More Digital Video Ads Are Coming - How Will They Impact Ad Fraud?

Is your digital video advertising investment less risky?

A recent global advertising trends report estimated advertisers are expected to spend $29.8 billion on online video this year -- an increase of 27.5%. Most of this will go social-media platforms, in particular mobile video, according to WARC, the advertising research publisher.

At the same time, the report says one in 10 online video placements pose a “negative adjacency” risk for brands -- advertising fraud is running high.

With 10% spillage, marketers need to count on the most positive factors for their media campaign efforts -- creative, targeting, engagement and other ROI metrics.

This is just part of the bigger picture: $30 billion in online video ad spend is just around 18% of a total global $170 billion spent on video advertising overall. The U.S. online share of the overall video advertising market is expected be over 19% this year.

And, as TV Watch has noted in the past, one should compare this risk with traditional TV/video advertising -- linear, live and/or time-shifted TV viewing. Although many experts believe TV is still the safer bet, the lure continues to move to digital video, where social media, in particular, offers key engagement metrics easily at hand.

Is this still the tradeoff?

Anti-fraud protections -- such as Interactive Advertising Bureau Labs ads.txt, a text file on publishers' sites listing all vendors authorized to sell their inventory -- seem to be gaining steam.

Media futurists might expect that 10% spillage percentage to likely to fall.

But as digital media video advertising continues to soar -- by nearly 30% -- the actual number of video ad fraud instances are not likely to decline any time soon.

Back in March, a study from Extreme Reach, a video advertising platform, said fraudulent video advertising traffic declined by 31% in 2017 compared to the year before. All this lands video ad fraud at 6.2% of all video ad inventory sold during the past year.

Sounds great. It seems to confirm results from the WARC study. Still, is this going in the right total direction, or will there be more surprises? If not, will traditional TV marketers shift dollars to more digital platforms?

Risk, reward, sales, media and marketing plans will continue to hang in the balance -- as well as a few testy client-agency conversations. There will be spillage there, too.

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