As the marketplace becomes more saturated and competitive, direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketers are under an increased amount of pressure to prove the effectiveness of their campaigns – leaving them to explore new media channels to drive results for their brands and reach new audiences.

David Zapletal, Chief Operating Officer, was featured in The Drum discussing the benefits of connected TV (CTV) as a new media channel for DTC brands to improve campaign performance. Here’s a look at what he shared:

Many of the reasons why DTCs are increasingly upping their CTV investments are straightforward—even intuitive. DTCs, from already doing so much business digitally, have access to the first-party data that enables efficient CTV targeting. 

CTV is high-quality media, with low levels of fraud relative to many other digital channels and with 100% viewable inventory. They can use similar KPIs in CTV that they use in online campaigns – online conversions, site visits, and the like. And they can target very specifically, allowing them all the benefits of consumers’ engagement with the TV screen without dealing with the cost of reaching all viewers of a program via linear. DTCs are seeing the value of developing compelling creative for CTV and shifting spend to maximize their budget. 

CTV allows marketers to define outcomes and choose a sophisticated attribution model – a custom attribution window allows brands to define their conversion window, methodology (for example, first- and last-touch, and more advanced methods like linear and time decay), and KPIs. From there, they can optimize towards the interactions that drive performance – and effectively measure real-world actions that were driven by the campaign.

When making a push into CTV, DTC marketers need to consider the metrics and outcomes that are important to them and understand where and how to get insights on those metrics and outcomes. CTV offers exceptionally broad insights to help meet DTC marketers’ unique goals. Impressions and video completion rates (VCR) don’t tell the whole story of a campaign. Marketers need to track user actions throughout the entire marketing funnel. CTV advanced reporting measures valuable bottom-funnel actions, including site visits, online purchases, in-store visits, app downloads, and more – not just brand lift and awareness.

CTV isn’t simply the next emerging channel for DTC marketers to explore—it’s a powerful channel that can drive performance metrics where previously “tried and true” channels aren’t cutting it and can inform cross-platform campaign optimization.

Whether you’re a DTC marketer just getting started in the CTV/OTT space or looking to take your current campaigns to the next level, Digital Remedy is here to help. Speak to a member of our team to learn more.

Check out the full article on The Drum, and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest Digital Remedy updates.

Katie Cladis, VP of Product was featured in AdExchanger discussing why marketers are outgrowing VCR.

For years, video completion rate (VCR) has been a top metric for digital marketers. The metric held media accountable for delivering impressions that brought value to a campaign, while giving marketers a pricing model they could get behind.

Even today, over 60% of marketers still consider views or plays their most important metric. And yet, there’s so much more that marketers can measure to get a clearer understanding of video performance against more nuanced, campaign-specific goals.

Marketers’ evolving needs

Today, viewability, ad fraud, and brand safety are all important considerations. We’ve also seen a push toward transacting on outcomes and actions – marketers have come to think of video for its performance marketing potential. Meanwhile, audience consumption habits have evolved, too. Higher-quality content on CTV and more time at home have driven growth, accelerated by the rise of native digital TV platforms.

More than a third of streaming viewers subscribe to four or more services, a rapidly growing share. This has led to advertising saturation in the viewing experience. And when the volume of exposure to ads is greater, that decreases the likelihood the viewer will retain or take action because of the ad.

What’s more, marketers right now are facing uncertainty about how a coming recession would affect their budgets. With tighter budgets, CPMs would need to work harder to deliver results, which means video ad spend must be more accountable to action. But all of these changes bring fresh opportunities.

Better measurement opportunities

Consumers had previously expected premium ad experiences in linear TV only. Now, they expect those experiences in CTV and OTT, where they’re typically more cost-effective. CTV and OTT also appeal greatly to DTC brands, whose businesses rely on consumers making purchases via digital channels.

Technological changes since the adoption of VCR have concurrently cracked open marketers’ ability to measure a video campaign’s performance. Marketers can track an audience’s exposure to an ad and link that exposure to an action.

We’ve seen increased sophistication in incrementality measurement to attribute lift to exposure. Attribution models have evolved, allowing marketers to find models suitable for their goals and optimize toward incremental lift. And marketers can take advantage of real-time optimization using AI, which can allocate spend toward the ad units, channels and audiences that are likely to deliver the best performance.

VCR’s evolving role

VCR doesn’t cut it anymore. While it can illuminate aspects of advertising’s performance, it just shouldn’t be at the very center of a modern video ad campaign.

Instead, marketers in video can augment and enhance their measurement methodologies by exploring and implementing more nuanced metrics and tools already at their disposal. In digital media, performance metrics reign supreme. And now they’re measurable in video, including OTT/CTV. Attribution tools can measure campaign impact across all channels, and incremental measurement allows marketers to directly attribute actions.

Familiarity for familiarity’s sake isn’t enough reason to hold VCR above other metrics. There’s great value in a successful digital video campaign. Marketers need to explore the metrics and tools that can deliver the value they’re due.

Check out the article on AdExchanger and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest Digital Remedy updates.

A confluence of factors is driving a boom in the OTT/CTV advertising space. With more households watching more streaming content, advertisers have, of course, taken notice, increasingly shifting ad dollars toward OTT and CTV channels. In fact, CTV ad spending is expected to surge 40% by the end of this year, totaling over $14.4b, and is forecast to more than double to $29.5b by 2024. 

Naturally, as viewers and ad dollars have shifted toward OTT/CTV, many advertising technology platforms have followed suit, with more providers now offering CTV programmatic buying options with various targeting and attribution capabilities. CTV’s ability to merge the often-separated performance and brand marketing worlds—including its inherently addressable nature—is redefining the digital ad space and giving marketers a way to take their campaign measurement to the next level.

Ben Brenner, VP of Business Development & Strategy, shared six questions with Street Fight to ask to help brands who are new to the performance CTV space:

1. Is performance CTV right for your brand?

First, ask yourself: does your brand fall within the bucket of brands that can benefit most from performance CTV, and is your brand prepared to get started? Brand awareness-focused advertisers will not be the best candidate for performance CTV, as it focuses on direct performance, conversions, and attribution. Marketers must decide whether performance CTV fits their brand, strategy, campaign goals, and budget. It’s quite different from buying linear TV—it’s much more granular and requires detailed audience knowledge—so it’s important to be certain you have the data and insights to make it effective. 

2. If it is relevant for your brand, how will you evaluate success?

Before you invest any money, you must first determine which consumer actions (sales, leads, site visits, etc.) matter most for your strategy. Will you consider CTV’s impact within your larger media mix or as a standalone channel? You’ll want to ask partners how transparent they are with conversion reporting.  Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to see how it stacks up in return on ad spend (ROAS) and cost per action (CPA) compared to other channels.

3. What is your preferred attribution methodology?

Innovations in attribution have moved the focus away from just video completion rate and toward ROAS and CPA metrics, and even these are still just scratching the surface of CTV measurement. That’s why transparency in reporting by partners is essential. Many vendors in the CTV space are stuck on last touch but effective performance CTV measurement means going beyond last touch—you need to know all touches that drove the desired action. For example, with the right platform you can measure first touch (conversion credit assigned to the first exposure), last touch (conversion credit assigned to the last exposure), time decay (with more credit assigned to exposures approaching the point of conversion), and linear (where conversion credit is evenly distributed across all exposures). But all of these have inherent variables as well. Working with a provider that can help you sort through these variables to define attribution is critical for refining your budget strategy and future campaigns. 

4. Can we measure incrementality?

To determine the true business value of advertising, marketers must move past clicks and impressions toward higher-value metrics like revenue and net profit—how the marketing spend actually moves the needle. Incrementality allows you to do just that by measuring the lift in desired outcome in the campaign results above baseline native demand. And sometimes the interaction that influences the desired outcome may look more costly, but the impact delivers a higher ROAS. Regardless of whether you’re working with a multi-touch attribution provider across channels, when you’re running on CTV specifically, what works on direct-basis (without an incrementality multiplier) most likely doesn’t work with incrementality multiplier. For example, Creative A might have CPA of $15, and Creative B’s CPA is $20. But Creative A delivers only 50% incremental lift while Creative B delivers 90%. While A is cheaper, you should be optimizing for B based on effectiveness. You’ll want to choose a provider that allows you to measure incrementality to get a true picture of the impact of OTT on your overall ROAS while factoring in other media channels and ensuring native demand is accounted for. 

5. Is real-time optimization available?

A big part of the value in CTV advertising is that it’s fast and fluid—unlike buying linear TV where the buy is set with an IO and requires you to wait. CTV buying can be much more agile and dynamic, allowing you to optimize spending based on results as they come in. Having all this granular data is great, but what good is it if it just sits on the shelf? That’s why any platform you choose must provide real-time optimization and the ability to change audience targeting parameters on demand. Twice a week isn’t nearly enough—daily is ideal. 

