CTV advertising fraud surged in 2022 with a 69% increase in bot fraud from 2021 and significant growth in CTV fraud schemes, according to new research from DoubleVerify, a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics.
The 2023 Global Insights Report analyzed trends from nearly 5.5 trillion media transactions across more than 1,000 customers in nearly 100 countries.
Globally, eMarketer estimates that advertisers will spend almost $24 billion on CTV advertising this year, noted DoubleVerify, and as ad investments in CTV grow, so too does the opportunity for fraud. CTV ad fraud involves the use of deceptive tactics to generate revenue from advertisers by falsely inflating video ad impressions. Fraudsters typically employ bots or fake CTV devices to simulate viewership, tricking advertisers into paying for non-existent or unviewed ad placements.
The number of CTV fraud schemes and variants DV detected annually has tripled since 2020, according to the report.
Ad fraud is a significant issue in CTV especially for unprotected advertisers, according to DoubleVerify. To quantify the risk, the report compared protected advertisers’ fraud rates against a campaign where verification was not in place. The unprotected campaign experienced a fraud rate of 11.2%, compared with 0.6 percent for protected campaigns.
“An increase in free, ad-supported streaming is helping to fuel connected TV’s rapid growth,” Mark Zagorski, CEO of DoubleVerify, said in a statement. “But with growth come growing pains. As CTV becomes a top channel for consumers and advertisers alike, it also becomes a target for fraud, making measurement and protection a critical part of validating the efficacy of campaigns.”
In addition to a review of fraud, viewability and brand suitability, this year’s report also looked at attention metrics. Launched in 2021, DV Authentic Attention measurement is an MRC accredited privacy-friendly solution that does not rely on cookies, and provides timely, impression-level insights at scale — from the impact of an ad’s presentation to key dimensions of consumer engagement, according to the company.
Key insights DoubleVerify uncovered include:
- Campaigns in the most mature market, North America, lag behind in their ability to grab attention (based on DoubleVerify’s Attention Index), representing a real opportunity for improvement. For video, specifically, North America is behind all other regions in both attention and viewability.
- Most advertisers run campaigns on sites or apps that have lower attention rates; however, DoubleVerify’s analysis shows there is significant available inventory that could deliver higher attention and performance.
“Qualifying an ad’s impact matters more than ever before and attention is fast becoming a key currency for evaluating performance,” added Zagorski. “Our metrics make attention actionable for brands. They can gain insights beyond whether their ad simply had an opportunity to be seen — they can start to understand if it resonated, while benchmarking across the industry.”
In addition to its findings on CTV fraud and attention, the report features new data on the ROI of verification and the need to ensure consistent quality assurance across all platforms, environments and formats.