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Mobile programmatic traffic runs risk of global fraud: AppLift

MUMBAI: More than a third of mobile programmatic traffic is at the risk of fraud, said AppLift in its new study.

The study, titled “Fighting Mobile Fraud in the Programmatic Era, also found that mobile advertising campaigns running on both a CPC (Cost per Click) and CPI (Cost per Impression) basis were less likely to be fraudulent than CPM (Cost per Thousand) campaigns.

AppLift-techThe report is composed of two parts, a quantitative study based on first-party data from AppLift’s proprietary media buying platform DataLift. The second part provides a comprehensive educational guide covering mobile fraud.

The study was powered by leading fraud prevention tool Forensiq as well as internal heuristics, and was conducted at AppLift’s R&D centre in Bangalore.

With eMarketer predicting that U.S. mobile programmatic media buying will reach $20.45 billion by 2017, fraud detection is a major multi-billion concern for advertisers. DataLift’s fraud detection system found 34 percent of all mobile traffic to be at risk of fraud. AppLift distinguishes fraud into two categories: suspected fraud and high-risk fraud. The study revealed that 22 percent of overall mobile traffic is suspected of fraud, while 12 percent is at high-risk of fraud.

“The cost of advertising plays a significant role in mobile marketers’ budgets. The rise in fraudulent activity not only undermines the integrity of the advertising industry, but it is extremely costly for advertisers. By benefiting from the fraud detection system such as that offered through our platform DataLift, marketers can better understand their mobile programmatic data, detect fraud prior to bidding, and therefore salvage a significant portion of their ad spend” said AppLift CEO, Co-founder Tim Koschella.

Findings include:

  • Overall 34 per cent of mobile traffic is at risk of fraud — Of this, 22 percent was suspect and 12 percent presented a high risk of fraud.
  • CPC campaign fraud – Traffic from campaigns run on a CPC basis is three times less likely to be fraudulent than for CPM campaigns
  • CPI campaign fraud — Traffic from campaigns run on a CPI basis is 10 times less likely to be fraudulent than for CPM campaigns
  • Fraud is highest at night – The relative amount of fraud increases during night time hours as many fraud tactics are not sophisticated enough to take into account actual levels of app usage.

“As the negative impact of fraud continues to affect today’s mobile programmatic world, it has never been more important to utilize available data to better understand fraud risks and develop proactive and preventative measures. By using our tools to identify instances of fraud and to interpret fraud insight at a global level, AppLift was able to detect fraudulent activity across all aspects of the programmatic mobile ecosystem,” said Forensiq CEO and founder David Sendroff.

When fighting fraud within the programmatic ecosystem, AppLift assists customers in detecting fraudulent impressions before they are served. The advantage of a demand-side platform such as DataLift is its capacity to “listen” to programmatic bid requests without bidding, in order to detect fraudulent patterns prior to any spending.

AppLift’s study confirms that while mobile programmatic inventory is an easy target for fraud, there are multiple efficient ways to fight it.