- Bot fraud on connected TV (CTV) grew 69% year-over-year in 2022, according to a report from measurement and analytics firm DoubleVerify.
- The variety of CTV schemes detected by the company annually has also tripled since 2020. This encroachment follows a surge in advertiser investments in the channel, which became more popular with consumers amid the pandemic-driven shift to streaming.
- DoubleVerify’s findings follow an upfronts season that is expected to see brands and media buyers focus even more on CTV with new offerings on the market from Netflix, Disney+ and others.
DoubleVerify’s latest global insights report digs into an ugly truth that has long dogged digital advertising channels: The greater the popularity, the more likely a space will be targeted by bad actors. A need for CTV to clean up its act could become pressing as the channel climbs in priority for advertisers, with marquee programming soon making the jump to the streaming arena.
CTV has emerged as a rare bright spot in an otherwise down ad market. Consumers have expressed a strong preference for streaming, ditching linear TV in droves. Streaming platforms and traditional networks, meanwhile, have increasingly turned to ad-supported plans as the focus shifts from growth to profitability in an oversaturated market. Netflix last week held its first-ever upfront, though the presentation pivoted to a virtual format at the last minute due to the entertainment writer’s strike.
Even with investments flowing in and interest on the rise, CTV remains a relatively immature channel with vulnerabilities that could be off-putting to advertisers that are watching their budgets closely and looking to cut down on wasteful spending.
“[With] growth come growing pains,” said Mark Zagorski, CEO of DoubleVerify, in a press statement. “As CTV becomes a top channel for consumers and advertisers alike, it also becomes a target for fraud, making measurement and protection a critical part of validating the efficacy of campaigns.”
DoubleVerify provides verification and brand safety solutions and used the research to trumpet its products. The firm compared the results of a “protected” campaign to one where verification was not in place and found the unprotected campaign experienced fraud rates roughly 18 times higher, or at about 11.2%. The report’s broader findings were based on an analysis of over 5.5 trillion media transactions conducted by 1,000 DoubleVerify customers across the globe.
While DoubleVerify has a clear motivation for calling out CTV fraud, it is a topic advertisers will be paying closer attention to as they test the channel’s waters in greater numbers. The upfronts, a media-buying bonanza that has historically been dedicated to linear and broadcast TV deals, has put digital in the spotlight in recent years. Well over half of this year’s upfronts market is forecast to be made up of digital media buys, according to Insider Intelligence. The researcher expects brands will commit $8.66 billion to CTV ads for the current period.