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Ad Fraud Addressable TV Technology

Almost half of all OTT traffic is fake, and here are the main offenders

By Sean Larkin, Programmatic Reporter

December 7, 2016 | 3 min read

Addressable TV has been tipped as one of the areas in the digital marketing landscape for 2017, with eMarketer predicting that as much as $1.56bn of US advertisers’ money will be spent one such media next year, but a report today from Pixalate suggests they should do so with caution.


44% of OTT traffic is fraudulent according to Pixalate

Earlier today (December 7) Pixalate released a study suggesting that nearly half (44%) of all connected TV traffic is invalid, a worrying number when the figures show that such traffic – commonly referred to as ‘connected TV, or ‘OTT’ – is increasing at an average monthly rate of 12%, and that 68% of internet users will use connected TVs by end of the year.

The numbers come in the fraud detection outfit’s latest Video Seller Trust Index (VSTI) where it indexes racks the movement of video advertising spend from traditional direct channels to programmatic sellers, and forms part of its Global Seller Trust Index.

Among its numbers, Pixalate ranked different media types for invalid traffic for invalid traffic, and found that connected TVs topped the list out of all sources follow by mobile (44% of traffic was found to be invalid); desktop (35%) and tablet (32%).

Speaking with The Drum, Jalal Nasir, Pixalate CEO, said the amount of invalid traffic on such devices was astounding. “What’s interesting to note is that audiences have changed [ie the growth of connected TVs] and they really are cutting the cord with the move to things like Netflix, etc,” he said.

“Advertisers are clearly catching up with the audiences, but when we took a lot at the numbers we were taken aback by the amount of fraudulent traffic. That’s being used to spread a lot of malware.”

Nasir further went on to break down which sources of OTT traffic were particularly compromised, with over half (59%) of all traffic from ROKU identified as fraudulent (see chart above).

Although, Pixalate does go on to highlight some of the more trusted sources of online video sources, naming SpotX, BrightRoll and Tremor Video among its top-three sources (see chart below).

Pixelate's Video Seller Trust Index for October 2016

Source: Pixalate


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