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Ad Fraud CTV Technology

CTV is the next big focus area for fraud and brand safety


By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

October 29, 2020 | 5 min read

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Connected TV (CTV) represents one of the biggest opportunities in advertising today. The appeal of CTV to advertisers is clear when one considers the fast growth of CTV audiences, the measurability of digital video, and the appeal of sight, sound, and motion on the living room’s biggest screen.


CTV is the next big focus area for fraud and brand safety

However, trust is the key to unlocking this potential. As with every new or emerging channel, advertisers are excited, but also cautious. They want to know that their media investment is protected, and they want to be able to evaluate the efficacy of the channel in the same manner that they do other digital media channels.

The role and trajectory of CTV in advertisers’ media mix - as well as how quality and performance are measured - is the topic for an upcoming session at The Drum’s Digital Summit.

Debating this hot topic will be DoubleVerify’s director of programmatic sales, South East Asia, Penny Langenfeld, alongside Kimberly Clarke’s director of digital and analytics, APAC, Juliana Chu, OMD’s chief operating officer, APAC, Rochelle Chhaya and SpotX’s managing director, Asia, Gavin Buxton.

Sign up for this session at Digital Summit here.

Ahead of the panel, The Drum spoke with DoubleVerify’s Penny Langenfeld to understand why this topic is so important for the marketing industry.

Why is CTV such a focus right now?

Consumers around the world have flocked to streaming video platforms this year, including both Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) and Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD).

CTV is the darling of 2020. With much of the world on lockdown, the amount of over-the-top (OTT) content, generally consumed via CTV devices has skyrocketed, and this trend is only accelerating.

Do concerns about brand safety differ for CTV compared to more traditional channels?

The short answer is, no. The risk of running ads alongside objectionable content exists on CTV just as it does on other channels. The same variety of apps and content that other platforms have also exist on CTV. Many aren't aware, but there are adult apps, screensaver apps, etc. on CTV - it's not just premium television.

One of the main challenges in tackling brand safety on CTV is transparency. Transparency has been an issue in CTV because app names are not normalised, and therefore may vary from platform to platform. In fact, DV found that only 23% of CTV auctions have app names that adhere to IAB conventions. With inconsistent naming, it’s difficult to know where your ad actually ran, especially if you are buying programmatically. In early 2020, DV launched reporting that helped to address this issue, and in October, building on this, was able to launch the first CTV brand safety solution in the industry.

Does quality verification on CTV require specialized integrations?

DV's CTV verification solutions don't rely on custom integrations. Rather, we built them using our existing tagging infrastructure, adapted to the unique characteristics of the medium. This approach eliminates barriers to scale and allows us to protect brands across digital video and CTV inventory in a streamlined fashion. It also means that brands enjoy the same depth and breadth of protection on CTV as they do on other channels.

What are some of the trends you are seeing?

As more advertisers are eager to combine the measurability of digital video on the biggest living room screen, brands are paying top dollar to reach consumers via this medium. CTV has become the fastest growing digital media channel and, not surprisingly, the highest growth environment for fraud.

Since March 2019, DV has identified 1,300 fraudulent CTV apps. This bad behaviour shows no sign of waning — over 60% of those 1,300 fraudulent apps were detected in 2020 alone. DoubleVerify also detected a 161% increase in fraudulent CTV traffic rates in Q1 of 2020 vs. Q1 of 2019, and fraudsters are not letting up. Through Q3, the fraud rate remains at more than double year over year. Moreover, while bot fraud accounted for 26% of fraud incidents overall, it was responsible for a whopping 78% of fraud incidents on CTV. With increased advertiser demand, the need for third-party verification is critical.

Sign up for this session at Digital Summit here.

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