With demographic and cultural differences, digital media is seeing an evolution that affects advertising purchasing patterns. The variety of search engines coupled with changing access to online websites, the digital media landscape is expected to continue to evolve. As such, advertising will continue to make a seismic shift from traditional means to digital.
Bad Bots Are Also Growing
In 2015, 3.2 billion devices were connected to the internet worldwide.6 With wide and far access to the internet, an evolution of bad actors are emerging. Bad bots generate about 19% of the total internet traffic globally.7 These bad actors have leveraged global connectivity to exploit the advertisers and publishers while reaping the benefits.
However, these bad actors are only part of the global problem. It ignores that many advertisers value impressions over all else, real or false. Impressions are notoriously difficult to quantify, let alone qualify. When a company comes up with a new metric like viewability, that metric becomes a new target for bot makers. As proven by Methbot,8 once bot makers beat the metric, traffic is then easily accepted by both publishers and advertisers, who rely on that metric.
To boot, bots continue to perpetuate because those protecting against bad bots don’t share information, as shown with several sources 9,10 who claim they were aware of Methbot long before it became ‘a thing.’
Bots Aren't the Only Form of Ad Fraud
Ad fraud by humans is a big problem, too. Human click farms, invisible ads (ad stacking), domain spoofing, ad injection, and cookie stuffing are powered by humans, which are often overlooked by vendors searching for bot fraud.
Ad Fraud Will Reach $50 Billion By 2025
By the end of 2016, it was projected that overall spending on automated banner displays and video ads would grow to an impressive 18.7 billion worldwide, with U.S. advertising dollars accounting for half of that spend.12 If a bad actor can slice even the smallest piece of that pie, they’re in. Without sufficient countermeasures in place, it’s projected that ad fraud will reach in excess of $50 billion by 2025.
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