Key Concepts

Now you can get data insights faster than ever to help drive greater monetization for your business. To understand these performance metrics, however, it's important to first familiarize yourself with the following key concepts:

  • Bid cycle
  • Weighted bid cycle
  • Slot cycle
  • Supply source

Bid Cycle

Conceptually, the bid cycle is the primary method to understand and evaluate the health of any bidding activity on the Index Exchange (IX) platform. These scenarios include the IX Library™, the IX ad exchange, DSP management, deal performance, or Google's Exchange Bidding product. The following image describes the stages of the bid cycle:

As a bid moves from the upstream system (request) to the downstream system (response), some bid responses might time out or might generate an error due to a malformed bid response from the DSP, or some bid responses might be blocked due to a publisher's brand or category restrictions. Furthermore, some bid responses might be passed because the buyer was not interested in bidding on the specific user. The more eligible bids (that is, bids eligible for auction) that are returned to the upstream system (the IX ad exchange), the greater the bid density is in the auction, and greater bid density leads to better monetization.


The bid cycle consists of bid requests and bid response stages, which are split into various categories. Some categories, like bid_error and bid_timeout, are early stages, and represent "lost" or "non-competing bids." Later stages, like bid_eligible and bid_chosen, indicate bids that are eligible to compete in a given auction or monetizable event. An easy way to ensure your integration or bidding activity is behaving within expected parameters is to add all bid response event categories together and compare the total number with the total number of bid requests. Ideally, these two numbers equal one another, which indicates your bidding scenario is operating as expected. In the following image, the bid responses are represented in a graph.

An initial, bid cycle-related goal for any publisher is to move bid responses from the bottom to the top across the bid event categories. The more bid events that are in the bid_eligible category of the bid cycle, the more healthy, valid bids are participating in a given auction environment, and the greater your monetization will be.

  • Notes:
  • All bid response categories are mutually exclusive categories so, for example, the responses under the bid_error category are different responses from those under the bid_timeout category and the responses under the bid_eligible category are different responses from those under the bid_chosen category.
  • The bid cycle for deals is a little different. The number of bid requests will not equal the total of bid responses because of the following reasons:
    • Not every bid request with a deal attached to it will receive a response.
    • IX does not currently track responses in the bid_pass, bid_timeout, and bid_error categories by the deal ID.
    • Every bid request has multiple deals associated with it. Sometimes, DSPs respond to a request without any deal ID in the response. This means that there are many scenarios where the only measure associated with a deal ID are bid requests.

Weighted Bid Cycle

The bid cycle also includes a weighted value that measures the financial opportunity associated with each bid response type. The weighted bid cycle associates a dollar value to each bid type. In the following image, which shows an example of a weighted bid cycle bid, the value of the bid_blocked_opportunity category represents a small percentage of missed bid opportunity that could have moved to the bid_eligible_opportunity category of events if a certain brand was not blocked.

Slot Cycle

Just as the bid cycle is for DSPs downstream of the Index Exchange, the slot cycle describes events on the page. Slot requests are page-level requests for demand, made to the Index Exchange. In the slot cycle, the number of slot requests equals the sum total of the slot responses across their categories (that is, slot_request = slot_valid + slot_pass + slot_timeout + slot_error).

Supply Source

The supply source denotes the classification for a given publisher's relationship with IX — the origin of the data remains the IX Exchange, but the classification of the publisher is outlined in the supply_source. This allows publishers to see an aggregated view of their data across the different supply sources for IX, alongside the different metrics associated with them. For example, if you would like to view both exchange bidding and IX Library revenue in the same chart, you can achieve this through the supply_source data. The following image shows an example of a Domo visualization that shows net revenue by supply source: