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Pixalate’s February 2023 CTV Invalid Traffic Overlap Report Finds Botnet-like Behavior affecting 10% of Roku and Amazon Fire TV Apps with Programmatic Advertising

Amit Shetty
Mar 16, 2023 2:00:00 PM


Pixalate’s February 2023 CTV IVT Overlap Report provides valuable insights into the Roku and Amazon Fire TV Connected TV (CTV) apps with the most invalid traffic (IVT) overlaps with other apps.

Buyers should be watchful of traffic related to these apps and build a comprehensive understanding of the user pool and app inventory they are purchasing.

Key Takeaways

  • IVT Overlap reports help focus IVT reduction efforts to apps that may be targeted by botnets
  • HGTV Go, VH1 and Xumo among Amazon Fire TV apps apparently targeted, with up to 50% shared IVT traffic
  • How To Travel, TechZone and Aana Oop among Roku apps apparently targeted with over 50% shared IVT traffic
  • Popular apps like Tubi, Pluto TV, Plex and AMC were found to be associated with the apps with most overlap on both Roku and Amazon Fire TV

Download the List

Why IVT Overlap Matters

If IVT impressions are shared among the same apps at a high rate, there is a chance that this pool of apps is being affected by fake users or inventory - such as a botnet.

Another key indicator of suspicious activity is the IVT impression-to-device ratio. If a small number of devices are generating a disproportionate amount of IVT impressions for an app, it implies that there may be few real users generating traffic.

These are the apps that Pixalate marks for IVT Overlap analysis. This enables buyers to work directly with sellers associated with these apps and ensure that the inventory and users are genuine.

The first graph shows what normal traffic would look like, while the second graph shows devices connected to apps in the overlap report on the same day.

Graph 1: Normal traffic patterns

Graph 2: Clustering of devices, indicating IVT Overlap

The blue dots show the devices, the orange dots are the satellite apps.

In Graph 1, the traffic is fairly distributed. But on Graph 2, we can see a clear clustering of devices around the affected apps. These patterns indicate that these apps might be targeted by ad fraudsters.

Top 5 Roku and Amazon Fire TV Apps with the Highest IVT Overlap: February 2023 

Here are the top 5 Roku and Amazon Fire TV apps with the highest IVT overlap in February 2023. Here’s how to read the graphs:

  • The apps on the left are the apparently-targeted apps.
  • The “Associated apps” column shows apps that the IVT-generating devices also visited
  • The “Overlap % range” column shows what percentage of the targeted apps’ IVT was shared with each respective associated app.

For example: In the below chart, over 50% of the IVT on “How to Travel” apps came from devices that also visited FilmRise.


 Amazon Fire TV

To view a full list of CTV apps with most IVT overlap, download it here:

Download the List

It is important to note that being associated with this type of irregular IVT overlap does not necessarily indicate that the apps involved are themselves the source of the IVT. 

The best way to use this information is to:

  • Investigate the traffic from these apps in more detail and understand the types of IVT associated with that traffic. 
  • Look at the apps with overlap as they likely are being targeted too. 
  • Understand the supply paths to all these apps so that you can work with your partners and improve your ad traffic quality.


To identify these overlaps, Pixalate examined devices associated with IVT and the apps those devices visited across the Roku and Amazon Fire TV app stores.

Apps highlighted in this study meet both of the following criteria:
  • High IVT overlap with other apps (top 10%)
  • High impression-to-device ratio (top 10%)
Apps were then sorted by inventory volume and number of high-risk overlaps.

More IVT Overlap Insights in the Pixalate MRT

Insights around IVT Overlap for all apps with programmatic ad traffic can also be found in our Media Ratings Terminal:

In conclusion, the February 2023 CTV IVT Overlap Report provides valuable insights into CTV apps with suspicious IVT overlaps, enabling buyers to make informed decisions when purchasing inventory. By working directly with partners and verifying app inventory, it is possible to avoid inorganic traffic and ensure you are working with good quality inventory.


The content of this blog post, and the CTV Invalid Traffic Overlap Report February 2023 (the "Report"), reflect Pixalate's opinions with respect to factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Pixalate’s opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees. Pixalate is sharing this data not to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but, instead, to report findings and trends pertaining to programmatic advertising activity across mobile apps in the time period studied.

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