The findings of a new report have revealed that mobile video click fraud increased nearly 3 times over the first four months of 2017. In addition, the same report found a 161% rise in programmatic click fraud for connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top TV (OTT) in April compared to January, and a 70% rise in CTV and OTT click fraud within apps.
Pixalate analyzed programmatic click fraud in its Q1 2017 Ad Fraud Benchmarks Report, using data from January through April 2017 to find notable volatility in the segments it measured.
For example, the findings showed that tablet click fraud was 111% higher in April compared to January, while smartphone click fraud increased 102%, and desktop rose 21%. In addition, smartphone and tablet video click fraud rose nearly 3x, while tablet display click fraud jumped 50%, and more than 75% of desktop clicks on 300 x 600 ad units were found to be fraudulent for April compared to January.
Pixalate found that programmatic tablet impression fraud was only at about 13% — well below the other devices. While this might give marketers a false sense of security when buying tablet ads, the study found that tablet video click fraud increased 181% over the first few months of 2017.
While programmatic advertising at its best offers buyers and sellers the ability to transact in real-time, enables precise targeting, and eliminates much waste, it also opens the door to fraudulent activity, according to Pixalate. Ad-fraud detection and prevention companies focus on fraud at the impression level. Invalid traffic leads to invalid impressions — a growing problem in the programmatic marketplace, as the company noted in an earlier report. That report found that 36% of smartphone inventory, 31% of desktop inventory, 13% of tablet inventory, and 51% of connected TV/OTT inventory available for programmatic purchase was fraudulent.
Pixalate said the goal of the new benchmark study is to educate the marketplace on the ways in which ad fraud impacts deep-funnel metrics in programmatic campaigns. “Fraudulent activity in the programmatic marketplace goes well beyond just invalid traffic and impression fraud. We have found that marketers understand that other types of fraud exist in programmatic — including click fraud — but they have struggled to pinpoint the exact impact it has on their programmatic campaigns,” Jalal Nasir, CEO of Pixalate, told Digital News Daily via email.
“It's clear that the mobile medium is under attack by click fraudsters, and marketers — particularly the demand side — need to be aware of this. Our research uncovered a nearly 3-times rise in mobile video click fraud, on both smartphones and tablets. Ad fraud is more rampant and deeper in the funnel than ever imagined, and we need to address all three levels, from impressions, to clicks, and conversions," Nasir said.