Pixalate report exposes rampant device spoofing in Roku and Amazon Fire TV ad marketplaces

Pixalate report exposes rampant device spoofing in Roku and Amazon Fire TV ad marketplaces

Pixalate this week released a disturbing new report detailing the scale of device spoofing on the Roku and Amazon Fire TV connected TV (CTV) platforms. This fraudulent practice is costing advertisers significant sums as they unwittingly pay premium rates for ads served on less valuable devices.

Key Findings from the Q4 2023 Report:

  • Massive Spoofing Rates: An alarming 52% of programmatic ad traffic appearing to come from Roku devices actually originated on non-Roku devices. For Amazon Fire TV, 25% of traffic was spoofed.
  • Spoofing on the Rise: The Roku spoofing rate more than doubled compared to the previous quarter (Q3 2023).
  • Top Affected Apps: Popular apps like Lifetime, Hallmark TV, MLB, Fox News, and Peacock TV were among the most targeted by spoofing schemes.
  • SSPs Implicated: Google AdExchange, FreeWheel, and Magnite were the supply-side platforms (SSPs) that sold the highest proportion of spoofed device ads.

How Device Spoofing Works:

Bad actors deliberately misrepresent the devices where ads will be displayed. For example, a mobile phone might be disguised as a Roku device to attract advertisers who believe their ads will reach a premium CTV audience.

The Cost for the Industry:

“Using other devices to spoof this highly-valuable traffic is an increasingly popular tactic that fraudsters continue to use,” said Amit Shetty, VP Product at Pixalate. “Essentially, fraudsters modify the bid stream and other signals to make the bid requests appear as though they are being received from CTV devices.”

The Pixalate report highlights the urgent need for advertisers to demand greater transparency and accountability from their ad partners. By utilizing sophisticated ad fraud detection and IVT (Invalid Traffic) filtering tools, advertisers can better protect their budgets and ensure their ads reach intended audiences.

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