Usage metering for value-based pricing (VBP)

mParticle has a new pricing model called value-based pricing (VBP). With VBP, mParticle meters your usage across multiple billing items and draws down from pre-paid mParticle Credits at the end of each billing period. Billing items include events and audiences and a few other factors.

Your contract specifies a price per unit (unit price) for each billing item. Most billing items are in units of one million event counts, but a few items are different, as explained later in this topic.

Understanding mParticle Credits

mParticle Credits are a universal currency that mParticle customers can use to buy any product on the mParticle platform.

How mParticle Credits are purchased

Your company makes an upfront contractual credit commitment to unlock access to a discounted rate for mParticle Credits based on your usage. The higher the minimum commitment, the higher the discount tier that is available. You can also choose to purchase additional mParticle Credits at any time.

How mParticle Credit usage is calculated

At the end of each billing cycle, mParticle measures your usage, and then calculates the number of mParticle Credits consumed, using the pricing in your contract. Remember that events are counted in units of one million (1M).

Example mParticle Credit usage calculation

Assume your contract specified the following unit prices in mParticle Credits (mPCs) for three billable items:

  • 60 mPCs per million Preserve tier events.
  • 74 mPCs per million Personalize tier events.
  • 5 mPCs per additional six months of long term data storage.

In one billing period you use the following quantities:

  • Ingested five million Preserve tier events (300 mPCs)
  • Ingested two million Personalize tier events (148 mPCs)
  • Two additional six-month units of long term data storage (70 mPCs) To calculate the additional storage cost, multiply the additional storage unit price (5 mPCs) times the number of units (2 additional units) times the number of Preserve and Personalize tier event units (7).

The total mPCs consumed for the billing period is 518: 300 + 148 + 70

This guide explains how mParticle calculates the quantities for each billable item. Each quantity is then multiplied by the unit price in your contract to determine the number of mPCs used for the billing period.

To ensure you receive the fairest usage calculation, mParticle evaluates all billable items as described in the following sections.

Use the following quick reference table to understand at a glance how quantities are calculated. Each quantity calculation is explained in detail after the table.

Billable items quick reference

The following quick-reference table lists the billable items for credit usage calculations.

Factor
Calculation
Events ingested in each event tier Greater of: number of event units ingested or number of event units after All Output rules applied. See Tiered Events for details.
Additional long-term retention Number of additional storage units purchased, multiplied by the sum of Preserve and Personalize Tier event units
Additional Real-Time Audience Storage Lookback Number of additional storage units purchased, multiplied by Personalize Tier event units
Eventless batches Counted as one Personalize tier event
Real-time products Per workspace, the number of active real-time products minus five, and if the number is greater than zero, multiply it by the number of Personalize tier event units. See Real-time products for details.
Real-time invocations Number of real-time invocations. See Real-time invocation calculation for details.
mParticle-hosted rule invocations Number of mParticle-hosted rules invoked in a billing period (retries not included)
Backfill and data replays Number of event units retrieved from storage and used in audience calculations or data replays
Profile API Excluded from usage calculation. See Profile API calcluation for block pricing details.
Cortex Multiply the number of active IAs and the number of event units used by Cortex from mParticle in a billing period.
Indicative Number of events used by Indicative in a billing period

Billable items

The usage for each billable item listed in the quick-reference table is calculated and the total value is drawn down as mPCs each billing period.

Tiered Events

Each event is a data point that records an action taken by a user in your app or system.

  • Events may be of a predefined event type ready for use in mParticle, or custom events that require mapping.
  • Events are collected automatically after initializing an mParticle SDK or including the JavaScript snippet for Web, or events are ingested via feeds or an API.

Some events matter more to you than others. mParticle provides three tiers to help you map event types to how they are used, and billed, in the platform:

Event Tier Availability
Connect Data is not stored in mParticle, but can be ingested and forwarded. The data is also used for profile enrichment. Because Connect tier events aren’t stored, they won’t be visible in the User Activity view.
Preserve Events marked as Preserve are ingested, stored, and forwarded but are not used in real-time evaluations for audiences or calculated attributes. The data is still available for replaying to third party tools, and for backfills of calculated attributes and standard audience creation. By default, these events are stored for 12 months. If you need the events to be stored for longer, an additional charge applies.
Personalize This tier is the default for all events and related data collected as part of an mParticle ingestion. Events are ingested, available for evaluation in audiences and calculated attributes, stored, and forwarded. By default, these events are available in hot-storage for lookbacks for 30 days. If you need the lookback period to be longer, an additional charge applies.

Event calculation

  1. To calculate the quantity of events, count the number of event units in each tier. Use the larger of:

    • The number of events originally ingested
    • The number of events after All Output rules have been applied
  2. To calculate the credit usage for events, multiply the number of event units in each tier by their unit price in your contract. That total is the number of mPCs used.

A few additional factors affect event usage calculations:

  • To maximize data delivery in all network conditions, an SDK sometimes sends the same event more than once. Even if we send an event more than once, we only count it once.
  • mParticle charges for events blocked by Data Planning.
  • mParticle respects the final event type encountered in the pipeline. If the event type of an event changes using rules, we use the most recent one for metering per tier.
  • Sometimes, mParticle can’t determine the tier of an event dropped using ‘All Output’ rules. For events of unknown tier, mParticle counts them at the lowest tier available in your contract. For example, assume that 100 events are ingested into mParticle (33 Connect tier, 33 Preserve tier, 34 Personalize tier). After the ‘All Output’ Rules stage we have 70 Personalize tier events. In this scenario, the 70 Personalize tier events and the remaining 30 events are counted at the lowest tier, which is Connect tier for most customers.

