Fighting Fraud Moshe Vaknin, co-founder and CEO of growth marketing platform YouAppi, looks at the growing problem of mobile ad fraud, and what measures can be taken to prevent it he last few years have seen a revolution in the business of app marketing. With over a billion apps in each of the two major app stores, app developers have had to get smarter in how they market themselves. And it’s not just about driving downloads; it’s about driving downloads from the types of people who are likely to stay loyal to the app and generate revenue for the developer. We’ve built our business on this revolution. Our OneRun platform, which has been four years in the making, combines the power of machine learning with our proprietary predictive algorithms and cohort technology to analyse the mobile content
consumption patterns of over 2bn users, converting data into profitable customers. And it’s gained us real traction in the market. Collectively, our 450 advertiser clients have run more than 15,000 mobile user acquisition campaigns on our platform, and they come back to us because it works.
A dark cloud But there is a dark cloud on the horizon that impacts everyone in the digital advertising business, and the name of that cloud is fraud. According to figures from the World Federation of Advertisers, the cost of ad fraud will rise from current levels of $7.2bn (£5.5bn) to at least $50bn by 2025. That’s a
lot of money going into the pockets of bad actors. And while that figure includes both desktop and mobile ad fraud, the rapid growth – and relative immaturity – of mobile advertising, make it a soft and particularly appealing target for the fraudsters. It gets even worse when you consider the knock-on effects of this activity, primarily the rise of ad blocking. There’s a direct correlation between the rise of ad fraud and malware, and the rise in ad blocking, as consumers, understandably, seek to protect themselves. A January 2016 study by PageFair found that 419m people worldwide use mobile ad blockers. That’s a fifth of the world’s smartphone users (and represents
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