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Tunnl | Products | Audiences

The Difference Between Pre-Built Audiences, Custom Audience Projects, and Custom Audience Subscriptions

July 18th, 2022 | 6 min. read

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You need your advertising to reach the right people with the right message to make an impact and inspire action. That’s where audiences come in.

Tunnl’s mission is to provide you with the hyper-relevant, human insights you need to maximize your outreach campaigns. That’s why we offer three different audience solutions to power your purpose-driven marketing, issue advocacy, and brand reputation campaigns: 

  1. Pre-Built Audiences
  2. Custom Audience Projects
  3. Custom Audience Subscriptions

But what’s the difference between the three options, and which is the right fit for you?

Let’s take a look at each Tunnl Audience solution so you know what to expect from each. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the different Tunnl Audience solutions so you can determine which is the best fit for your campaign goals.

(Need a refresher on what a Tunnl Audience is? We cover the basics in this quick read.)

What Can You Expect In Each Tunnl Audience Solution?

Each Tunnl Audience is an individualized, hyper-relevant list of people grouped together by how receptive they are to a particular message, issue, or cause.

We collect audience data via a proprietary mix of resources and large-sample studies. Depending on the advertiser’s needs, Tunnl Audiences can be nationwide or focused on a more specific geographic region.

Above all, each Tunnl Audience we create provides hyper-relevant, human insights covering the most critical information to understanding – and impacting – your target consumer:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Race
  • Political party
  • Sex
  • Education
  • Media consumption patterns

So, where do the three Tunnl Audience solutions differ? You can expect differences in . . .

  • Specificity of issue, cause, or area profiled
  • Frequency of data refreshes
  • Price

Let’s dive in.

What Is a Pre-Built Audience?

A Pre-Built Audience by Tunnl is an issue- or cause-specific audience we have already identified, studied, and provided insights for. You can immediately start leveraging these audiences against your purpose-driven marketing, issue advocacy, or brand reputation campaigns. 

Simply select the audience that best fits your needs from Tunnl’s Free, Pre-Built Audience Library, then activate it across your digital and linear campaigns within the Tunnl Platform, one of our partner platforms, or in the third-party marketplace of your choosing.

“Tunnl’s Pre-Built Audiences provide insight on which American adults land in what buckets for a vast amount of issues and causes,” says David Seawright, Chief Revenue Officer at Tunnl. “There is a massive amount of data you can access in the Pre-Built Audience Library.”

The Pre-Built Audience Library is made up of 250+ of the most sought-after audiences today and covers a wide range of issues, including:

Explore Our Free, Pre-Built Audience Library


What Is a Custom Audience Subscription?

While there are many top-of-mind audiences in our Pre-Built Audience Library, it may not cover more particular, extra-niche issues or causes. If you need a more niche audience, then a Custom Audience Subscription is likely the perfect solution.

A Custom Audience Subscription is an audience we build specifically for you based on data we gather over the entire nation. You have access to your custom, nationwide audience for one year, during which time it is routinely refreshed to keep your campaigns informed by the latest social sentiments and cultural trends.

“With a Custom Audience Subscription, we build your audiences around your specific issues rather than the more general issues found in our Pre-Built Audiences,” says Brian Rose, Vice President of Business Development at Tunnl. 

He continues, “Subscriptions are the right fit for advertisers who need to reach and influence a subset of people who care about particularly specific causes and issues, then want to keep their fingers on the pulse of their audience as time goes on.”

Consider the following questions when determining whether a Custom Audience Subscription is your ideal solution:

  • Do you need to communicate with an extra niche group of people not found in Tunnl’s Pre-Built Audience Library?
  • Do you need regularly refreshed data to stay aligned with public opinion? 
  • Do you need to reach people at a national level?
  • Is your organization focused on purpose-driven marketing or issue advocacy?

If you answered “yes,” then we recommend a Custom Audience Subscription for your campaign.

Learn More About Custom Audience Subscriptions

What Is a Custom Audience Project?

Similar to a Custom Audience Subscription, a Custom Audience Project is an extra-niche audience that we tailor-make for you. The key difference between a Custom Audience Project and Custom Audience Subscription is that the former offers insights at a specific geographic level, rather than nationwide. 

For instance, if you need targeted insights of people in Fulton County, Georgia, who are persuadable on banning the sale of e-cigarettes, a Custom Audience Project can offer you the laser-focused data you need on these individuals in this specific geographic location. 

On the other hand, if your campaign would benefit from a nationwide audience sample that is routinely updated with fresh data, having national, quarterly refreshed insights provided by a Custom Audience Subscription would be ideal.

Custom Audience Projects are a one-time solution. Once your project is complete, you'll have a ready-to-use audience that you can activate any time. (Should you require frequent refreshes, we recommend a Custom Audience Subscription.)

To determine whether a Custom Audience Project is the right fit for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need to communicate with people concerning an extra niche issue or cause not found in Tunnl’s Pre-Built Audience Library?
  • Do you need to reach a hyper-segmented group of people in a specific geographic area?
  • Do you need to reach people at a county, state, or regional level?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then a Custom Audience Project is a highly recommended choice for your campaign.

Discuss a Custom Audience Project with Tunnl

You Now Understand the Three Different Tunnl Audience Solutions. Where Do You Go from Here?

Audiences allow you to identify the people who care about your message and reach them where they are, enabling deep and authentic connections. Whether you need audience insights on the most pressing issues of the day or more niche concerns or causes, Tunnl is here to help. 

Now that you understand the differences between Tunnl’s Pre-Built Audiences, Custom Audience Projects, and Custom Audience Subscriptions, you are empowered to move forward with the solution best suited for your campaign goals. 

If you want to see what Pre-Built Audiences are available . . .

You may be wondering if Tunnl’s Pre-Built Audiences are really free. Yes, they are, and they’re all available in our Pre-Built Audience Library. View the full list here to discover whether your ideal audience is already available for your use. 

If you’re ready to move forward with a custom solution . . .

You may have determined that your organization would most benefit from a Custom Audience Project or Custom Audience Subscription. Tunnl is ready to get your custom audience insights to you quickly and cleanly. To begin, contact Nate Romberg, Tunnl’s Sr. Director of Partnership Sales, at

If you aren’t sure whether you need a Custom Audience Project or Custom Audience Subscription . . . 

Maybe you’re still undecided on if you’d most benefit from an ongoing subscription or not. We understand that each client has unique audience and budgetary requirements. To discuss these two solutions’ fitness for your custom needs, contact Brian Rose, Tunnl’s Vice President of Business Development, at