Additional long-term retention

Additional long-term retention for events is a billable item. For example, if you purchased two six-month units for an additional twelve months of long-term storage for Preserve and Personalize tier events, those extra storage units are calculated and included in your credit draw down.

Additional long-term retention calculation

  1. To calculate the quantity of events, count the number of event units in the Preserve and Personalize tiers.
  2. To calculate the credit usage, multiply the number of additional units by the unit price in your contract for each additional unit, and then multiply that value times the number calculated in step 1. That total is the number of mPCs used.

Additional Real-Time Audience Storage Lookback

Additional Real-Time Audience Storage Lookback (specified in your contract) is a billable item. For example, if you purchased two 30-day units for an additional 60 days of storage for Preserve and Personalize tier events, those extra units are calculated and included in your credit draw down.

Additional Real-Time Audience Storage Lookback calculations

  1. To calculate the quantity of events, count the number of event units in the Personalize tier.
  2. To calculate the credit usage, multiply the number of additional units by the unit price in your contract for each additional unit, and then multiply that value times the number calculated in step 1. That total is the number of mPCs used.

Eventless batches

Batches that are sent server-to-server with only user attributes or user identities but no events are called eventless batches.

Eventless batch calculation

Each eventless batch is counted as one Personalize tier event. If the event tier is not specified in your contract, we count each Eventless Batch as one event of the lowest tier available in your contract.

  1. To calculate the quantity of eventless batches, count the number of eventless batches in each tier. Eventless batches are counted the same as one event, and are calculated using the same one million per unit.
  2. To calculate the credit usage, multiply the number of eventless batch units in each tier by their unit price in your contract. That total is the number of mPCs used.

Real-time products

Active real-time products include Real Time Audiences and Calculated Attributes.

Real-time product calculation

Real-time products are metered per workspace on two dimensions:

  • Number of active products in a given billing period

    The largest number of active real-time audiences and calculated attributes at any point in the given billing period. Five real-time audiences are included in the model, so mParticle subtracts five before using this number to calculate credit usage.

  • Number of Personalize tier events in the same billing period

    Total count of Personalize tier event units ingested in mParticle based on the Event metering logic above.

  1. To calculate the quantity of real-time units for each workspace, multiply the number of Personalize tier event units by the count of real-time products (Maximum active Realtime Audiences + calculated attributes in the billing period minus five). Then sum the values for all workspaces.
  2. To calculate the credit usage: multiply the number from step 1 by the unit price in your contract for Real-time Products to determine the mPCs usage for real-time products.

Real-time invocations

Some early VBP customers are on a version of the pricing model where real-time products are priced based on the number of real-time invocations.

Real-time invocation calculation

  1. To calculate the quantity of real-time invocations, count the number of invocation of events for each active real-time audience and calculated attribute in a billing period.
  2. To calculate the credit usage: multiply the quantity by the unit price in your contract to determine the credit usage for real-time invocations.

mParticle-hosted rule invocations

mParticle-hosted rules are lambda functions that mParticle maintains and administers on behalf of customers in mParticle’s AWS instance.

Hosted rule calculation

  1. To calculate the quantity, count the number of times the lambda is invoked in a billing period.
  2. To calculate the credit usage: multiply the quantity by the unit price in your contract to determine the credit usage for hosted rule invocations.

Note the following:

  • Retries aren’t reported or counted as additional invocations.
  • Customers who host the lambda functions on their own AWS instance aren’t charged under this category.

Backfill and data replays

Customers sometime have to retrieve events from long-term storage and evaluate them for standard audiences or real-time audiences with Unlimited Lookback enabled. Customers may also request that Support perform a data replay. For example, you may create a new audience, a new calculated attribute or request a historical data replay from mParticle Support.

Backfill and data replay calculation

  1. To calculate the quantity of backfill and data replay, count the total number of event units retrieved from storage.
  2. To calculate the mParticle Credit usage, multiply the number of event units in each tier by the unit price in your contract. That total is the number of mPCs used.

Profile API

Profile API can be used to query identities, user memberships, and other data available on an mParticle User Profile, anywhere you can make an HTTP request.

Profile API calculation

In the VBP model, Profile API is provisioned in bands of 50 queries per second. This is not a usage-based charge. We amortize the total cost of Profile API across the duration of the contract.

Cortex Intelligent Attributes

Customers can use mParticle’s Cortex machine learning engine to create Intelligent Attributes (IAs). IAs are attributes generated by predictions, look-alikes, and classification models.

Cortex calculation

Cortex usage is metered on two dimensions:

  • Number of active intelligent attributes (IA)

    An active IA is defined as an IA which has been trained or had predictions run on it at least once in the previous billing period.

  • Events forwarded to Cortex

    Number of event units forwarded to Cortex from mParticle in a given billing period.

  1. To calculate the quantity of Cortex units, count the number of events from mParticle used by Cortex and multiply that with the number of Active Intelligent Attributes (IAs) in the billing period.
  2. To calculate the mParticle Credit usage, multiply the result in step 1 by the unit price in your contract for IAs.

Indicative

Indicative is mParticle’s customer analytics tool that enables product and data teams to move beyond the limitations of traditional BI tools to explore user behavior and engage customers.

Indicative calculation

Indicative usage is metered based on the number of events used in Indicative analysis.

  1. To calculate the quantity of Indicative units, count the number of events from mParticle used by Indicative.
  2. To calculate the mParticle Credit usage, multiply the result in step 1 by the unit price in your contract.

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