Ad Spend Ingestion guide


At a glance: Ad Spend Ingestion, part of AppsFlyer ROI360, provides advertisers with 100% coverage of their campaign cost reporting needs. Advertisers and ad networks can record the campaign cost from media sources that don't report spend by API or click.

Ad Spend Ingestion


 Watch Using Ad Spend Ingestion

Full campaign cost data

Use Ad Spend Ingestion to aggregate campaign costs from media sources that don't report cost by click or API. Doing so enables you to have a complete picture of your campaign costs and ROI in the Dashboard. 

Cost must be recorded at the campaign level with other dimensions in the advertising hierarchy being optional. The spend (cost) is reported by using CSV files uploaded to the dashboard for ingestion. Updated aggregate cost data are available in the Dashboard within 4 hours of ingestion.

Advertisers and ad networks can send and manage spend files. Agency support is on the roadmap. 

Previously ingested ad spend data can be overwritten if required.

Example use cases:

  • Record the costs incurred originating from networks that do not send cost data by API or attribution link
  • Offline channels, like radio campaigns and billboards
  • Influencers

To manage Ad Spend Ingestion go to ROI360 > Ad Spend Ingestion. Note: The Ad Spend Ingestion page is an account-level page. This means you manage ingestions for all apps in the account using the same page. 

Preparing, uploading, and ingesting ad spend files

Use one of the following workflows to prepare, upload, and ingest ad spend files. 

We recommend that at first, you use the file upload method. This is because error messages due to file format and content issues display immediately, making it simpler for you to resolve issues.

Upload workflows 

Workflow: Upload file in the user interface

Step Description Link

Step for ad networks only: Before an ad network can send files, the advertiser needs to grant the ad network permission

Grant spend ingestion permission

Prepare the CSV file 

CSV file format and schema

Upload and ingest the file in the user interface

Uploading ad spend files


On completion of the ingestion, use the interface to monitor the ingestion:

  • Status
  • Matched rows (In many cases a low matched rows percentage means you have errors in the data)
 Ad spend ingestion actions

Additional procedure: Overwrite previous ingestion

Overwrite previously ingested spend

Workflow: Upload file by email

Step Description Link

Prerequisite step for ad networks: Before an ad network can send files, the advertiser needs to grant them permission. 

Grant spend ingestion permission

Prerequisite: Get an ad spend token

Get an Ad Spend token

Prepare the CSV file

CSV file format and schema

Send the file by email 


5 AppsFlyer emails a status report; it notes if the ingest was successful or if issues were found.  
6  Use the interface to monitor the ingestion:
  • Status 
  • Matched rows (In many cases a low matched rows percentage means you have errors in the data)
Ad spend ingestion actions

Additional procedure: Overwrite previous ingestion

Overwrite previously ingested spend


CSV file format and schema

The ad spend CSV file format, schema, and validation rules are detailed here. If you use Excel or Google sheets to create the file, you must see Excel formatting instructions. 

Before reading further, take note of the most common errors made in preparing the CSV file as depicted in the following screenshot. 


The ad spend CSV file format, schema, and validation rules are detailed in the following sections. If you use Excel or Google sheets to create the file, you must see Excel formatting instructions.


Don't use Excel or Google Sheets to either view or verify that CSV file is formatted correctly. Instead, use an editor

Content rules and schema of ad spend CSV files

Item Requirement

Prohibited characters

Fields in string format can't have =, +, -, or @ as the first character. For example, @example_campign or =123 are prohibited.

Media source

  • One media source per file
  • Multiple apps for the same media source are permitted
  • Limitations:
    • Don't send cost data from a media source that has an existing Cost API integration with AppsFlyer. Ingestion is not allowed from these sources. This includes Meta ads, Apple Search Ads, and Snapchat.

App owner 

One advertiser (app owner) per file permitted. This means that multiple apps from the same advertiser are permitted. 

