TUNE, a mobile marketing measurement firm, has partnered with Google to work on combating the growing problem of mobile app ad fraud. Specifically, they are looking for ways to stop click injection fraud on Android devices. This type of fraud takes place when a bot or malware that is installed on a mobile device will attempt to steal the attribution credit granted for a click on an ad.
This is done by injecting fake clicks from the time the app is downloaded until it has been opened for the first time. When this is done, it will grant the fraudulent entity credit for the app install. This is a huge problem for mobile marketers today, costing an estimated 30-40% of all installs, resulting in up to $500-700 million in losses.
Google has launched a new Play Install Referrer API, which will let TUNE and other measurement providers, identify where potential click fraud exists, and block it from taking effect. This is not a direct anti-malware system, but rather it effectively reduces or eliminates the benefits that the malware would provide.
It works by capturing the initial app download time, as well as any events, including clicks, that take place from the time the app is downloaded until it is open. It is this critical time when the credit is assigned for ads.
CEO of TUNE, Peter Hamilton, said, “Over the last two years, we built new tools for fighting mobile ad fraud by enabling marketers and ad partners to work together, and we now lead the industry with the most granular approach. What was still missing in this fight was the direct cooperation with the platforms themselves, which is why this step with Google is such a powerful one. This data connection with Google is exactly what the industry needs to completely stamp out the practice of fraudulent click injection which will immediately eradicate nearly a third of mobile ad fraud.”