Pre-conference Insight: Kochava Mobile Summit, The Fight Against Fraud

With Kochava’s Mobile Summit 2019 quickly approaching, Associate Director of Media, Anika Maini, who will be speaking at the event, sat down to offer a preview of her talk, “Thought Leadership in Mobile Ad Fraud.” This fireside chat will take place on February 14th at 9:30am PST, where Anika will discuss the lessons learned whilst tackling mobile ad fraud.

Here are a few insights to expect from the panel…

The history of ad fraud

Going back a few years, ad fraud was a mostly unknown area in the app marketing space with limited intelligence on the breakdown of fraud types. In 2016, this started to change when misattribution was recognized. Analyzing activity closely brought several interesting data points to light, raising questions such as, “why were so many clicks delivered per install,” and “why did organic baselines diminish in line with a particular publisher substantially increasing their volume?”. This interrogation of data has led to a higher level of diligence and awareness when it comes to understanding and stopping different types and frequencies of fraud.

Where we stand in the fight against ad fraud

In 2018, we continued our focus in building rules to evaluate when fraud is occurring, sharing our findings to partners and advertisers alike. The intention being all 3 parties work together to identify fraudulent traffic and reduce it to an acceptable level. Our benchmarks and rules leveraged timestamp data from MMPs such as Kochava to action this effectively – ruling behavior not humanly possible or manifesting in ways incongruous to established norms as potential fraud. In addition to this identification, we class activity falling outside of advertiser specific benchmarks ‘unbillable’. This has not only saved up to 25% in some advertiser’s media dollars, but also created a deterrent for trying to game the attribution model.

What does the industry look like?

Throughout 2018, there was a significant shift in the app install industry to clamp down on fraud. It has been an industry wide effort to improve knowledge, leading to actionable, preventive steps. There has been a lot work to develop fraud consoles across MMP platforms. Google launched the install referrer API, which offers huge advances in proactively reducing fraud. However, only a small percentage of advertisers have turned this functionality on in their MMP dashboards.

Looking forward

Looking forward to 2019, we will continue to develop our preventative methodology. We’ll be working with advertisers to increase uptake of Google’s install referrer API attribution, as well as working with key partners who are driving forward pre-click solutions. Outside of this there are brand safety partners, DoubleVerify and IAS, who have excelled at ensuring transparency in the web world and are now venturing into the app install space with betas that pass back actual publisher names. The hope is that eventually, we will be able to track impressions or implement an ad server, without losing the ability to track necessary data points. Then we will know exactly where an ad was served and be certain that a creative was delivered and clicked on by a human, but there is still much work to be done before that point. Join Anika and the rest of our team at Kochava’s Mobile Summit to hear more about the fight against fraud.


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