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Advertising fraud on mobile applications exploded 50% in the last year, according to a new report from media measurement and data company DoubleVerify. The figures are one of several eye-opening statistics about the current state of media quality and performance on the Web.

Different types of fraud can be found on different devices.

Above: The charts show how each device is impacted differently by the various types of fraud/SIVT (sophisticated invalid traffic).

Image Credit: DoubleVerify

Mobile advertising is a hot sector, with Emarketer predicting mobile ad spending will exceed $156 billion globally by 2023. Mobile consumption worldwide has soared, partly due to people staying home during the coronavirus pandemic. Even with a growing vaccinated population and easing of lockdown rules, people are still staying indoors and streaming videos, playing games, and shopping online using mobile apps. As a result, advertisers are pouring money into mobile advertising, and fraudsters are moving in with their fake clicks and traffic to siphon away some of those ad dollars.

While global fraud volume overall remained steady (post-bid fraud/sophisticated invalid traffic [SIVT] rates nudged down from 2% to 1.4% and overall volume didn’t change year-over-year), pockets of fraud continue to plague the industry, DoubleVerify found in its annual Global Insights Report. One example is scams targeting video on mobile apps. Streaming advertising fraud has become a major problem, with DoubleVerify detecting over 500,000 fake connected TV (CTV) devices — gaming devices and streaming consoles — a day.

Fraudsters are also shifting tactics. Last year, bot fraud made up 78% of fraud/SIVT violations on CTV. While bot fraud violations on CTV remain the most common type of CTV fraud, datacenter traffic is a growing problem. Datacenter traffic is a type of SIVT that targets server-side ad insertion (SSAI) inventory, which is especially common on CTV and audio, DoubleVerify said. With datacenter traffic, fraudsters spoof SSAI inventory, such as a mobile impression made to look like a CTV impression, or have SSAI inventory with incomplete information.

DoubleVerify’s global report analyzed over one trillion ad impressions in 80 markets across more than 2,100 brands. Video and display impressions were measured year-over-year from May 2020 to April 2021 across desktop and mobile web, mobile app, and internet-connected TVs.

Read the full 2021 Global Insights Report from DoubleVerify.

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