Digital ad fraud is a big problem, and there is really no type that is immune. According to a new report from DataVisor, app install ads are falling victim to fraud that is costing about $300 million per year. This is from their new report titled, “The Underworld of App Install Advertising” which can be found HERE.
Not surprisingly, the premium ad networks boasted fraud rates that were significantly lower than other networks. Non-premium ad networks had an app-install fraud rate as high as 5%. This isn’t terrible when compared to other types of digital advertising, but give the popularity of this type of ads and how quickly it is growing, it is a good idea to take proactive actions now to avoid problems today and in the future.
The report looked at 140 million app installs from January to May of 2017. These installs were part of 11 billion user events, which makes this one of the largest and most detailed studies of this type to be completed to date.
Ting-Fang Yen, the Director of Research at DataVisor, commented on the report saying, “We were surprised to see how much fraudsters are faking in-app activities and retention behavior.” He went on to say, “As fraudsters become increasingly sophisticated at faking installs, we expect more advertisers to adopt cost-per-engagement user acquisition models to avoid fraudulent traffic.”
App installs are quite a common type of advertising today, but they are still quite new compared to many other options. Both the fraudsters and the ad networks are rapidly adjusting their strategy to try and get the best results. As marketers, it is important to put your marketing budgets into ad networks that will produce the best possible return on investment, which means working to avoid fraud as much as possible.