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‘Social’ apps have over 10% ad fraud (IVT) rate on iPhones and iPads

In this post, Pixalate dives into invalid traffic (“IVT”) rates across popular iOS app categories. You can download the full Q2 2018 Programmatic Quality Report here.

 

Key takeaways:

  • The ‘Social’ app category has the highest display IVT rate on iPhones (10.1%) and iPads (12.6%)
  • The ‘Weather’ app category has a 40.2% video IVT rate on iOS smartphones
  • The ‘Music’ category has a video IVT rate of 35% but a display IVT rate below 10%

‘Social’ has highest IVT rate for iOS display

Fake social media profiles have dominated the news cycle in recent months. Twitter recently deleted millions of fake account, per the New York Times. Advertisers are also impacted by invalid activity on social platforms.

The chart below shows the IVT rates for the five most popular iOS smartphone app categories in terms of programmatic display advertising.

 
  • Over 10% of ads on ‘Social Networking’ apps are invalid
    • The ‘Social Networking’ category was the only iOS smartphone app category that has a display IVT rate over 10% in the time period we investigated.
  • ‘Music’ and ‘Games’ combine to account for over 40% of the display ads
    • The ‘Music’ and ‘Games’ categories ranked third and fourth in terms of IVT, respectively, and they have the two highest programmatic display ad share of voice (SOV) figures. The ‘Music’ category accounted for 21.1% of programmatic display ads served to iOS smartphones, while the ‘Games’ category has a 20.2% SOV.

‘Weather’ app category has over 40% video ad fraud rate on iOS smartphones

When it comes to video advertising on iOS smartphone devices, marketers need to pay special attention to the ‘Weather’ and ‘Music’ categories. Our data reveals that those two App Store categories are rife with ad fraud.

The chart below shows the IVT rates for the five most popular iOS smartphone app categories in terms of programmatic video advertising.

 
  • Fraudsters are raining on your video ad budgets
    • The ‘Weather’ category has a 40.2% programmatic video ad fraud rate on iOS smartphones in the time period we investigated. This was the highest rate among all Apple App Store categories, including those that didn’t rank in the top in terms of ad volume.
  • ‘Music’ category has 3.5x higher video IVT compared to display
    • Programmatic video ads in the ‘Music’ category on iOS smartphones have an IVT rate of 34.8%. This rate was over 3.5x higher than the display ad fraud rate in the same category (9.4%).

Ad fraud on ‘Social’ apps impacts marketers on iPads as well

The ‘Social Networking’ app category has the highest display IVT rate on both iOS smartphones. The same was true on iOS tablets, where the ‘Social’ app category has an IVT rate of 12.6%.

The chart below shows the IVT rates for the five most popular iOS tablet app categories in terms of programmatic display advertising.

 
  • Fraudster didn’t crack the ‘Weather’ code on iOS tablets
    • While the ‘Weather’ category has the highest video IVT rate on iOS smartphones, it has a relatively low (5.1%) IVT rate for display advertising on iOS tablets. There is no built-in weather app on iOS tablet devices.
  • ‘Games’ ranked third in IVT, but first in ad volume
    • The ‘Games’ category has the third-highest display IVT rate, at 8.3%, but its ad SOV was massive, at 83.5%.

Fraudsters taking advantage of marketers in the ‘Music’ app category for iOS video advertising

Ad fraudsters found great success in the ‘Music’ app category on all iOS devices. The chart below shows the IVT rates for the most popular iOS tablet app categories in terms of programmatic video advertising.

 
  • ‘Music’ has video IVT rate 2x higher than any other category
    • The ‘Music’ category has a video IVT rate of 37% on iOS tablets, which was over 2x more than the next-closest category (Entertainment, 18.2%).
  • ‘News’ ad fraud rate was much lower on iPads compared to iPhones
    • The ‘News’ category has a video IVT rate of 5.5% in the time period we studied on iOS tablets. This was about half as much as the IVT rate on iOS smartphones for the ‘News’ category (10.2%).

Get more insights in our Q2 2018 Programmatic Quality Report

Pixalate analyzed billions of programmatic ad transactions to update you on the current state of invalid traffic (IVT) and ad fraud in the marketplace. To learn more about our methodology and insights, download your copy of the Q2 2018 Programmatic Quality Report here.

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