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Creating Traffic Sets

Demand Partners

Last updated on August 3, 2021

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 allowlist 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:

    Targeting app bundle IDs and content

    You can target an app’s inventory by using a bundle ID, which is a string that identifies a single app. You can also target inventory by the attributes of the content in which the impression appears. To set this targeting criteria, click Set Add App Bundle ID &Content.

    Targeting DimensionOperatorsOptions
    App Bundle ID• equals
    • does not equal
    Enter one or more App Bundle IDs to include or exclude.
    This field is case-sensitive.
    The Bundle ID comprises the app and company name. An app named “MyApp” from a company named “ACompany” could look like either of the following:
       • com.acompany.MyApp = iOS or Android
       • 123456789 = iOS
    The maximum number of App Bundle IDs you can input is 10,000 (total) per traffic set.
    Content Category• Contains only
    • Contains any of
    • Contains all of
    • Contains none of
    Select one or more categories from the list. After completing your selections, click away from the list.

    Note: Targeting a top-level content category does not target its sub-topics. For example, targeting the top-level topic Automotive does not target Automotive:Trucks or Automotive: Cars. However, selecting Automotive: All targets all Automotive content topics.
    Content Duration Maps to the content.len OpenRTB bid request parameter. Enter the minimum and maximum length in seconds for the content.
    Content Title• begins with
    • containsbr
    • does not begin with
    • does not contain
    • does not end with
    • does not equal
    • ends with
    • equals
    Enter the title of the content, such as a movie or TV show. Then click the + icon. The title appears in quotation marks. You can add multiple titles, using any operator for each one.
    Targeting categories

    You can target or block categories of publisher content.

    Account-level defaults

    OpenX automatically blocks your parent account’s blocklisted categories, which by default are:

    • Adult (All)
    • Firearms & Weapons (All)
    • Gambling (All)
    • Tobacco & Smoking (All)
    • Not Classified (All)

    Additionally, when setting up your account, your PDM works with you to block categories. You can view them in Traffic Shaper on the Category Blocklist tab for your account. Account-level blocklists are defaults for all traffic sets, but you can override them for individual traffic sets.

    OpenX Ad Exchange has a two-tier taxonomy for its targetable categories, so you can:

    • Target a top-level category, such as Automotive (All).
    • Target specific second-level categories, such as Business: Construction.
      To edit this target, go to the Select Category section.
    Targeting dimensionOperatorsOptions
    Category• equals
    • does not equal
    Enter one or more categories to include or exclude.
    Targeting geographic regions

    You can target or block specific user locations. For example, an airline has a campaign for discount airfares from Burbank, California. You can use geographic targeting to display the airline’s ads to users in Los Angeles since Burbank serves the Los Angeles area.

    When otherwise unavailable, a user’s physical location is inferred from their IP address, which may not always be an accurate process. You can make the location more accurate by broadening the target. For example, targeting based on the continent attribute is more accurate than targeting based on the city attribute. It’s possible for plug-ins to determine other methods of geolocation enrichment.

    To set this targeting criteria, click Add Geography.

    Targeting DimensionOperatorsOptions
    Bounding BoxMinimum/maximum latitude and minimum/maximum longitudeSet a bounding box based on latitude and longitude.
    Valid values for latitude range from -90 (South) to 90 (North).
    Valid values for longitude range from -180 (West) to 180 (East).
    Location• equals
    • does not equal
    If you choose the equals operator, you can also exclude a subset of this location.
    Target or block one or more geographic locations. Type the location to find and select it. OpenX supports the following location attributes:
       • Continent
       • Country
       • State
       • Region
       • Designated market area (DMA) code
       • Metropolitan statistical area (MSA) code
       • Postal code

    Note: The maximum number of postal codes you can input is 500 (total).
    Location Source• equals
    • does not equal
    Target or block one or more of the following location sources:
       • GPS Detected (Only available on mobile devices when enabled by the publisher and end-user.)
       • IP Derived
       • User Info (For example, an end-user entering a postal code on a website’s registration form.)
    RadiusLatitude x longitude = radiusTarget an area using a latitude, longitude, and radius (in miles).
    Targeting technology and devices

    This type of targeting includes technographic aspects of an impression, such as the user’s operating system, browser, or device. To target the technologies in the user’s web environment, such as their operating system, OpenX typically derives information from the browser’s user agent string.

