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RudderStack vs. Segment feature and pricing comparison

You collect a great deal of data about your customers. But how much of it do you actually use? Turning it into business value requires that your data be unified, coherent, and easily accessible across your organization. If it isn’t, you’re missing the insights hidden in that information. That’s where a customer data platform (CDP) comes in.

CDPs bring all your data together so you get a clearer, more comprehensive picture of each customer. And, by collecting, unifying, protecting and making data activation possible, CPDs unleash a world of data-driven possibilities. From helping marketers craft personalized, omnichannel campaigns to assisting product teams with analyzing feature engagement, savvy business decisions are made possible thanks to the real-time data that CDPs provide. 

RudderStack and Segment are two CDP options that offer similar functionality, but each differs in important ways. Let’s see how they compare—and look at how’s Data Pipelines CDP stacks up.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is RudderStack?

RudderStack is an open-source CDP with a warehouse-native approach, designed for developers and built with the needs of marketers in mind. With RudderStack, you’re able to collect, manipulate and distribute data to all the tools in your stack. 

Top RudderStack features:

  • Event transformations that let you manipulate, mask and enrich your data
  • Comprehensive dashboards for detailed, data-backed inisights
  • Real-time event streaming
  • API-based data collection
  • Data warehouse and data lake integrations

What is Segment?

Segment’s CDP aims to help both B2B and B2C businesses ingest, understand, and activate customer data from a wide variety of sources. Designed primarily for the needs of marketers, the platform’s UI-based approach and advanced no-code functionality make it simple to implement and use without a heavy engineering lift. In addition to connecting to various data warehouses, Segment offers a native data warehouse option. 

Top Segment features:

  • Profiles Sync, which automatically syncs customer profiles to your data warehouse
  • Real-time audiences (with Twilio Engage product)
  • Data capture, transfer, integrations, and masking
  • Automatic data backup
  • Customer tracking across channels and devices

RudderStack vs. Segment: a deep dive on key features

Now that we understand the top features that set both RudderStack and Segment apart, let’s look at a few in detail. From reverse ETL to data storage, data governance and event transformations, both Segment and RudderStack take unique approaches to data management.

Let’s dive in to see how they compare.

Rudderstack vs. Segment key feature and pricing comparison chart

Key feature #1: Reverse ETL

Both Segment and RudderStack come with reverse ETL features that allow you to extract data from your data warehouse and send it to predefined destinations in nearly real-time. But, in both cases the capability comes with limitations.

With RudderStack’s reverse ETL, you can import customer data and route it to other tools in your tech stack. It also lets you turn warehouse data into an event stream and send it to every destination in your stack for activation. What’s more? You can set a schedule for importing data from your reverse ETL sources while setting them up in your dashboard. Simply specify the schedule type to define how and when the syncs will run. Sources, models, and audiences are limited on the free and Starter plans. 

Conversely,  Segment offers reverse ETL on its free and two paid plans. With the free plan, you can send up to 500,000 reverse ETL records per month. Segment’s Personas audience builder is required to sync data from your data warehouse to your cloud applications via its Personas SQL Traits feature. 

Key feature #2: Data storage

RudderStack does not store any data; both first-party data and events are passed directly into your data warehouse. Since event data isn’t stored, you’ll need a separate intermediate storage solution for all the events you track. You get at least 10 data warehouse destinations on all three of RudderStack’s pricing tiers (including the free plan), and data is synced every 30 minutes.

Segment, on the other hand, stores both customer and event data on its platform before sending it to a warehouse, which gives you the option of requesting data replay. It allows for one data warehouse destination on the free and Team plans, but you can have unlimited destinations on the most expensive Business plan. Segment also offers its own native data warehouse option. Syncing frequency varies by plan tier: daily on the free plan, twice a day on the Team plan, and custom frequency on the Business plan.

