Bidstream location data: Is the right choice to get quality insights?

April 16, 2021

What is Bidstream Data?

Bidstream data is data that is passed with a bid request. A bid request is a set of information sent by ad exchanges to the advertisers containing inventory details like:

  • Platform
  • number of impressions
  • keys to user data (IP, pixels, tags, cookies).

In addition, for marketing purposes, a publisher may also share other data with advertisers, as a bid request:

  • Location (IP address, zip code)
  • Device (type, model, screen size, CPU speed, OS, connection)
  • Ad data (publisher URL, ad unit size, and format)

So basically, we refer to bidstream as data collected by ad servers when ads are served on a website or mobile app.

Think about it, every time we open a website or a mobile app, in which ads pop up, the ad publisher gets a bunch of information, including our location, and then this information is passed to the ad firm that provides that ad.

Pros and Cons of Bidstream: Is it worth it?

One advantage of this type of data source over other sources is that it is both easier to scale and easier to obtain.

But consequently, there are several disadvantages like

  • Low accuracy, because data is often back-derived from IP address database providers who are unable to convert IP addresses to lat/long coordinates, so the data is inaccurate.
  • Low-quality, because it is collected from requests for advertising offers.
  • Inaccurate location positioning, because when location database providers convert IP to GPS coordinates, all users connected to the same IP will result in the same location. Therefore, it frequently happens that data analysts do not have a trustworthy picture of where these users are really located.

Also, considering, for instance, that everyone is constantly using their phones, it results in a huge number of data points that may or may not be attributed correctly.

Thus, quite often, bidstream data is inaccurate and unreliable.

Pros and Cons of Bidstream

Focus on Transparency

For this reason, nowadays, there is an increasing focus on data quality over quantity: marketers are demanding more transparency about how the data is created or where exactly it is from.

As we mentioned above, the problem with bidstream location data is that it doesn’t provide the exact device location in many cases. Without accurate data, it is tough to understand the context of the device and get meaningful insights that consequently provide marketers with enduring ROI.

Final thoughts

Bidstream data is easy to obtain and scale, but it is often inaccurate and unreliable. Of course, there are a lot more different sources that provide location data, but certainly, an important aspect to consider is transparency.

Understanding the strengths or weaknesses of different data sources makes it easier to decide how and where best to use them. Follow our blog to learn more about other data sources that provide more detailed and accurate information about the location and people movements.

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