory that is sold to ad networks and not directly to advertisers after the guaranteed inventory has been sold to advertisers for a premium price. Remnant inventory is sold without a time cap. Ad networks often buy remnant inventory in bulk and then sell them to advertisers on a CPM or CPC basis.

Bulk is a non-guaranteed or remnant line item type that works on a fixed quantity of impression. That means bulk line items follow the CPM pricing model. So these line item types are goal-based. Bulk line item has a priority level of 12. These line items have no constraints with respect to time. They are best suited for the ad networks that provide an impression cap that is the maximum number of impressions to be filled.

Benefit of Bulk Line Items

Bulk line items are remnant ad inventory and cost much less than guaranteed inventory. So website monetization becomes a lot cheaper with bulk line items. They serve unsold inventory very well.


Even though bulk line items get low priority is ad space allocation, they are a safe option to monetize unsold ad inventory as they follow the CPM model and cost less.

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