Nearly a fifth (18%) of OTT inventory is fraudulent, according to an analysis of over one billion OTT ad requests by MadHive, the TV ad provider, as part of a white paper by AdLedger, a non-profit consortium which addresses blockchain fraud.
Among the most common types of fraud were those witnessed across other devices including bot fraud, which typically uses software to mimic human behaviour, and inventory fraud, which includes geographic misrepresentation and domain spoofing.
Geographic misrepresentation describes fraud where a fraudster claims to sell US inventory, but the inventory is being generated in a different country. Domain spoofing, on the other hand, occurs when bad actors pass off their inventory for more reputable.
“OTT is booming, offering advertisers the opportunity to apply data-driven planning, targeting and measurement methodologies from the digital ecosystem to television,” explained Christiana Cacciapuoti, executive director at AdLedger. “But there is a misconception that OTT is universally fraud free, when in fact it is vulnerable to many of the same schemes as digital.”
To address ad fraud, AdLedger said it was actively working on proof-of-concept projects with its members including Omnicom, MadHive and Salon Media. These companies use blockchain and cryptography to verify and validate KPIs.
“OTT is going to play an integral role in the future of the marketing mix, especially as interactive ad formats roll-out on the platform and enable brands to take a DTC approach to media buying,” added Vinny Rinaldi, head of addressable media and technology for The Hershey Company. “We just need to work together as an industry to proactively fight fraudsters, while providing transparency across the supply chain.”
OTT provides several advantages for marketers. These include data-focused planning, targeting and measurement technologies, and the ability to target audiences within the digital ecosystem that may not be reachable on other devices.