How ad spend source affects your data

Adjust uses two different ad spend sources for fetching ad spend data:

  • Ad spend network
  • Ad spend attribution

Ad spend network

With this source, Adjust uses a dedicated report API to pull ad spend data for each linked partner. Multi-day lookback is available by default for 14 days. You can also refetch and ingest your data on request. All data is broken down and stored in the dimensions offered by the network.

By using the network's API, there is little room for discrepancies in the reported numbers. The ad spend data is reported in network dimensions with explicit network IDs. These dimensions are Campaign ID, Adgroup ID, Source ID, and Ad ID.

Data pulled from the Network APIs is reported when the ad spend source is set to Network.

Ad spend attribution

This method uses Adjust’s ad spend on engagement method to report ad spend data. Adjust receives ad spend information at the time of click or impression. Ad spend on engagement requires networks to send Adjust ad spend data points using parameters appended to click and impression link URLs.

For example:

This is a convenient way for partners to share ad spend data with Adjust. However, the values are static and permanently linked to the engagement. This means they cannot dynamically update alongside real-time changes to bids.

As a result, ad spend data may be under-reported on the Adjust dashboard and you may see discrepancies with the partner dashboard.

Adjust ad spend on engagement data is reported when the ad spend source is set to Attribution.

Mixed source

The mixed source lets you see ad spend data for your campaigns in one view, no matter which method Adjust used to fetch it. This means you do not need to switch between the Attribution and Network sources.

When you use mixed source, Adjust first checks whether the network is integrated. If the network is not integrated, we display data from the Ad Spend (Attribution) metric instead.

Ad spend metrics

Here you can see the relevant metrics for Adjust's ad spend collection methods.

Ad spendUsed if the ad_spend_source is set to mixed. This means:
  • Ad spend = Ad spend (Network) if the partner uses our Ad Spend API integration
  • Ad spend = Ad spend (Attribution) in all other cases.
Ad spend (Network)Always shows data retrieved using the Network API.
Ad spend (Attribution)Always shows data retrieved using Adjust’s ad spend on engagement method.The sum of click_cost + impression_cost + install_cost
Ad Spend DiffShows an absolute value with the difference between the Attribution and Network sources.Ad Spend (Attribution)Ad Spend (Network)