Filename extension

CSV Example: abc123.csv

File structure

  • Format: Files have a CSV format meaning that each column is separated by a comma. Note this is the way that Excel format CSV files by default. If Excel formats the file with a semi-colon (;) this is related to the regional setting of your computer. 
  • Header row: The first row is a header row that matches the schema
  • Data rows: Contain the mandatory columns. Note: Ensure that there are no trailing blanks in your data. For example, [USD] (a blank follows the D should be changed to [USD].
  • Blank rows: Not permitted
  • Duplicate rows having the same key: Not permitted. The key is derived from using the mandatory fields.
  • Blank cells: Empty values are not allowed in the file. If you do not want to upload certain fields, they should not be in the file.

Advertising hierarchy 

Any partial data that is uploaded at a lower hierarchy will override all data from the campaign level down.

For example: If you ingest a file with campaign cost for adset 1, and separately ingest another file for adset 2 of the same campaign, the total cost of the campaign will be replaced and show only adset 2 data. For total campaign cost, the file you ingest needs to include adset 1 and adset 2. 

Ad Spend CSV schema

Column name 

(case sensitive)





  • The date the spend was incurred
  • Format: String:
    (Best practice) YYYY-MM-DD
  • Future dates not permitted
  • Best practice: Use the same timezone as the one defined for your app in AppsFlyer.
  • Note: Are you using Excel/Google sheets to prepare the file? Read this




  • Format: String
  • App ID as it appears in the Dashboard.
  • Multiple apps are allowed in a single file
  • All apps need to belong to the same advertiser
  • id12356789


  • Format: String
  • Media source name exactly as it appears in the Dashboard. Note: Include the _int suffix if it displays in the Dashboard.
  • Only one media source per file permitted.



  • Format: String
  • Campaign name. If the campaign name appears in the ad network, it should match (case sensitive) to the name as it appears in the ad network.
  • Don't use the same campaign name for multiple apps.



  • Monetary spend
  • Five digits allowed after the decimal point
  • The value 0 (zero) is permitted
  • Note:
    • The format "2,874.12" is not permitted.
    • Are you using Excel/Google sheets to prepare the file? Read this.





Format: String

Two-letter country code compliant with ISO 3166

For the United Kingdom use UK, not GB.
Note: Ensure that you send two characters with no blanks.





  • Format: String
  • Three-letter currency code compliant with ISO 4217. Note: Ensure that you send three characters with no leading or trailing blanks.
  • One currency code per app in the file allowed. Different apps can have different currency codes. 



Will default to USD if left empty.


Format: String



Note: If attribution data exists with both name and ID, the CSV must contain both in order to match.


Format: String



Format: String  my_adset_1


Format: String id5678ghi


Format: String  my_ad_name


Format: String  id91011jkl


Format: String  id1213mno No


Format: String   video No


Format: String

  • better
  • better you app
  • better you online

Note: Names having non-English characters must be encoded using UTF-8.

Getting an Ad Spend token

The Ad Spend token is used to verify that the email sender is authorized to submit the ad spend ingestion file. Advertiser and ad network tokens are different. 


  • Advertisers do not share your token with ad networks.
  • The ad network has its own unique token. 
  • Advertiser token:
    • The same token is valid for all apps in the account
    • Any account user can retrieve the Ad Spend token
  • Ad network token:
    • The same token is used for all advertisers
    • In addition, the advertiser needs to grant the ad network permission to submit ingestion files. 

To retrieve the ad spend token:

  1. In AppsFlyer, Go to ROI360 > Ad Spend Ingestion. 
  2. In the upper right-hand of the page, click View Ad Spend token.
    The Ad Spend token is displayed. 
  3. Copy and save the Ad Spend token.

Granting an ad network ingestion permission

To grant the ad network Ad Spend Ingestion permission:

  1. In AppsFlyer, the advertiser needs to go to Configuration > Integrated Partners. 
    The Integrated Partner page displays.
  2. Select the integrated partner.
  3. Go to the Permissions tab. 
  4. Enable Ad Network Permissions if it is not already so.
  5. (optional) Add account users.
  6. Enable Allow spend ingestion.

Sending ad spend files by email

Email prerequisites:

  • Advertisers: Ad Spend token is required.
  • Ad networks:
    • Ad Spend token is required. 
    • The advertiser needs to grant the partner (ad network) ad spend ingestion permission. 

