Fraud remains the scourge of the mobile app marketplace.
In fact, mobile app sophisticated invalid traffic” (SIVT) impressions have doubled year-on-year since 2017, according to DoubleVerify.
The total number of fraudulent apps has increased by 159% from 2017 to 2018, while more than 160% new fraudulent apps were identified during the same period.
Of note, 57% of those fraudulent apps are categorized as “Games” and “Tools & Utilities.”
“With ad spend increasingly concentrated in mobile -- and particularly mobile app -- fraudsters are redoubling their efforts to take advantage,” Roy Rosenfeld, head of DoubleVerify’s Fraud Lab, notes in the new report.
“It’s critical that brands understand these risks, in order to allocate spend accordingly and install appropriate safeguards for their digital investments,” Rosenfeld added.
Brands are spending loads of money on mobile channels. At $87 billion, mobile ad spend will account for more than two-thirds of overall domestic ad spend this year, according to eMarketer.
This growth has been driven by large investments in mobile app advertising, which is expected to reach $201 billion in spend globally by 2021.
As to whether in-app advertising is more susceptible to fraud than other forms of mobile marketing, the jury remains out.
Recent research from Protected Media found that in-app advertising is actually subject to far fewer fraudulent attempts than mobile Web advertising.
Still, many ad buyers believe in-app advertising and fraud go hand in hand.Indeed, Forrester Consulting recently found that brand advertisers cited fraud as their No. 1 concern.