Pixalate report reveals Ad Fraud concerns on non-vMVPD Apps

Pixalate this week released its Q4 2023 vMVPD Traffic Analysis Reports. The findings highlight a concerning trend: non-vMVPD apps on major Connected TV (CTV) platforms have significantly higher rates of invalid traffic (IVT) compared to vMVPD apps.

Pixalate report reveals Ad Fraud concerns on non-vMVPD Apps

Pixalate this week released its Q4 2023 vMVPD Traffic Analysis Reports, for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Samsung Smart TV. The findings highlight a concerning trend: non-vMVPD apps on major Connected TV (CTV) platforms have significantly higher rates of invalid traffic (IVT) compared to vMVPD apps.

vMVPD apps are like your digital cable package, offering live TV channels streamed over the internet (think Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV). Non-vMVPD apps cover everything else on your smart TV - on-demand movies and shows (Netflix, Disney+), free ad-supported channels (Pluto TV), news apps, and niche streaming services. The main difference is that vMVPD apps focus on replacing traditional cable with live channels, while non-vMVPD apps offer a wider variety of content formats and viewing experiences.

Key Findings:

  • Non-vMVPD Apps = Higher Risk: Non-vMVPD apps on Apple TV had a staggering 184% higher IVT rate than vMVPD apps. Roku and Amazon Fire TV showed similarly alarming trends.
  • vMVPDs Dominate Ad Spend: Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (vMVPDs) like Hulu, Sling TV, and Pluto TV captured the majority of programmatic ad spend on CTV devices.
  • The 'Nested' Ecosystem Challenge: Pixalate attributes the IVT disparity to the unique structure of vMVPD apps, which bundle multiple channels, creating a complex environment for ad tracking and fraud detection.

Invalid Traffic (IVT) encompasses various forms of fraudulent or non-genuine ad impressions that don't reach real viewers. This wastes advertisers' budgets and distorts performance metrics.

“This nested ecosystem, coupled with advertisers’ need to thoroughly understand the information regarding the channels and networks where their ads appear, has led to the proliferation of ‘Bundle IDs’ on vMVPD apps,” said Amit Shetty, VP Product, Pixalate. “The issue is particularly pronounced in the case of vMVPD apps compared to other Connected TV (CTV) apps.”

Recommendations for Advertisers

  • Choose Reputable Partners: Work with vMVPDs and CTV platforms that have a track record of transparency and commitment to combating ad fraud.
  • Demand Transparency: Request detailed reporting on ad placements and traffic sources.
  • Use Third-Party Verification: Employ ad fraud detection solutions like Pixalate to independently monitor and filter invalid traffic.

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