    To set this targeting criteria, click Add Technology and Devices.

    Targeting DimensionOperatorsOptions
    API Frameworks• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more API frameworks to target or block.
       • MRAID-1
       • MRAID-2
       • MRAID-3
       • OMID-1
       • ORMMA
       • VPAID 2.0
    Browser• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more browsers to target or block.
    Connection Speed• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more connection speeds to target or block, as follows:
       • high (such as OCX, TX, and frame relay)
       • low (such as dialup or mobile wireless)
       • medium (such as consumer satellite, DSL, cable, fixed wireless, and ISDN)
       • unknown
    Connection Type• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more connection types to target or block.
    Cookies• equals
    • does not equal
    Targets or blocks specific user cookies.
    Device• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more devices (such as cell phones or tablets) to target or block.
    Device ID• Ad Tracking Enabled
    • Ad Tracking Limited
    Targets or blocks based on whether there is a device ID and ad tracking is enabled.
    Device Type• equals
    • does not equal
    Targets or blocks a specific device type.
    HTTPS• Served through HTTPS
    • Not served through HTTPS
    Target based on if SSL protocol is served or not served through HTTPS.
    Language• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more languages to target or block. Language targeting is based on the user’s browser language.
    Mobile Carrier• is any of
    • is not any of
    • is WiFi only
    Select one or more mobile carriers to target or block.

    Note: You can target or block devices or mobile sites based on their mobile carriers (for devices) or a mapping from the IP address to a mobile carrier (for mobile websites), such as AT&T or Verizon, or devices connected via wireless internet. OpenX obtains this information from the crr parameter in the mobile ad request, which provides a Mobile Country Code-Mobile Network Code tuple (MCC-MNC).
    OS• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more operating systems to target or block.
    Screen Resolution• equals
    • does not equal
    Select one or more screen resolutions to target or block.
    User Agent• begins with
    • containsbr
    • does not begin with
    • does not contain
    • does not end with
    • does not equal
    • ends with
    • equals
    Type the user agent information that you want to target or block.

    If you want to prioritize matched users in your bid requests, do not exclusively target mobile app users. These users are identified by cookies, which are only available on websites.

    Targeting audiences

    You can set audience targeting, which enables you to target or block groups of users who share particular behaviors or traits.

    To edit this target, go to the Select Audience section. See the following table for options:

    Targeting DimensionOperatorsOptions
    Site’s Intended Audience• equalsSelect an audience age group to target. This dimension is required and is grayed out, so you can’t accidentally delete it.

    Note: By default, OpenX targets the Site’s Intended Audience type Over 12 yrs. Keep in mind that some app and web inventory is subject to federal and local regulations.
    Matched Users• equalsThe only available option is Matched Cookied Users. This limits traffic to requests with a DSP’s known user IDs, based on cookie information and external identifiers (for example, Unified ID, Ramp ID, etc.). For more about EIDs, see Enabling External Identifiers (EIDs).
    Targeting domains

    You can specify a list of domains to block or allow in your traffic set.

    When setting up your account, your PDM works with you to block domains. You can view them in Traffic Shaper on the Domain Blocklist tab for your account. Account-level blocklists are defaults for all traffic sets, but you can override them for individual traffic sets.

    To set this targeting criteria:

    1. Under Select Domain, select the option to allowlist (gray icon) or blocklist (red icon) domains.
    2. Enter domain names or URLs, one per line, in the text box.

    Best practices for domain targeting or blocking

    If you want to override the account-level block settings or target specific domains, follow these best practices.