To send the ad spend file by email:

  1. Complete the email address fields: 
    • CC: Users who should get a copy of the automatic feedback
    • Subject: Paste the Ad Spend token in the subject field. 
    • Attachment: CSV file with the data.
  2. Send the email.
    • On completion of processing, a status email is sent that summarizes the upload and details issues or errors found during processing. The email is sent to all parties on the submission email and to the advertiser admin. Where errors are identified, you should take corrective measures. 
    • You can view the status of files submitted on the Ad Spend Ingestion page

Uploading ad spend files

To upload the ad spend file:

  1. In AppsFlyer, go to ROI360 > Ad Spend Ingestion.
    The Ad Spend Ingestion page displays. 
  2. Click + Ingest Ad spend file
    The Ingest Ad spend window opens.
  3. Drag the CSV file to the Ingest Ad spend file window.
    The Processing file message displays.
  4. If an error message displays during upload: rectify the error and repeat the relevant steps. 
  5. The Ad Spend Ingestion: file summary window opens.


  6. Do one of the following:
    • Abort the upload, click Cancel ingestion
    • Complete the ingestion process, click Ingest file.
      The message, All set! displays.
  7. Click Ingest another file or Done.

Managing Ad Spend Ingestions

On the Ad Spend Ingestion page, you can perform the following actions. 

  • Monitor the status of ingested files: To identify ingestion files that require your attention as the data may not have been ingested or was ingested partially. You may need to resubmit these files.
  • Monitor the unmatched rows indicator: If the matched rows percentage is low, this can be a symptom of data with errors.
  • Download copies of CSV files submitted
  • Revert (cancel) the ingestion

Permission to view uploaded files and unmatched reports:

  • All account users can access the Ad Spend Ingestion page 
  • Access to detailed information is restricted to account users who have app permission.
  • If a file contains the data of multiple apps, the account user requires access to all the apps referenced in the file.

Ad Spend Ingestion actions

To view the ingestion status at the file level:

    • Go to ROI360 > Ad Spend Ingestion.
      The Ad Spend Ingestion page displays the list of uploaded files.
    • If you have app permissions to all the apps contained in the file, use the Action command to:
      • Download CSV file: This a copy of the CSV file that was uploaded.
      • Download unmatched report for all apps in the file.

To view the ingestion status at the app-level:

  • Select the file.
    The app-level page displays. The list of apps in the ad spend file displays.


  • Perform file-level or app-level actions as described here.
  • File-level: If you have app permissions to all the apps contained in the file, you can use the controls in the upper-right right side of the page to: 
    • Revert (cancel) the Ad Spend Ingestion for all apps in the file. 
    • Download a copy of the CSV file that was submitted. 
  • App-level: If you have app permission for a specific app you can do so by using the Action command:
    • Download app data.
    • Download unmatched report for the app
    • Revert (cancel) the Ad Spend Ingestion for the selected app. 

Status indicators

Status Remarks
Applied Action completed successfully
Reverted Action completed successfully 
Error processing data

AppsFlyer system problem. Wait 10 minutes and try again. If it fails again, contact AppsFlyer support.

No permissions

The token is not approved for this app.

  • Advertisers: check that that app id is correct.
  • Partner: confirm with the advertiser that they have enabled allow spend ingestion in the Integrated Partners permission tab. 

Validation error



Row matching and the unmatched report

Row matching is the process where the ingestion mechanism matches the ad spend rows reported by ingestion with attribution data recorded in the Dashboard. This is done using all dimensions available in the file’s schema, such as media source, campaign, adset, ad, etc. If they all match, the rows are designated as is-matching=TRUE. 

Names vs IDs

Ad Spend Ingestion identifies a dimension, such as campaign, adset, or ad by its name, without the ID. Currently, Ad Spend Ingestion doesn't support spend reporting using just IDs.

Note: Irrespective of the matching status, the spend is recorded.

 Example: Matched and unmatched rows

Date Media source Campaign Impressions Clicks Cost Matching status
2019-01-01 example abc 5000 100 $1000 is-matching = TRUE
Performance information found
2019-01-02 example abc       is-matching = FALSE
No performance information on 2019-01-02
2019-01-02 example influencer     $2500

is-matching = FALSE
No performance information on 2019-01-02

The percentage of matched rows displays on the ingest page.

