Commentary

Bots, Like Crime, Never Sleep

A study released today from AppLift and Forensiq noted that more mobile ad fraud occurs at night, because many fraud tactics are not sophisticated enough to take into account actual levels of app usage.

The study, called “Fighting Mobile Fraud in the Programmatic Era,” found that about 34% of mobile programmatic traffic is at risk of fraud, with 22% being suspect, and 12% at high fraud risk.

Fraud happens at every level of the ad industry, and though the technology to detect it is getting better, the amount of fraud is only going to increase as ad spend in mobile increases.

The study found that campaigns run on a CPC or CPI basis were three times and ten times less likely to be fraudulent, respectively. AppLift found no significant difference in fraud levels between Android and iOS.

The good thing about an increase in programmatic trading, especially RTB, is that impressions can be identified as fraudulent before they are bid on, the study says.

It’s not likely that the market will ever bring fraud levels to zero, but that doesn’t preclude the industry from doing everything it can to stop it. Regardless of tech advancements and awareness for the future, though, 2015 will go down as a multibillion-dollar year for mobile ad fraudsters.

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