DoubleVerify this month released stats for Ad Fraud in Connected TV (CTV) for the first quarter. Between January and April of 2020, DoubleVerify detected a 161% increase year-over-year in fraudulent CTV traffic.
DoubleVerify says in Q1 2020 DoubleVerify detected more than 500 fraudulent apps, exceeding what they detected across the entirety of 2019.
According to DoubleVerify, advertisers usually don’t know what apps or content they advertise in, and information about the apps on the DSPs are still not following industry standards and is highly unreliable. DoubleVerify has detected that only 20% of CTV auctions have app names that adhere to IAB conventions.
DoubleVerify explains that anyone can create and distribute CTV apps, even in ‘closed’ app stores. Fraudsters release apps with legitimate content to gain approval by the app store and then use their app in illegitimate ways to defraud advertisers of their media spend.
App-ads.txt, which could be used to help verify inventory sources, also has a relatively low adoption in CTV environments, says DoubleVerify.
The top 3 tactics fraudsters use on Connected TV
Spoofing: Fraudsters buy lower-price mobile or desktop display inventory for less than a $1 CPM, change the ad calls to resemble premium CTV video inventory, and resell the inventory at CPMs frequently greater than $20.
Fraudulent apps: Fraudsters create their own CTV apps and release them to both open and closed app stores.
SSAI fraud: Fraudsters create their own servers or buy into cloud space to completely falsify all the information about an impression opportunity (app/IP/device/etc.) and generate fake traffic.
Surge in Connected TV Inventory
Glenn Thorpe, Senior Product Manager DV360 at Google, wrote this month that connected TV inventory surged by 75 percent in April 2020, from the previous year. Google this month added a a TV section in DV360’s Marketplace, and created an OTT line item in DV360.
Freewheel this month said Connected TV is now a mature platform, but also pointed out the difficulties in measurement.