Key feature #3: Data governance and privacy

RudderStack allows you to collect clean event data across the entire pipeline with its suite of data governance tools. Because the platform doesn’t store any data (neither customer data nor event data), you don’t have to worry about GDPR and InfoSec data privacy concerns. Advanced governance and security features, like HIPAA/BAA compliance and custom tracking, are available on the highest-cost plan. 

Segment stores all the event data you send through its CDP, and offers a data privacy process and demonstrated compliance with industry-standard security protocols. Its privacy portal, available on all plan tiers, provides an overview of tracked personally identified information, automated alerts for new unclassified data, and a means for complying with “right to forget” requests. Just like with RudderStack, you’ll need to sign up for the highest-cost plan for HIPAA/BAA compliance, data tracking, and other advanced protocols. Many of those features require an extra fee on top of your subscription. 

Key feature #4: Real-time event transformations

With RudderStack, you can leverage event data with transformation libraries and JavaScript transformations on every plan (Python transformations are available for the two highest-priced plans). Transformations are configured in code within RudderStack’s UI, which can add complexity. Even without making code-level changes to your sources, you’ll likely need to devote engineering time to take advantage of transformations. However, you get precise control over and visibility into your events’ destinations.

Segment’s functionality is similar to RudderStack’s, allowing you to create your own event data sources and destinations within your workspace. This allows you to bring new types of data into the platform and send data to new tools with just a few lines of JavaScript. Segment also offers no-code transformations and filtering, which reduces the need for engineering resources, but the feature is only available as an add-on with the highest-priced Business plan. 

RudderStack vs. Segment: a deep dive on pricing

Having explored the key features of RudderStack and Segment, let’s turn our attention to a critical element when evaluating any tool: pricing. Like many SaaS companies, both RudderStack and Segment offer tiered pricing structures, with higher value features and benefits unlocked as your investment increases. 

RudderStack pricing

RudderStack has four different plans, with pricing based on monthly tracked events; all include 10+ warehouse and data lake destinations.

  • Free: This option includes 1 million monthly events, at least 15 SDK sources, and 180+ cloud destinations. It’s intended for startups and small teams that need to stream event data. 
  • Starter: This tier offers the most flexibility for teams with increasing event volume. It starts at $500 per month for 3 million monthly events and goes up to $1,425 a month for 25 million events. 
  • Growth: This custom-priced option offers unlimited events and dedicated support. It’s designed for larger teams building an end-to-end CDP on their warehouse. 
  • Enterprise: Custom-priced, this option includes unlimited events and is ideal for large teams looking for superior security and elevated support. 

RudderStack’s pricing works well for companies that track a large volume of events and see a higher ratio of website visitors and free users to paying customers. RudderStack can also be an affordable option for smaller teams working on growth. The 1 million monthly API calls available with the Free tier is generous, and with the Starter plan’s multiple pricing options based on events, you can scale up as you grow.

Segment pricing

Segment offers three pricing plans and charges based on the number of monthly tracked users using your website or app.

  • Free: Designed for sending customer data to marketing and analytics tools, this tier includes up to 1,000 visitors a month, unlimited data sources, and one data warehouse destination.
  • Team: With additional features to collect and unify data across every touchpoint, this plan Includes up to 10,000 visitors a month, two data sources, and one data warehouse destination. This tier starts at $120 a month, and additional monthly visitors are charged at $10 per 1,000 visitors. 
  • Business: For enterprises with a high volume of monthly users, this tier provides the most robust set of features; custom pricing is based on custom volume of monthly users.

Because pricing increases based on monthly user volume, your spend may vary with Segment. Several features are also only available for add-on costs on top of your subscription fee. The à la carte approach may be a benefit if you just need a couple of added features, but could impact your budget if you want access to all the advanced capabilities. Data Pipelines: a RudderStack and Segment alternative

As you evaluate the pros and cons of RudderStack and Segment, you might want to also explore’s Data Pipelines. It’s a competitive CDP that enables you to connect first-party data to every tool in your tech stack. Whether you’re still in startup mode or an established enterprise, Data Pipelines ensures consistent data among all the tools you use. This empowers data-driven decision-making—helping you create more powerful, personalized interactions with your customers.   

