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Resources / Blog

How to Buy Audience Data (Including Third-Party Data)

Topic: Data Exchange, Programmatic
  • What types of audience data can you buy?
  • What is the source of audience data?
  • How can you buy audience data?
  • 1.) Demand Side Platform (DSP)
  • 2.) Audience Data Marketplaces
  • 3.) Directly from the publisher
  • 4.) Via dedicated auctions – with your own Private Marketplace
  • Learn more about OnAudience – a 3rd-party data provider

Audience data is detailed information about an audience’s online behavior, whether it’s information about the types of products they buy, their interests, browsing habits, and more.

It’s primarily used for running programmatic ad campaigns through a DSP or enriching your current user data with new insights.

Let’s take a look at how you can buy 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-party audience data in different forms and from various sources such as a DSP.

What types of audience data can you buy?

Modern programmatic advertising platforms allow purchasing data segments in raw form or in the form of ready to use segments compliant with a universal taxonomy. These segments are categorized by AI algorithms according to the given business attributes. 

A more advanced option is to purchase on-demand custom segments, tailored to your specific brief. You can expect to see much better results with these audiences, as you’re showing them exactly to the type of people you’re trying to target. Custom segments are available through certain audience data providers, such as OnAudience.

If you’re looking to target people similar to those within your own database, you can start a targeting campaign with look-alike segments to find their digital twins. To easily buy advertising data, such as audience segments or look-alikes you can use DSPs – check the list of top DSPs is an owner of the largest database in Europe with more than 27 billion user profiles from more than 200 markets worldwide. We collect, process, verify, and distribute data on a daily basis, with all current privacy regulations being kept.

What types of audience data can you buy?

Check audience data taxonomies

What is the source of audience data?

Depending on the users you’re trying to target, you can pick mobile and/or desktop data for your ad channels. Mobile audience data is extracted via Mobile Ad ID (MAID) based on the applications that the person is using. The ID is the same across all applications for a single user (device), which makes the cross-matching process easier. Desktop data, however, is obtained via cookies based on users’ browsing activity.  

How can you buy audience data?

There are multiple platforms that allow you to buy audience data from various sources, e.g., from data brokers. Some of them offer more functions than just data purchasing. To start doing data-driven advertising or take it to the next level you should find a trustworthy data provider. How can you make sure that the data provider is worth the price and if it offers high-quality data that’s compliant with current privacy regulations? We gathered 10 points to check before choosing a perfect audience data marketplace. Find out more in our article: How to choose a 3rd party data provider

These are the 4 most common ways of buying audience data:

1.) Demand Side Platform (DSP)

Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) are used by advertisers, advertising agencies, marketing teams, and Agency Trading Desks. DSPs allow you to buy ad space for the advertisement. Additionally, the DSP platform lets you purchase audience data for the chosen ad inventory (placement). 

The process of buying audience data via DSPs is similar for all platforms. 

2.) Audience Data Marketplaces

Audience Data Marketplace is another platform for purchasing audience data, operationally similar to DSPs. Besides being able to purchase data, ADMs allow the aggregation of audience data from various sources. This means that you can have bigger control of the data, as well as more available data.

3.) Directly from the publisher

You can also buy audience data directly from publishers. They collect audience data from their websites thanks to data points called pixels. Gathered user attributes serve as the basis for behavioral audience reports so that publishers know exactly who their visitors are, including interests and online behavior.

4.) Via dedicated auctions – with your own Private Marketplace

You can buy user data via a dedicated auction – with your own PMP. This is another tactic for marketers and publishers to achieve cooperation on a permission level. Here you can make your bids within a particular circle of auction participants and get dedicated datasets, including unique taxonomy. This way you can be sure that your data is high-quality and transparent. 

How to find your target audience?

Check online taxonomy by

Learn more about OnAudience – a 3rd-party data provider

As an owner of the largest database of audience data in Europe, is one of the world’s largest data providers which offer packed audience segments (1,200+ segments) and distributes them within the most popular DSPs and 3rd-party marketplaces at the same time.

We also provide raw data called Data Stream and we developed our own Data Management Platform for collecting, analyzing, sharing, and activating users’ data.

Additionally, OnAudience offers 3rd-party data that is:

  • GDPR-compliant
  • Accurate and up-to-date (confirmed by Nielsen DAR)
  • Made up of 1,200+ predefined segments and 27 billion user profiles

View available audience segments

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