Programmatic in-app video advertising is a big draw for marketers due to its wide reach and strong engagement, but unfortunately that means it also attracts bad actors trying to mimic valid users and siphon big ad dollars. DoubleVerify, whose MRC-accredited IVT measurement solution is directly integrated with MoPub Marketplace, reported that approximately 2% of MoPub’s in-app video traffic that it sampled in Q2 was flagged as invalid. While our ultimate goal is IVT elimination, this rate is a positive reflection of our hard stance and significant resources dedicated to this cause. It also represents a bright spot in an otherwise stormy industry, as reported by Pixalate who recently released a report stating that, according to their standards, they detected a staggering industry average rate of 30% IVT on the programmatic in-app video inventory they measure across a variety of programmatic sellers, including SSPs, DSPs, and networks involved in programmatic selling.
Mobile devices nowadays are built for streaming content. As mobile manufacturers create larger and higher-resolution screens, longer battery life, and faster processing, mobile in-app ad formats are also evolving to support fullscreen, high-impact ad creative. These ads have come a long way from the static banners of yesterday.
In-app video advertising, including native and rewarded video, is often the format of choice among a growing portion of app publishers and developers, especially those who derive revenue through in-app purchases (IAP). IAP-focused app publishers place a high value on positive in-app user experiences in order to retain users and keep them engaged. MRAID and VAST-enabled ad units flow seamlessly within app content and at natural transitions during gameplay or streaming entertainment. Users experience and engage with in-app video ads in the same way that they do with their favorite games, entertainment, and eSports.
Because of in-app video’s growing popularity, we need to make sure that we are all taking measures to combat fraud by partnering with MRC-accredited IVT-management vendors; supporting new and ongoing efforts to increase transparency, such as the IAB Tech Lab’s app-ads.txt spec; and continuously monitoring reports of abnormal traffic patterns which might indicate IVT. These patterns could include high volumes of:
- Users with abnormally similar engagement patterns to one another.
- Visitors from a specific range of IP or from known data center IPs.
- Users that have been active in the app for unusually long hours.
- Users that are particularly active at night time.
At MoPub, we will continue to take proactive measures to help reduce the threat of ad fraud and invalid traffic so that demand partners can take full advantage of this engaging and effective medium.