Analysis: Number of fraudulent apps up 159% YoY

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According to eMarketer, mobile ad spend – estimated at $87 billion in 2019 – will account for more than two-thirds of overall US digital ad spend. Last year, for the first time, mobile ad spend surpassed ad spend on linear TV. This growth was driven by large investments in mobile app advertising, which is expected to reach $201 billion in spend globally by 2021.

As the demand for mobile app advertising grows, fraudsters continue to take advantage of this trend, with no signs of stopping. New data from DoubleVerify found that:

  • Mobile app sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) impressions have doubled year-on-year since 2017
  • The total number of fraudulent apps has increased by 159 per cent from 2017 to 2018
  • 57 pr cent of fraudulent mobile apps are categorized as ‘Games’ and ‘Tools & Utilities’
  • 1.6x more new fraudulent apps were identified in 2018 than in 2017

“With ad spend increasingly concentrated in mobile – and particularly mobile app, fraudsters are redoubling their efforts to take advantage,” said Roy Rosenfeld, Head of DoubleVerify’s Fraud Lab. “It’s critical that brands understand these risks, in order to allocate spend accordingly and install appropriate safeguards for their digital investments.”


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