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Creating Traffic Sets

Demand Partners

Traffic sets control the content and flow of your bid request traffic, allowing you to maximize your spend on the most desirable inventory for your campaigns. After setting RTB endpoints, you need to create and activate at least one traffic set to start receiving bid requests.

A traffic set defines:

  • Whether you want to bid in open auctions, private marketplaces, or both.
  • How much you want to spend.
  • What inventory and audiences you want to target or avoid.
  • How you want to route traffic to reduce latency.
  • The volume of traffic you want to receive.

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Using Multiple Traffic Sets

You can create multiple traffic sets for different scenarios. For example, you may have separate budgets for different ad formats or buying models. Or you may want mobile app inventory only from one geographic region and desktop inventory from another.

Because your endpoint server processes QPS for every running traffic set that you assign to it, make sure it has sufficient capacity. You can check total QPS allocation for each RTB endpoint.

Starting to Create a Traffic Set

Make sure you have set up your OpenRTB bidding application and configured at least one RTB endpoint before creating a traffic set.

A basic traffic set includes the required settings:

  • a name
  • at least one buying model selection
  • at least one ad format selection
  • a daily or total spend cap
  • at least one DSP endpoint selection

You must enter or select values for all these settings before you can save a traffic set. Additional settings for targeting are optional, but recommended. Some of these settings are populated with default values that you can change.

To start creating a traffic set:

  1. In the UI, click the Traffic Sets tab.
  2. On the Traffic Sets page, click Create Traffic Set.
  3. In the traffic set form, enter a unique name.
  4. You can add a description to help you remember the purpose of the traffic set.

Next, select a business unit.

Selecting a Business Unit

  • If your account has more than one business unit, select one from the drop-down list under DSP Information.
  • If your account has only one business unit, it is automatically selected for the traffic set.

Next, select a buying a model.

Selecting a Buying Model

You can choose to bid on inventory in open auctions. You also can choose to bid on programmatic direct deals. If you do not have that option and would like to begin buying through programmatic direct deals, contact your Platform Development Manager (PDM).

Selecting both buying models has some advantages:

  • You can curate traffic for each buying model within a single traffic set. For example, if you blocklist a particular category, such as automotive, but have a deal with a publisher within that category, you can list that the category within the programmatic direct section of the traffic set, so that you receive deal traffic from that publisher.
  • If you have a programmatic direct deal with a given publisher, enabling both buying models increases the traffic from that publisher, so that you have additional opportunities to bid on their inventory.

To select buying models, under Buying Model, select at least one check box. If you select both buying models, a targeting form appears for each, one next to the other.

Next, set a spend cap.

Setting a Spend Cap

The spend cap is your budget for the traffic set. Once your spend meets the cap, you stop receiving bid requests for that traffic set, so make sure to monitor your spend. You can edit an existing traffic set any time to adjust the cap.

As a best practice, set your cap slightly higher than what you intend to spend, so that you have a buffer to keep traffic flowing.

You can set a daily or total cap. The latter represents the total budget for the traffic set. You also can select both. Doing so allows you to pace your spend. For example, if you set a $30,000 total cap, you can also set a daily cap of $1,000 to avoid meeting the cap earlier than you intended.

To set a spend cap:

  1. Select the Daily or Total option from the Spend Cap list.
  2. Enter a dollar amount.
  3. If you selected a total spend cap, and if you want to include a daily spend cap, select the check box for a daily cap and enter a dollar amount.

Next, set criteria for targeting inventory.

Targeting Inventory

By specifying inventory in your traffic set, you ensure that you are receiving the most ideal inventory for your campaigns, getting the best return on ad spend, and maximizing QPS efficiency.

Targeting involves creating lists to allow or block inventory based on criteria such as user demographics, publisher characteristics, and ad types.

By default, a traffic set inherits category and domain blocklists (see Step 3 below) from the account settings, but you can change them for the traffic set.


All targeting settings are optional, except for formats and ad sizes.

To start setting criteria for targeting:

  1. Click the Edit icon in the upper-right corner of the Inventory Targeting form.

  2. Set a matching rule for your traffic.

    • All: Your traffic set includes only inventory that matches all of the criteria you define. Using this rule is a best practice. It generates more desirable inventory traffic for your campaigns and reduces traffic volume for lower QPS usage.
    • Any: Your traffic set includes inventory that matches any of the criteria you define. This rule generates a higher traffic volume and more diverse traffic compared to what you want to target.
  3. Edit the list for each criteria group that you want to target:

  4. After editing all desired targeting criteria, click Apply.

  5. If you have selected both buying models for your traffic set, repeat steps 1 through 4 for the second model.

After you have set targeting criteria, continue with controlling traffic routing and volume.

Controlling Traffic Routing and Volume

After defining what kind of inventory you want and how you want to buy it, determine how to control your traffic flow:

  • Routing:  Make sure your RTB endpoints are geographically as close as possible to OpenX exchange locations, where bid request traffic originates. Closer proximity lowers latency and timeouts. OpenX Ad Exchange reduces the number of bid requests it sends to bidders with excessive timeouts. See BidResponse object for more information. Setting multiple endpoints is helpful for distributing load to multiple servers and handling traffic from distributed geographic regions.

  • QPS allocation: Set a QPS cap for each endpoint to control traffic volume and reduce load on endpoint servers if necessary.

  • Prioritizing matched users (optional) : Give preference to bid requests involving web site visitors with known user IDs, based on cookie information. This makes it more likely that bid requests with matched users are included within your QPS cap at any given time.


To ensure that you receive traffic for matched users, make sure your targeting criteria does not exclude them. For example, if you target mobile app users exclusively, you will not see matched user traffic. Matched users are identified by cookies, which are only available on web traffic.

To set traffic routing and flow:

  1. In the Bid Request Routing and QPS Allocation section of the traffic set form, select one of the endpoints created for your account from the list.
  2. Select one of the available OpenX exchange locations to connect to that endpoint.
  3. If you want to set a QPS threshold, enter it. Otherwise, QPS is unlimited for that endpoint.
  4. If you set another endpoint/exchange location connection, click +Add another.
  5. If you want to prioritize matched users, set the toggle to On.

Saving your Traffic Set

After creating or editing your traffic set, click Save in the top-right corner of the form.

The new traffic set is now in a pending status, so that you can review it for potential revenue impact and ensure that it reflects your needs and preferences. To start using a traffic set, you need to activate it.