If unmatched rows are unexpected, download the unmatched report to investigate the cause. If necessary, cancel the ingestion by reverting it.

The Unmatched report contains a column, is-matched, which can have a value of TRUE (matched) or FALSE (unmatched) rows.

Ad Spend Ingestion page displaying the percentage of matched rows


Overwrite (correct) previously ingested ad spend

Previously ingested ad spend can be overwritten by using CSV files that contain data with the identical key of data previously ingested.

The key is formed from the date, media source, and campaign fields. If the keys match, data ingested last overwrites data previously ingested.

The following examples illustrates ad spend overwrite.

 Example: Ad spend overwrite

+ indicates the mandatory fields

Example A

Spend1.csv ingested on Monday

Date+ App ID+ Media Source+ Campaign+ Spend
2019-06-01 network_x campaign_a 100

Spend2.csv ingested on Tuesday

Date+ App ID+ Media Source+ Campaign+ Spend
2019-06-01 network_x campaign_a 200
The spend data from spend1.csv was overwritten by the spend data in spend2.csv. This is because spend2.csv was ingested last, and the mandatory fields which form the key are the same. 

Example B

Spend3.csv ingested on Monday

Date+ App ID+ Media Source+ Campaign+ Spend Geo
2019-05-01 network_x campaign_a 100 US
2019-05-01 network_x campaign_a 200 CN

Spend4.csv ingested on Tuesday

Date+ App ID+ Media Source+ Campaign+ Spend
2019-05-01 network_x campaign_a 50
The spend data from spend3.csv was overwritten by the spend data in spend4.csv. This is because spend4.csv was ingested last, and the mandatory fields which form the key are the same. Note: Both spend3.csv rows are overwritten. 


Error messages and solutions

The following table lists all possible Ad Spend Ingestion error messages and corresponding solutions. 

Error message Description Solution
None of the app IDs provided in the file exist in AppsFlyer. Please verify the correctness of app IDs. App ID does not exist in the account. Change app ID and resubmit.

Line [line name] has the wrong number of columns. Expected [number] columns, received [number] columns.

All columns in the file must have a value. Change the values populated in the file based on the headers you defined.
Missing 'media-source' in file header.
  • File header is missing media- source.
  • The column name needs to be exactly as it is in the scheme.
Add media-source as a header name.
The file can contain only one media source. Multiple media sources encountered in the file: [number of media sources].  Cannot upload a file with more than one media source. Split the upload into one file for each media source.
The value provided [value] for [field] is not a valid value for this column. Data format in the column is incorrect. For example, the date is dd-mm-yy instead of yyyy-mm-dd. Correct the format and resubmit. 
Multiple currencies identified for the app. Please use a single currency for each app in the file. Encountered currencies: %number of currencies%. Only one currency can be used for an app. Use one currency in the upload and resubmit.
The following columns in the file header are not supported: [file headers]

File header does not match the scheme. Meaning, the column name needs to be exactly as it is in the scheme.

Remove the unsupported columns and resubmit.
Missing required columns in file header: [file headers] File header is missing a mandatory column. Add the missing column and its values and resubmit.
The app contains a future date: [date] Future dates are not allowed. Correct the date to today's date or earlier, and resubmit.
The file is empty. There is no data to process. The file is empty. Populate data in the file and resubmit.
The following two rows conflict due to identical dimensions. Please provide a single row of spend per set of dimensions. [conflicting rows] There is more than one row with the same key (mandatory) fields. Remove the duplicate rows and resubmit.
The file can contain data only from a single advertiser account. Different advertisers encountered in file: [advertiser names] For partners, an upload cannot be for more than one advertiser. Split the upload into one file per advertiser.
The app [app ID] doesn't exist in the account. Please verify the app ID. App ID does not exist. Correct the app ID and resubmit.
Geo (country) code was not found for app [app ID]. Use an ISO 3166 2-letter code Geo does not exist. Correct the geo and resubmit.
Currency code was not found for app [app ID]. Use an ISO 4217 3-letter code. Currency does not exist Change the currency to a valid currency and resubmit.
There were validation errors for one or more apps in the file. Please review the file information for more details. There is more than one error in the file. Download the file and review for errors.
There was an internal error processing the file, please try uploading it again.
  • Backend issue processing the file.
  • Typically a temporary issue.
Wait 1 hour and upload again.

