App Marketing

We've been busy: Ad spend audits

Marne Litfin
Content Manager

Since we first announced the launch of our cost data API initiative back at Mobile Spree San Francisco, our integration team has worked overtime to verify the reliability of your data.

They’ve been busy collaborating with all of the networks who have signed on to our initiative to make sure we’re receiving transparent, granular, and (most importantly) correct ad spend data.

Our commitment to transparency in mobile advertising is unparalleled; it’s what sparked the genesis and development of our Ad Spend API, and is what continues to drive us. This is why our integration engineers are currently conducting audits with each and every network that implements our Ad Spend API. These audits certify the accuracy of all ad spend data passed by the network via the new API.

Our requirement is that every approved network passes your ad spend data with less than five percent discrepancy.

How an ad spend audit works

We’ve set the bar high for networks: to conduct the audits, we’ve required them to send us two very high volume/high-value campaigns and let them run for two weeks. We then manually check the data to make sure that the level of discrepancies meets our threshold.

Kristina Grimmer, Adjust’s Senior Solutions Engineer, explained the auditing process a little deeper: “For a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) campaign, we would pull all impressions for a specific subset of time and check firstly that we’ve received cost parameters for all of those impressions. We then cross-check the received impressions with the impressions shown in the dashboard for the campaign in question. In some cases, the CPM can vary within the timeframe we’re looking at, so we check that the eCPM (effective CPM) lies within the range of all CPM values.”

Many networks have already passed the audit with full marks. According to Kristina, “So far almost all of the networks have been great; we’ve been so impressed with the level of accuracy. Most networks have fallen not only under the five percent discrepancy threshold, but have actually been closer to one percent overall.”

Failing an ad spend audit

When a network fails the audit, our integration engineers set out to find out why.

We’ve found that of the networks that have failed their first audit, the biggest issue hasn’t been inaccurate cost data, but about a discrepancy with goal-related campaign caps. If a campaign has a cap on clicks or installs, and that cap is reached, the network will stop the campaign.

For the networks who have failed, their mistake was that they stopped the campaign on their end but continued to send us data. It’s a short-term stumbling block for sure, but one that can be easily remedied. In the near future, we will share with you all of the networks who have passed our ad spend audit and officially support Adjust ad spend data.

Why an Ad Spend API from your attribution provider?

  • If you’re a mobile advertiser, you shouldn’t have to set up API keys for every network you want to receive ad spend from (to get a partial view of your cost data in return).
  • If every network required you to integrate their API, this might require 30+ API key setups just to get cost data - at the most aggregate level, not to mention at the level of granularity you actually need it at.
  • Our API is a direct, server-to-server connection between networks and Adjust. This means that the API is fully compliant with Europe’s strictest privacy standards and presents no legal issues for networks; this process is more secure than pulling the data from their reporting API.
  • For networks who don’t know what their cost data on engagement is, our API is the perfect solution, as networks can send cost data asynchronously, waiting until they know the final cost amount.

If there are networks that you’d like to see integrate our ad spend API, please reach out now to your friendly, local Adjust wizard at and we’ll work some magic!

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