How audience segment billing works

This article is specific to Audience Solutions.
This feature might not be enabled in your network.

The segment for which you're billed depends on whether or not it targets both first-party and third-party segments and on how the line item targets audience segments. Line items can target audience segments and key-values in one of three ways: either one or another (OR), more than one segment or key-value at the same time (AND), and one or more segments or key-value but not another (NOT).

Segments targeted in an OR relationship

When the line item targets audience segments in an OR relationship, and the visitor is a member of one or more segments, the ad server will pick the least expensive segment. If the line item targets either a segment or a key-value and the visitor matches both, we'll charge you for the segment because we don't know if the segment or the key-value was used in the ad selection process. If multiple segments are tied for least expensive, the ad server randomly selects one of them.

Examples

Let's see what happens in different targeting scenarios:

  • The line item targets "Segment A or Segment B" and the visitor belongs to only Segment A: You'll only be charged for Segment A, whether Segment A is first- or third-party.

  • The line item targets "First-party segment 1 or First-party segment 2" and the visitor belongs to both: Since all first-party segments cost the same, Ad Manager will randomly pick one and you'll only be billed for that segment.

  • The line item targets "Third-party segment 1 or Third-party segment 2" and the visitor belongs to both: Ad Manager will select the less expensive segment.

  • The line item targets "First-party segment 1 or Third-party segment 1" and the visitor belongs to both: You'll be charged for First-party segment 1, since first-party segments are always less expensive than third-party ones.

Segments targeted in AND relationships

When the line item targets audience segments in an AND relationship and the user matches all of them, the line item will serve and you'll be charged in the following manner:

First-party: You're charged a CPM rate that varies based your contract. If a line item targets multiple segments, one of them at random will be billed for a given impression, so that impression will only be attributed to one segment, visible under the "Audience segment (billable)" dimension in Query Tool.

Third-party: You'll be charged for all segments. The third-party data provider defines and charges you a CPM rate, which can also include a fee for audience targeting, depending on contractual terms. These rates and fees are visible in Ad Manager under Billing and then Billing fees.

If the user doesn't match all targeted segments, then the line item won't serve and you won't be charged.

Examples

  • The line item targets "First-party segment 1 and First-party segment 2" and the visitor belongs to both: Ad Manager will randomly pick one and you'll only be billed for that segment.
  • If the line item targets "Third-party segment 1 and Third-party segment 2" and the visitor belongs to both: You'll be billed for both.
  • The line item targets "First-party segment 1 and Third-party segment 1" and the visitor belongs to both: You'll be billed for both.

Segments targeted in NOT relationships

A line item can target one or more first- or third-party segments in a NOT relationship:

  • NOT SegmentA: If the visitor is a member of SegmentA, the line item won't serve.

  • NOT (SegmentA or SegmentB): If the visitor is a member of either SegmentA or SegmentB, the line item won't serve.

  • NOT (SegmentA and SegmentB): If the visitor is a member of both SegmentA and SegmentB, the line item won't serve.

Like AND relationships, if the line item serves, you'll be charged for all targeted segments the user does not belong to, whether the segments are first- or third-party.

Example

If the line item targets "not (SegmentA or SegmentB)", this is telling the ad server, "Don't serve any line items that target either SegmentA or SegmentB". If SegmentA and SegmentB are both third-party, and the visitor doesn't belong to either SegmentA or SegmentB, you'll be billed for both.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?