Pinsight Media Study Shows Discrepancies in Demographic Data Across Ad Exchanges

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Majority of ad requests on mobile exchanges contain either an assumed age or no age at all.

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The veracity of the data must be the focal point for the industry, and we hope this report will put mobile data, the ground truth of who we are as people, at the forefront of the conversation.

Pinsight Media, the leading provider of insights derived from network-level first-party mobile data, released a white paper today titled ‘Guess My Age: Age Discrepancies Across Ad Exchanges.’ The report tested the accuracy of age information passed on mobile ad exchanges to deliver targeted advertising to consumers.

The study compared age information submitted within an ad request across two high-traffic mobile ad exchanges with ages drawn from verified, first-party data. As a result, significant variances in age were uncovered. In fact, more than 72 percent of ad requests made on an exchange omitted an associated age, and where it was included, more than 60 percent were inaccurate.

“We had strong suspicions about the general accuracy of demographic data, but these results were a surprise even to us,” said Matt Habiger, Chief Data Scientist at Pinsight Media. “Inaccuracies in simple demographic data like age build upon one another, resulting in inefficient ad spend, limited reach and increased waste, which is a concern for the mobile RTB ecosystem.”

The resulting report was built from an analysis of demographic data shared on exchanges and leveraged a sample size of more than one million mobile users. Pinsight’s data science team layered anonymized age data with its own network-sourced data, which confirmed the team’s hypothesis. More importantly, the study shows a major industry opportunity to increase transparency between demand and supply as global mobile RTB ad revenue and market share continue to increase.

“Despite the continued growth of mobile programmatic ad buying, campaign success remains relatively flat due to data overload within the industry,” said Kevin McGinnis, CEO of Pinsight Media. “The veracity of the data must be the focal point for the industry, and we hope this report will put mobile data, the ground truth of who we are as people, at the forefront of the conversation.”

The report also sheds light on the rapid growth of mobile programmatic ad buying despite a lack of specificity and transparency in the data across the entire ecosystem.

“This year, the performance of the data must live up to its promise if mobile RTB will continue to scale. This starts with a deep understanding of, and a foundation in, mobile data,” McGinnis adds. “The time for us as an industry to come together and address these issues is now.”

For more information and to download a full copy of the report, visit

About Pinsight Media
Pinsight Media is the leading provider of verified, first-party mobile data sourced straight from the network. The company works directly with marketers to fuel intelligent brand decisions by providing actionable insights about their target customers. The Pinsight Media Data Management Platform (DMP) ingests over 60 terabytes of data daily from more than 30 unique sources across 65 million devices. Its data science experts use a proprietary method to combine verified, first-party data with mobile web, app and location data to understand the persistent behaviors of those with the highest propensity to engage. This helps maximize spend, minimize waste and refine marketing messages. For more information, visit


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Erica Cohen
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