What are House Line Items in DFP?

Introduction to DFP

DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), formerly called Google Dart, is an ad server that helps publishers serve impressions to their websites. It also provides numerous built-in features for effectively streamlining the sales process of online ads using a publisher’s dedicated sales team. A big plus of using DFP is its easy integration with AdSense. Should a publisher not sell out all their available ad inventory, it can choose to run either other ad networks or AdSense ads as remnant inventory in DoubleClick for Publishers. DFP has a long list of quality advertisers and premium advertisers on board due to its highly efficient services and has earned its spot at the top of every global ad server list.

DFP Line Items

In DFP, a publisher has to add the names of the advertisers from which it is running multiple ads. For each of these advertisers, it has to create an order which is basically a folder containing 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 regulate the how the line items will be organised for ad selection. The type and priority of a line item determines how DFP will organise the competition between all the other line items for each ad impression.

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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 House line items?

The ad inventory of a publisher website has two parts – guaranteed and non-guaranteed (or remnant).

Non-guaranteed inventory is the part of the ad inventory that is sold to advertisers or ad networks without a time cap, after the guaranteed inventory has been directly sold to advertisers. Ad networks often buy remnant inventory in bulk and then sell them to advertisers on a CPM or CPC basis.

House line item type is non-guaranteed inventory with a priority level of 16. This is the line item type with the lowest priority and is typically used when a publisher wants to products/services chosen or endorsed by it.  These normally do not generate any revenue and are delivered only if no paying line item type is available. These are eligible to directly compete with AdSense.

Benefit of House line item

House line items are remnant inventory and are thus less expensive than any guaranteed inventory. House line items thus provide a very cost-efficient way for publishers to promote their own products and services or those supported by it.


Among the seven line item type in DFP, six are for promoting products of advertisers. This is the only line item type that publishers have for promoting their own brand. That is why a house line item is a very unique and important line item type.   

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