Ingested cost data does not display or displays in a separate row

Symptom 1: Cost data does not display after successful ingestion

  1. In the dashboard, check to see if the campaign name displays more than once.
  2. If so, locate the row where the campaign ID is blank.
    The row with the blank campaign ID contains the cost. 

Symptom 2: The ingested cost displays in a separate (additional row) without performance (installs) dataThe campaign ID in the row is blank.

Cause: When both campaign ID and campaign name exist in attribution data, the CSV must contain both in order for AppsFlyer to correctly to match the cost data and avoid separate line items.

Using Excel to format date and spend fields of CSV files

When using Excel/Google sheets to create a CSV file, the date and spend columns need to be formatted correctly before you save the file as a CSV file. Use the following procedures to format the date and spend fields correctly. 

After saving the CSV file, verify that the content is formatted correctly. Note: Don't use Excel to do the verification, rather use an editor

Formatting date cells in Excel

To format date cells in Excel with the format YYYY-MM-DD:

  1. Select the cells to be formatted.
  2. Right-click, select Format cells.
    The format cells window opens.


  3. Select Custom.
  4. In the Type field, enter YYYY-MM-DD
  5. Click OK.
    The date is formatted.

Formatting Spend cells in Excel

Excel usually formats value cells with a comma to separate the thousands, as shown in the figure. This format is not suitable for Ad Spend Ingestion files. 


You can correct this by formatting the cells in Excel. 

To format the spend amounts without a 1000 separator

  1. Select the cells to be formatted.
  2. Right-click, select Format cells.
    The format cells window opens.
  3. Select Number.


  1. Clear Use 1000 separator (,). 
  2. (Optional) Set the number of Decimal places. The default is 2. The maximum permitted is 5. 
  3. Click OK.
    The cells are formatted correctly.

Visual inspection of the CSV file without Excel

To examine the content of the CSV file, use an editor to view the file. 

  • Windows: Notepad, Notepad++
  • macOS: TextEdit

The following contains a screenshot of the example CSV file displayed in an editor. 

Editor view


Using an editor, examine the CSV file. Pay special attention to the following:

  • Blank spaces: Ensure that there are no leading or trailing blank spaces before or after the commas that separate the fields. In Excel, use the @trim command to remove blank spaces. 
  • Date: Ensure that the date field has the format YYYY-MM-DD. 
  • Spend: Ensure that there is no comma in the spend field.


CSV files generated by Excel don't have commas as delimiters

If Excel creates CSV file with a semi-colon ";" or other character as a delimiter but not a comma:

  • This occurs when your computer's regional settings are set to a language/region that is not English.
  • This issue is particularly prevalent when German is selected in the regional settings.
  • The solution differs depending on your computer operating system (macOS or Windows).
  • To resolve this issue, search for the latest guidance from Microsoft or other forums to revolve. Use the following search terms: Operating system (macOS or Windows) Excel change delimiter for CSV files.

Traits and limitations

Trait Ad Spend Ingestion supports Remarks 
Ad networks    
Agencies x
  • Agencies can't upload data.
  • If an advertiser uploads their agency's data, the agency may still not be able to view their cost and attribution data properly.
Agency transparency x  
App-specific time zone  
App-specific currency  Campaign costs are converted to the app-specific currency.
Campaign name N/A The same campaign name can't be used for multiple apps, or the cost of one app will apply to both.
Field names N/A

If field names in the campaign hierarchy do not match the field names as they appear in the attribution data, they will be counted separately. 

For example, if the campaign names do not match, then even though the campaign IDs are the same, they will be counted as different campaigns.

File size N/A

When uploading a CSV ad spend ingestion file the size limit is:

  • Via AppsFlyer dashboard: 2 MB
  • Via email: 5 MB
Organic data  
Non-organic data  
Data freshness Ad spend  
Historical data

Cost reported can be reverted, and corrected data submitted, for up to 90 days.

Retargeting x  
Account user access