Spot-based Campaigns in Tap: Use Pacing not Scheduling

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This article is for: advertising administrators, traffickers.
Using: Tap.
Objective: Understand the limits of spot-based delivery pacing in Tap.

You might find yourself in a situation where you want to schedule a specific ad to run once per hour to all listeners, following a pattern used by your terrestrial station to run scheduled spots to all listeners. Unfortunately, you can’t easily do that with Tap; here’s why.

Tap’s delivery mechanisms operate on the principle of pacing not scheduling. Whereas scheduling is based on specific time-based targets — such as “once per hour” or “every second break between 7:00AM and 10:00AM,” pacing is about distributing ad delivery according to a balance of campaign/flight settings and available inventory.

For example, if you set a campaign to run over 20 hours with four spots, Tap will try to pace it evenly by running it every five hours. However, it might slow down or speed up in response to other campaigns that are running and competing for the same inventory. In other words, it will not run on a specific schedule the way spots do in terrestrial radio.

There are ways to simulate traditional ad delivery for this type of scenario, such as creating a campaign that uses multiple spot-based flights and dayparts to target a variety of listener types all at the same time. For example, you could run multiple one hour dayparts in each flight, with the spot set to play in five custom dayparts (11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) and give each one a goal that is consistent with one-per-hour plays. An arrangement like this would essentially play the same spot to all listeners once per hour in each of the custom dayparts, which is basically a simulation of traditional spot delivery.

However, a setup like this runs the risk of overbooking your avails, which would cause other problems. For best results, plan your campaigns with pacing in mind instead of scheduling.

For more information on pacing, see the Tap User Guide:
- Campaign-wide pacing.
- Flight pacing.