Here’s how we stack up:

Unlimited warehouse destinations means better data storage

Data Pipelines provides unlimited warehouse destinations on every plan tier, giving you far more options than RudderStack or Segment. Plus, data is synced in nearly real time every 15 seconds.  And unlike RudderStack, we store event data indefinitely; customers on the Data Pipelines Premium plan can replay that data to any source. 

The data you need is always available with unlimited reverse ETL

RudderStack and Segment offer reverse ETL functionality, but they come with limitations. With Data Pipelines, you get unlimited reverse ETL so that you can automatically add or update people, objects, and relationships on a regular interval that aligns with your business needs. Set up your integration and you can import people or objects, and then when you sync, you can trigger campaigns automatically based on the changes in each interval.

Freedom to activate your data with millions of monthly API calls

Getting the most value from your CDP hinges on your ability to leverage all your data while maintaining flexibility, scalability, and predictable costs. With RudderStack or Segment, your ability to meet these demands could be limited, and ultimately expensive, depending on the plan you choose. For example, will the 250,000 monthly API calls offered by Segment’s free plan be sufficient given your operational goals? 

Data Pipelines offers 1 million monthly API calls on the free plan and 10 million or more on the Premium plan. That gives you more freedom to activate your data—without increasing your spend. 

Reshape your data easily and intuitively

RudderStack empowers you to transform event data in real-time with each of its plans, in many cases at no extra cost. But it may create greater complexity and require engineering effort. You can customize data for specific destinations with Segment, but you’ll need to pay for their highest-cost plan plus an add-on fee for that feature. 

You can change data structures to fit your needs with Actions. Designed with non-technical and technical teams in mind, our default actions are all you’ll need to get started in most cases. With that said, if your technical team is looking to leverage custom or more complex functionality, they can do so with Filters and Triggers. 

Best-in-class data governance and privacy—on every plan

The security and privacy of your data is table stakes. is a data company, and every aspect of how Data Pipelines stores and handles data is based on our best-in-class adherence to privacy, security, and encryption practices—applied to both free and paid plans.

Data Pipelines is built specifically around GDPR and CCPA compliance. Our data centers (which are located in the US) are restricted to infrastructure and maintenance staff, with 24/7 physical security. 

Both Data Pipelines plans (including the free tier) come with robust security and compliance features, including SSO and 2FA, role-based permissions, user deletion and suppression, and privacy controls. RudderStack and Segment restrict some of those features to paid plans only.

HIPAA/BAA compliance is included in the Data Pipelines Premium plan. With RudderStack, you’ll have to be on the much more expensive Enterprise plan for that feature. Segment requires customers to sign up for the highest-priced Business plan, plus pay an extra fee for HIPAA compliance.

Priced to meet the needs of companies of every size

Data Pipelines offers two pricing options for companies of all sizes, from startups to growth-stage businesses to large enterprises. 

  • Free: This tier provides a robust set of features to easily centralize and activate customer data, with 1 million monthly API calls, two workspaces, and unlimited sources, destinations, and user seats. Any additional API calls are billed at no more than $0.0002 each. 
  • Premium: Starting at $1,000 a month, the premium tier offers 10 million monthly API calls and unlimited workspaces. This plan is also built to scale, with custom pricing options available based on your needs.  

Data Pipelines is specifically designed to scale with your business, giving you a fully-featured CDP that keeps up with your growth.

Bonus? Data Pipelines has one more trick up its sleeve: it seamlessly integrates with Journeys,’s messaging automation product. Combining the two products into a single platform puts the power of personalized messaging and managing complex customer data at your fingertips. 

Get started with Data Pipelines for free—no credit card required. In just a couple of clicks, you can connect all your sources and destinations—and start getting more from your data today.