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Click Fraud in OTT? It's Real (And Growing)

Jun 7, 2017 6:09:09 AM

Our series on programmatic click fraud has explored desktop, smartphone, and tablet click fraud rates across display and video inventory.

Today, we're delving into the emerging world of Connected TV and Over-The-Top (OTT) inventory sold via programmatic. Fraudsters can hack into Smart TVs and OTT devices in many ways. One of the ways they infiltrate our Connected TV/OTT devices is via click fraud.

Yes, click fraud does exist in this world, too.

Connected TV/OTT Apps: Volatility to begin 2017, but click fraud rates up 70%

Connected TV/OTT app advertising via programmatic saw click fraud rates increase 70% during the first four months of 2017. But there was plenty of volatility in that span.


  • Connected TV and OTT app click fraud was 10.2% in January 2017
  • Click fraud in apps rose to a high of 21.7% in February
  • It went back to 10.2% in March before rising to 17.3% in April
  • Overall, Connected TV/OTT app click fraud was 70% higher in April compared to January (17.3% vs. 10.2%)

Connected TV/OTT Web: Click fraud rises 2.6x over first four months of 2017

While click fraud within Connected TV and OTT apps saw volatile growth, click fraud within web environments saw progressive growth each and every month to begin 2017.


  • Connected TV and OTT web click fraud was 15.5% in January 2017
  • The number rose steadily to 19.1% in February before doubling to 39.3% in March
  • Connected TV/OTT web click fraud peaked in April, at 40.9%
  • Overall, Connected TV/OTT web click fraud increased by 2.6x from January to April (15.5% to 40.9%)

Click fraud on Connected TVs and OTT devices is rising


Connected TV/OTT click fraud on web ads rose in each successive month from January through April to begin 2017. It was 2.6x as big of a problem in April as it was in January.

It was much more volatile within apps, with click fraud at roughly 10% in January and March and roughly 20% in February and April. 

Overall, our research reveals that click fraud on Connected TVs and OTT devices is growing — and sometimes quite volatile. Marketers should have a plan in place to account for the turbulent, growing problem of click fraud when using programmatic to buy or sell ads in the Connected TV/OTT space.

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