What is Google Ad Manager 360?

You may already know something about Google Ad Manager (GAM). The free ad management platform helps publishers monetize and manage revenue for their websites and apps. GAM combines key features from Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and Google Ad Exchange (AdX, formerly DoubleClick Ad Exchange).

While the two platforms have similar functions for monetization and managing ad revenue, Google Ad Manager 360 (GAM 360) dials things up a notch. The free version serves smaller publishing and marketing teams and their budgets. Larger teams and those with complex ad arrangements benefit from GAM 360’s additional features, like Programmatic Guaranteed and Direct Deals.  

Understanding the similarities and differences between the free and paid versions can help your team decide which ad server is the best fit for your organization. Let’s take a deep dive into what GAM and GAM 360 have to offer.

Similarities Between GAM and GAM 360

GAM 360 builds on the free version to accommodate publishers that surpass various monthly impression thresholds. Monthly impression thresholds vary by region, with publishers in the United States requiring at least 90 million. When a team meets the threshold, a Google Account Manager will reach out to discuss the details of upgrading.

Both platforms offer three ad formats: native ads, responsive ads, and video ads. Dynamic ad insertion allows users to create a seamless viewing experience by choosing between live, linear, or on-demand videos. They also have Google AdSense backfill to maximize any unfilled slots. 

GAM and GAM 360 utilize a hierarchy system to manage ad units. The free version offers two ad inventory levels and GAM 360 features five. Both platforms offer custom dimension key-values, though GAM only includes 5,000 and GAM 360 has 20,000. 

GAM 360 Optimizations

GAM 360 provides a range of advanced features to support more complex, high-revenue ad systems. 

It’s no secret that display ads make money. To that end, one of GAM 360’s top enhancements is access to additional ad formats, including in-banner video content and rich media formats. 

Unlike the free version, GAM 360 integrates with Google Analytics. Teams can monitor how ads perform with various demographics, segment audiences, and use that information to guide ad placement for greater success.

GAM 360 also offers additional ad request options. Publishers can engage in header bidding and open bidding (formerly known as exchange bidding), which allows teams to integrate other SSPs for more competitive ad placement.

Intended Audience

  • GAM: Google Ad Manager is ideal for small publishers and agencies who work with more than one or two Google Ad accounts.
  • GAM 360: Google Ad Manager 360 is for larger, enterprise-level corporations with significant traffic and complex ad setups.

Impression Requirements

  • GAM: Google Ad Manager serves publishers who receive up to 90 million impressions each month. Note that some geographical locations, like Europe, have higher thresholds.
  • GAM 360: This level serves teams with at least 90 million impressions each month, though some geographical locations require more.

Features & Support

  • GAM: The free version supports smaller teams and offers line item management, API access, historical data, and three ad formats, including video ads.
  • GAM 360: The paid version offers everything the free version has with some additional features, including more ad formats (like rich media), open bidding, and an account manager for Google Support. GAM 360 users have access to work with Google Account Managers for support

Features Exclusive to GAM 360

GAM 360 doesn’t just enhance the free version’s standard features, it adds features to create a more comprehensive platform. These additional features address everything from new audience segmentation to special ad units.

Publishers can use the Create Team feature to parse out companies and ad units to certain members. It’s an option that allows publishers to restrict access to some items, including specific ad units or agencies. 

The ability to link with Google Data Studio opens the door to more metrics and reports to create more focused audience solutions. Use the customizable reports for more curated audience segmentation to improve ad placement and create special ad units.

Google Ad Manager 360 works with Google Display Network to provide real-time advertising solutions. It ensures that you have access to the top publisher sites that comply with Google Adwords, allowing you to reach a broader, more relevant audience. 


GAM and GAM 360 serve the same function, to support businesses with site monetization and managing ad revenue. However, there are some stark contrasts between the free and paid versions. 

An upgrade to GAM 360 provides enhanced options for everything from analytics to ad formats. It allows publishers to engage in open bidding and tap into detailed metrics for more accurate audience segmentation and ad placement.

Of course, qualifying for an upgrade to GAM 360 doesn’t mean you need to make the leap. The upgrade comes at a price that’s not openly disclosed by Google Ad Manager, meaning it’s likely a steep cost. It may be worth a conversation with the sales team to see if you can negotiate a deal that works for your business, but there are always other options, including the free GAM version.

Choosing the right platform for your brand can have a massive impact on your ad success. It can help you reach the higher CPMs necessary to increase ad revenue and hit website or mobile app monetization goals.  

Do you still have questions about how GAM 360 could help you? Reach out to Newor Media to learn more about the pros and cons of GAM 360, and how we can help attain your monetization goals.

Matthew Whille

Senior Account Manager, Publisher Development: Newor Media

Matt is an expert in the AdTech in MarTech space, with over 10 years of experience. He currently works with our publishers to increase their earnings and has demonstrated success in client success and account management. He's skilled in programmatic, with expertise in sales planning, campaign activation, research, reporting, strategy implementation and SEO. Follow Matt for more useful programmatic content!