In-app programmatic advertising is substantially more prone to fraud and wasted impressions than Web-based ads. This according to a study from Lucidity, which uses a blockchain-based technique to verify ad metrics. While 96% of Web impressions were confirmed by all members of the ad supply chain, just 65% of in-app ads were. Non-confirmed impressions are likely to be fraudulent or wasted. Confirmation rates improved substantially when placements were optimized to avoid discrepancies, which implies (but doesn’t prove) that performance improved as well.
Lucidity is clearly barking up the right tree: this Forrester study for PubMatic found that nearly one-quarter of ads budgets are now spent on mobile in-app ads, most purchased programmatically. And, sure enough, ad fraud and viewability measurement top the list of concerns. They buy anyway because they like the high engagement and targetability.
Shifting to a simpler type of fraud, we have a report that high theft rates were a major factor in Walmart’s decision to end its test of cashierless checkout. Customers frequently placed items in their shopping carts without scanning them. Unlike Walmart, Amazon’s cashierless Go stores don’t rely on customer scans to determine what they pay for.
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