Differences between types of audience segments

This article is specific to Audience Solutions.
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Audience Solutions supports the following segment types:

  • First-party: Segments that are created by you using your own inventory. Learn more about first-party segments.
  • Data management platforms: Segments that are created for you by a DMP. These segments usually (but not always) consist of data created from your own inventory, and can also include offline data compiled from the DMP. These segments are displayed as “First-party” in the  user interface.
  • Google Marketing Platform: Segments that consist of identifiers gathered by Google Marketing Platform and are shared directly with your Ad Manager account. They are displayed as “First-party” in the  user interface. Contact your account manager to learn about integrating Ad Manager with Google Marketing Platform.
  • Shared: Ad Manager networks can share first-party segments with each other if the networks are affiliated with each other or owned by the same company. These segments are displayed as “Shared by Ad Manager publisher [network ID]” in the user interface. 
  • Third-party (direct license): A segment built by a third-party data provider such as BlueKai or eXelate for which you have negotiated a direct license for the segment’s use. 
  • Third-party (global license): A segment built by a third-party data provider such as BlueKai or eXelate for which you have agreed to the global license for the segment’s use. 

Ad Manager only receives a list of cookies in a third-party audience segment, and doesn't analyze the contents of the list. The DMP, not Ad Manager, is responsible for analyzing the contents of the segment and determining its cost.

The table below summarizes the types of Audience segments, differences between them, and how they appear in the Ad Manager UI.

  Segment type
  First-party Data Management Platforms Google Marketing Platform Shared Third-party (direct license) Third-party (global license)
How it's displayed in the "Data provider" column "First-party" "First-party" "First-party" "Shared by [account type and identifier]" "[Name of provider] License type: Direct license" "[Name of provider] License type: Global license"
How it's displayed in the Segment details page

Default segment details page for non-pixel segments. For pixel segments, details page has additional wording and "Generate tag" button. Provided Lists Segments has no identification.

Segment details page is missing targeting, page views, recency.

Segment details page has no Behavior section.

 

No hyperlinked segment details page

No hyperlinked segment details page

No hyperlinked segment details page

How online population occurs Membership can be set based on ad requests (Ad Manager traffic) meeting specific criteria, or using audience pixel tags placed directly on web pages or creatives. Populated by a DMP and not by Ad Manager traffic. Populated by Google Marketing Platform traffic and not by Ad Manager traffic. Populated by whoever shared the segment with the given publisher, not through Ad Manager traffic. Populated by third-party data providers (for example, BlueKai).
How offline population occurs

Pre-population based on serving, or provided lists. For apps, segments can also be populated via app code.

We strongly recommend against modifying the segment through batch uploads.

We strongly recommend against modifying the segment through batch uploads.

 

Not possible to populate by publisher with which segment is being shared.

Only data providers can modify segment; it cannot be modified by licensee.
How it's billed  First-party CPM rate (varies by publisher based on contract) CPM rate defined by a third-party data provider. A third-party data provider may give different rates for different publishers.
Can segment be shared with another product/party by publisher? Yes (details covered in Sharing first-party segments with other products) No (publisher is not data owner)
Can segment be combined to create more segments?  Yes

Create a new first-party segment and add other segments within the segment targeting.

Line items can also be targeted to a combination of segments.

No, segments cannot be combined to create new segments.

Line items can be targeted to a combination of segments.

Limit on number of segments  Total of 20,000 first-party segments Currently no limit
When are updated segment counts reflected in the UI? About every 30 minutes Varies by management platform About every 30 minutes Varies by owner Varies by data management platform Varies by data management platform

Table details

How it's displayed

  • Data provider
    • The data provider field is an easy way to determine the origin of an audience segment and differentiate between different segment types.
  • Segment details
    • The segment details page is available when clicking on the hyperlinked segment name.
    • Segment details are not available for all types of Audience segments.
    • The details page displays additional information about segment behavior, such as targeting and membership criteria, and segment membership expiration times.
    • The details available for a given segment may differ based on the segment type.
  • Naming convention
    • Publishers should institute a convention when naming segments in Ad Manager to explicitly document information about the segment origin or purpose, and what type of identifiers are contained within the segment.  This allows for easier segment visual identification and sorting/filtering within the UI.
    • Segments originating outside of Ad Manager cannot be renamed within Ad Manager.

How it's populated

  • Online population
    • Online population is used to modify first-party segment membership based on Ad Manager ad serving behavior.  For instance, adding segment users who have seen a specific ad unit, or loaded a given audience pixel.
  • Offline population
    • Offline population refers to processes used to modify segment membership independently of ad serving.  For instance, batch upload of identifiers into audience segments (provided lists).
    • Shared audience segments are managed in an offline process by the owner (sharer) of the audience segment. If a publisher does not own the segment, the publisher will not be able to modify the segment membership through Ad Manager.
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