Understanding auction billing

Index Exchange's pricing model is designed to provide reasonable fees that are transparent and deliver maximum value to publishers and buyers. On this page, you will learn:

  • How publisher rates work in an auction
  • An overview of Exchange Fee Reduction (XFR) program for buyers
  • How to view transaction fees in reporting

How publisher rates work in an auction

A publisher rate is a percentage fee (for example, 20%) that Index negotiates with publishers and is usually different for open and private marketplace transactions. The publisher rate determines the auction fee Index receives for a completed transaction.

Example

To understand how publisher rates work in an auction, review the workflow example below between a publisher and buyer:

Buyer A wins an auction at the final bid price of $10.00. Buyer A owes $10.00 to Publisher X. This amount is known as the gross bid (price before Index fee).

Publisher X has a publisher rate of 20% and Index, uses this rate to determine its fee from the final bid price. Index receives 20% of $10.00 which is $2.00.

Publisher X receives $8.00 ($10.00 - $2.00 = $8.00) as a final payment from the buyer minus Index's fee (based on publisher's rate). This amount is known as the net bid (price after Index fee).

How Exchange Fee Reduction (XFR) for buyers works in an auction

Note: XFR is only available to select buyers. For more information, contact your Index Representative.

An XFR limits the Index rate above certain points (for example, 19%). We use a combination of the publisher rate and optional XFR to determine the amount Index will charge for a transaction.

When determining the Index fee for a transaction where a publisher rate and XFR are present, Index will evaluate if the XFR can lower the publisher’s rate and apply the lower amount if we can. Index only applies a single publisher fee on transactions and allows XFRs to lower that fee to maximize savings for the publisher and buyer.

Example

To understand how XFR works in an auction, review the workflow example below between a publisher and buyer:

Buyer A wins an auction at the final bid price of $10.00. Buyer A owes $10.00 for the transaction with Publisher X.

Publisher X has a publisher rate of 20% and Buyer A has unlocked an XFR that limits Index rates above 19% because of their high ad spend with publishers through Index.

Since the XFR limits the Index rate at 19% and the publisher’s rate is 20%, Index uses the XFR to determine the fee for the final bid price. In this case, Index receives 19% of $10.00 which is $1.90, instead of $2.00; a savings of 5% on this transaction.

Publisher X receives $8.10 ($10.00 - $1.90 = $8.10) as a final payment from the buyer minus Index's fee (based on XFR).

Review the tables below to see examples of impressions competing in an auction with and without XFR.

Example 1: When XFR is lower

  Without XFR With XFR

DSP bid price

$10.00

$10.00

Publisher rate

20% 20%

XFR

N/A 19%

Index fee

$2.00 (from 20% publisher rate) $1.90 (from 19% XFR)

Index fee savings (%)

N/A 5%
Publisher revenue $8.00 $8.10
Example 2: When the publisher rate is lower
  Without XFR With XFR

DSP bid price

$10.00 $10.00

Publisher rate

18% 18%

XFR

N/A 19%

Index fee

$1.80 (from 18% publisher rate) $1.80 (from 18% publisher rate)

Index fee savings (%)

N/A N/A
Publisher revenue $8.20 $8.20

Viewing reporting on Index rates

You can view reporting for the single rate that Index applies in an ad transaction through reporting provided by Index: Client Audit Logs (CAL), and reporting powered through CAL. For more information, review the content below.

Client Audit Logs (CAL)

The pub_rev_share field in the CAL shows the percentage of ad spend paid to the publisher. To see the single rate that Index applies for an impression, subtract 1 from the value in the pub_rev_share field.

Example

If pub_rev_share = 0.80, the Index rate applied would be 20% (1 - 0.80 = 0.20).

To learn more about the pub_rev_share field, see Data dictionary.

Note: We will only provide the pub_rev_share field to buyer CAL feeds if the publisher has agreed to share this information.

Reporting powered through CAL

To see the single rate that Index applies for an impression, please contact your provider such as Adomik or Staq that’s pulling from Index CAL reporting data.

Note: The legacy XFR publisher UI reporting is not yet aware of savings from XFR. The legacy reporting UI currently shows publisher rates only. We will be updating these reports to include savings from an XFR and apologize for the temporary inconvenience. As mentioned above, you can view accurate publisher payments and revenue gains from an XFR through the CAL, and reporting powered through CAL. You can see the grand total for final payments for previous months, including extra publisher revenue from XFR, on the Payment History page (Controls > Payments).