    Exact domainAffects traffic that matches the exact domain of the URL only. Entering “”:
       • Affects “” and “”.
       • Does not affect “”.
    Prepended domainAllows you to prepend a domain with “*.” and affects any traffic that contains the full value. A domain can only be prepended with “*.” on the left. Doing so on the right will not have the desired effect.
    Entering “*”:
       • Affects “” and “”.
       • Does not affect “” and “”.
    Exact domain with sub-page prefixAffects traffic with the exact domain of the URL and the specified sub-page only.
    Entering “”:
       • Affects “” and “”.
       • Does not affect “” or “”.
    Prepended domain with sub-page prefixAllows you to prepend a domain and sub-page combination with “*.” and affects any traffic that contains the full value. Additionally, A domain can only be prepended with “*.” on the left. Doing so on the right will not have the desired effect.
    Entering “*”:
       • Affects “” and “”.
       • Does not affect “” or “”.
       • Entering a word by itself, like “openx”, has no valid effect.

    To ensure that you capture any directories that precede the domain name, make sure to use both the exact domain ( and the prepended domain (* Domains are not case-sensitive.

    Selecting formats and ad sizes

    See all the ad sizes that OpenX Ad Exchange for Buyers supports.

    Choose ad sizes in display, video, or both formats to include in your traffic set: 

    1. Click Add Formats and Ad Sizes.
    2. Select Display or Video from the list.
    3. Click in the ad sizes box. A list of sizes appears.
    4. Click each listed size that you want to include. Use the scroll bar on the right to go down the list.
    5. If you want add a second format/size grouping format, click Add another. The format that you did not previously select appears.
    6. Click in the ad sizes box.
    7. Click each size you want to include.
    Targeting video attributes

    Video targeting is in Beta release only. For more information, please contact your Platform Development Manager.

    To set this targeting criteria, click Add Video Attributes.

    Targeting DimensionOperatorsOptions
    Rewarded VideoN/ATarget one of the following options for opt-in video:
       • Non-rewarded
       • Rewarded

    Note: Rewarded Video targeting (opt-in video targeting) is compatible only with video traffic. Selecting the Rewarded option blocks banner traffic from the traffic set. If you want this option, configure your traffic sets accordingly. Refer to Ad sizes for available formats and sizes.
  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.

Enabling External Identifiers (EIDs)

To enable receiving an external identifier in the ad request, go to your account settings and select the appropriate IDs from the list:


You can select as many EIDs you want to receive.

Supported Prebid-Based Identifiers

The Prebid-based identifiers supported by OpenX are as follows:

  • Ramp ID
  • Unified ID 1.0
  • PubCommon ID
  • Criteo ID
  • LiveIntent ID
  • ID5 Universal ID
  • BritePool
  • Parrable ID
  • Merkle ID
  • Shared ID
  • Halo ID from Audigent
  • Quantcast ID
  • Intent IQ ID
  • Verizon Media Connect ID
  • Lotame Panorama ID
  • Fabrick ID by Neustar
  • NetID
  • ZeoTap ID+
  • IDx
  • Tapad ID
  • LiveRamp Envelope
  • Unified ID 2.0
  • Floc ID
  • Admixer ID
  • DeepIntent ID
  • DMD ID
  • Nextroll ID
  • Novatiq Snowflake ID
  • MediaWallah OpenLink ID
  • Akamai DAP ID
  • AMX ID

Traffic Filtering with External Identifiers

If you want to filter the traffic to receive only cookie synced users as well as ad requests with EIDs:

  1. In your account settings, select the appropriate EIDs available on the list.
  2. Go to traffic set and select the audience to Matched Users + Matched Cookie Users.

Use Cases

The following are some use cases on how to filter traffic.

You want toDo thisResult
Get unmatched traffic with Unified ID as well as cookie-matched traffic.1. Go to the account settings and select Unified ID on the list.

2. If the cookie-matched users setting in traffic set is Off, enable the setting.
Traffic with cookie-matched users + unmatched users with selected EID.
Get traffic with cookie-matched users only.1. Go to the account level, unselect all the EIDs from the list, and leave it empty.

2. If the cookie-matched users setting in traffic set is Off, enable the setting.
Traffic with cookie-matched users only.
Get all the traffic but enriched with the EIDs of your choice.1. Go to the account level and select the appropriate EIDs.

2. If the cookie-matched users setting in traffic set is On, disable the setting.
All the traffic:
   • Cookie matched users
   • Unmatched users
   • Unmatched users with selected EIDs

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.