Data Collection

Learn more about how Pathmatics delivers the most complete picture of the digital ad landscape possible

How We Collect Our Data

Pathmatics collects a sample of digital ads from the web. In order to report the most complete picture of the digital advertising landscape, we rely on two leading data sourcing technologies: panels and data aggregators.

Our panel

Mobile app panels

Our mobile app panels enable us to track ads served to real mobile app users.

Each time each panelist is served a paid mobile ad on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat, we are given details about the ad.

Desktop panel

Our desktop panel enables us to track the ads served to real desktop users.

Each panelist has a Chrome extension installed on their browser and when they are shown an ad, we are given details about the ad.

CTV device panel

Our CTV panel enables us to track over-the-top (OTT) ads served to real US households watching various streaming services / apps (e.g., Hulu) on connected TVs (e.g., Apple TV), streaming boxes
(e.g., PlayStation) and streaming sticks (e.g., Roku).

Our panel is opt-in

Users organically discover and voluntarily opt-in to share data about the ads served to them on their
mobile device via free third-party apps; on their Chrome desktop browsers via free third-party Chrome extensions; and on their CTV devices.All participants are presented with a clear 'opt-inʼ explaining the benefits and data collected by their participation.

We value our panelists and use a diverse set of incentive programs to create a panelist community of
hundreds of thousands of participants.

We value privacy

Our panelists share their ad consumption data in a privacy safe manner; we are CCPA and GDPR
compliant. Our panels are managed by third-party partners who only provide us with ad data. Data from panelists is collected with safeguards to mask personally identifiable information (PII).

We never store, use, or report PII such as usernames, email addresses, passwords, retail transactions, or any other information that can be used to personally identify an individual.

Our panel is large and diverse

Our panels include hundreds of thousands of active users representing a diverse set of demographic
characteristics – which means they represent the diverse Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, desktop, and CTV user populations across the biggest global spending regions.

Our data aggregators

Our data aggregators discover ads by visiting sites similar to how users visit sites. We visit randomly
chosen URLs from the top visited URLs on each site. Each visit emulates the depth of typical
user visits appropriate for the site.

Website sampling

We sample each site based on traffic to keep sampling rates low enough for minimal impact on the
advertising ecosystem. This ensures we capture a representative sample of actual ad activity while
remaining respectful web citizens.

Actual numbers vary, but data aggregation ranges from 100 times per day for the smallest sites to a couple thousand times per day for the largest sites. Our sampling frequency enables us to capture new advertisers and campaigns.

For example, a very popular site like is sampled more frequently than a less visited site like


Pathmatics aggregate data from the the most important publishers globally – including the top ~4,000 US sites
based on estimated traffic.

Pathmaticsʼ customers may request new sites to be tracked; since our founding, users have requested 8,000+ additional sites for total US coverage of ~12K+ sites (20K+ globally). These sites represent the important publishers in all covered regions. The sites in each region are updated regularly to reflect trends and changes in the advertising landscape.

Geographic diversity

Pathmatics samples from a geographically distributed set of locations to ensure a representative sample of geographically targeted campaigns. We aggregate data from nearly ~100 metros globally. The regions and metros we aggregate are dynamic based on what we believe will yield the most representative sample possible.

On a given day, we aggregate data across a range of metros in each region.

Our data aggregators sample the web probabilistically – at a frequency determined by each metro's population.

For example, more pages are sampled per day from New York City, NY than Boise, ID.


Similar to how real users interact with various media, Pathmatics aggregates data from a variety of different devices (desktops, tablets, and mobile phones), browsers (e.g., Safari, Chrome, etc.), and operating systems (e.g., Android, iOS, etc.) to ensure representative capture of advertising activity.

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