Avoiding ad fraud in the connected TV market – TechCrunch

Advertising tends to work in the hype cycles. Native ads, mobile targeting, social media – over the past decade, all of these channels have been touted as the miracle marketers and advertisers crave to break the noise.

Now, with at least one connected television (CTV) in 80% of American homes, advertisers are ready to realign their hopes once again.

With seemingly high-quality content and wide reach, CTV – often powered by Google Chrome, Roku, Apple TV, or other devices – seems like a good publicity bet at first glance. And with the possible impending obsolescence of third-party cookies triggering panic over desktop and mobile ad targeting, CTV has an attractive inventory. But there can be a big downside for those unwilling to do their due diligence: It can be easy to fall victim to bad actors exploiting the hype that CTV is currently experiencing.

For ad buyers, especially those in startups and more agile organizations, CTV can be a viable and powerful channel to add to your ad mix. But first, it’s imperative to know that CTV advertising can come with some unique risks. Don’t get carried away by the hype or abused by the scams. Investing the time and resources to get CTV advertising correct before committing more is a smart strategy.

Know the risks of CTV environments

CTV can reach new and specialized audiences, but transparency can be a challenge. CTV ads do not provide the technical visibility of desktop and mobile ads – often there is no client-side tracking of when an ad is served.

This lack of transparency is just one of the risks that buying CTV ads without education can entail. To get a more complete picture of the problem, we need to look at both the business and technical factors that make CTV unique:

  • High costs attract fraud. CTV inventory has a higher cost per thousand impressions (CPM) than many other types of advertising. Scammers turn to a high CPM because it can maximize their return. If paired with a vulnerable advertising ecosystem, there is the potential for big profits with little effort – a perfect recipe for opportunists and bad actors.
  • Scarcity results in low standards. CTV’s video inventory is inherently scarce. To do more, we need to create more CTV channels and produce or license content. Under these conditions, a domino effect occurs. Platforms and ad networks are becoming too eager to find enough inventory to keep up with the pace of business, leading to lax sourcing standards.

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