Monetization Tools & Tech

How to Set Price Floors to Maximize Revenue

sovrnmarketing // October 10, 2014

cpm price floors display ads revenue

When it comes to CPM floor prices, Sovrn publishers are welcome to set floors at any rate at which they feel their ad space should be valued. However, there are a few recommendations we have to optimize performance with floor prices.

First, your floor should be set lower than the CPM you wish to earn for every 1,000 impressions Sovrn serves on your site.

Because our real-time bidding (RTB) partners use floor prices as a baseline for a competitive auction for publishers’ requests,

it is almost always the case that the eventual CPM earned by a Sovrn publisher will be roughly twice the amount of the floor price. No matter the target CPM, Sovrn usually recommends a price floor below $0.50.

As an example, if you wish to earn $1.00 for every 1,000 impressions Sovrn serves on your site, a floor price of $0.80 should do the trick. Of course, there are always exceptions dependent upon a site’s traffic patterns, content and the willingness of our ad partners to bid for a given request, so make sure you check in with your sovrn publisher advocate or the Sovrn support desk ( if you have any questions about your ad zone performance.

The second important factor to consider when you set floor prices is how you configure the settings on your international zones.

sovrn’s ad serving technology contains two designations for zones that impact the way a request is handled when it is generated by a reader in a country outside of the US.

  1. Designation 1: found by clicking ad tags in your Sovrn dashboard then clicking the name of the tag you wish to edit. This forces all international requests to obey your floor price. This is the default behavior of all Sovrn zones (selected by unchecking the box below CPM Floor Price), so if you want to earn the same CPM for international as domestic, no additional action is needed on your part.
  2. Designation 2: selected by checking the box, is to allow your floor price to be ignored for all international requests. With this option selected, your US requests will still obey the floor price, but your international requests will behave as if they were set to max fill, increasing your earnings for your international inventory.

The final point to note when setting your floor price is that max fill (a $0.00 floor price) is almost always recommended by our optimization team.

At sovrn, we firmly stand by the concept that a monetized impression, regardless of the CPM, is what makes our publishers actual money, whereas an unfilled request nets no revenue to anyone.

With this in mind, it follows that maximizing the fill rate of your zones (as price floors increase, fill rate decreases) with a floor price of $0.00 is typically the best strategy for maximizing your revenue. This strategy also opens your requests up to the entire gamut of sovn’s demand, so you can be sure you’ll have the best opportunity to make revenue with sovrn.
If you’d like to speak with one of our publisher advocates about your price floor, feel free to email Alex Biale with any questions or check out our FAQs at
Taylor Hamill, Advertising Operations Manager

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