This week's review of ad fraud and quality in the digital advertising space.
1. Advertising has become Roku's biggest business
"Roku, which is best known for its lineup of connected TV devices and boxes, now counts platform revenue as the majority of its business," reportedMediaPost. "In the company’s quarterly earnings report, released this week, Roku revealed that for the first time, its hardware business was overtaken by its ad-driven platform business as the company’s key revenue driver," wrote MediaPost.
2. Heineken plans in-house ad verification
According to Digiday, "Heineken is moving ad verification in-house, a shift in policy from previously relying on its agencies to police ads." The article added, "Working directly with verification companies means that Heineken can set its own benchmarks for brand safety, fraud and viewability. Previously, that would mean relying on its agencies to license the technologies that judge their own performance — in effect, marking their own homework."
3. Apple cracks down on apps that are sharing location data without user consent
"Over the last few days, Apple has seemingly started cracking down on applications that share location data with third-parties [without explicit consent from the user and for unapproved purposes]," wrote 9to5mac. "In the instances we’ve seen, the apps in question don’t do enough to inform users about what happens with their data. In addition to simply asking for permission, Apple appears to want developers to explain what the data is used for and how it is shared," the article added.
4. Fake app installs run rampant in India
"Indian internet companies are grappling with a sharp increase in ... instances of mobile fraud even as increasing traffic to their mobile platforms and driving app installations have become critical for growth in a hyper-competitive environment," wrote the India Economic Times. "[M]ultiple categories of fraud are turning business metrics upside down and increasing advertising costs since companies have to find a way to fix these," the article notes. "Fraudulent traffic is worrisome for companies because though they end up paying for it unawares, the growth in traffic doesn’t contribute to business growth."
5. Marketers can't agree on 'viewability' definition
According to eMarketer, citing a CMO Council survey, only 3% of senior marketers worldwide are "completely fine" with the current standard definition of viewability, which calls for at least 50% of an ad's pixels to be in-view for at least one continuous second for display, and two continuous seconds for video. Two-thirds (66%) are not okay with the standard at all, while the remaining (30%) are okay with the standard "but only because there isn't a better standard being embraced."
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Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”