6. How much flexibility is there to shift ad spending?

In the linear world, when you buy spots on broadcast and cable, you own that spot for however long the IO dictates. And some CTV providers who buy spots direct from the publisher operate the same way. Look for a performance CTV provider that offers flexible optimization that allows you to shift spending across publishers and platforms as you need to. In the performance CTV realm, marketers need to be able to move ad spend at constant, flexible rates—leveraging data-driven campaign performance insights. 

CTV allows marketers to take advantage of new ad opportunities, and performance CTV, while not meant for every advertiser, offers a game-changing advantage in the modern media landscape. But taking the plunge into performance CTV can be daunting, especially without the right platform partner. By first learning the basics of how it works and then asking these questions of potential vendors, marketers can leverage sophisticated ad tech solutions to meet their needs without getting in over their heads.  

Check out the full article on Street Fight and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest Digital Remedy updates.

Search and social platforms, like Meta and Google, have set a high bar for campaign performance expectations. There are hundreds of emerging direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands in every product category, so how can smaller brands stand out? Many small and startup companies are turning to OTT/CTV advertising as a performance channel to drive real-world actions.

Ben Brenner, VP of Business Development & Strategy, was recently featured in Toolbox Marketing Magazine, where he shared some tips for small and startup advertisers looking to try out OTT/CTV advertising to grow their business.

1. Treat OTT like an extension of social.

Reusing spots produced for social is a great way to extend those resources and your spend. Instead of spending big bucks on production for OTT creative, brands can put that money toward buying more media.

2. Leverage both first- and third-party data.

More providers have converted their taxonomies to be CTV compatible, leveraging IP addresses or DSP IDs. From viewership data to purchase and search history data, browser history data to location visitation data—segments using each of these collection points can be leveraged on your OTT campaigns. Don’t forget about your data—nothing is more potent than first-party data.

3. Find a partner who can help activate, measure, optimize, and iterate.

For brands looking toward CTV as a performance channel, it is imperative to find a vendor or platform that offers complete transparency into what’s being bought and how, what’s being measured and how, and exactly how that measurement gets put to work—a partner who can put it all together.

Check out Ben’s full piece on Toolbox. Whether you’re just getting started in the OTT/CTV space or looking to take your campaigns to the next level, Digital Remedy is here to help. To learn more about Flip, our performance CTV platform, speak with a member of our team—and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest updates.

With its precise targeting and direct attribution capabilities, OTT/CTV advertising has become a powerful new performance-based opportunity for marketers. As more and more brands have discovered the potential to effectively reach high-value audiences and measure return on ad spend (ROAS), spending on OTT/CTV advertising has skyrocketed and is expected to surge 40% this year to over $14.4b—more than doubling by 2024 to nearly $30b.

With precision targeting and deterministic measurement, performance CTV provides a unique opportunity for marketers to reach highly-engaged audiences. But for marketers who are new to the channel, especially those who are more familiar with linear TV, OTT/CTV might feel a bit disorienting. Our own, Ben Brenner, VP of Business Development & Strategy, was recently featured in Street Fight Magazine, where he discussed some tips for getting started and how to fully maximize your performance CTV strategy. Here’s an overview of what he had to say:

Adopt a fast, fluid, and iterative approach.

Unlike linear TV, where an ad buy will stay in rotation for a fixed period of time, CTV buys can (and should be) much more dynamic, fluid, and iterative. With CTV, it’s much easier to launch, adjust, and optimize targeting throughout your campaign’s flight.

Leverage your customer data.

With CTV, you can use first-party data to target both existing and prospective customers in a variety of ways, including using your CRM list to target existing customers with new product launches, excluding existing users to reach only new audiences for prospecting campaigns, and using known user data to surface look-a-like consumers to connect with new high-value prospects.

Tap into third-party data.

There is a huge variety of third-party data sources available that can help to target ads on CTV, including data on purchases, viewership, search and browser history, location, in-store visits, and more.

Utilize full attribution insights.

With CTV, you can get full attribution visibility—when someone makes a purchase, you can look back to see which ad they saw on what platform, during which program, and at what time of day. By understanding this sequence and the attributes of every ad exposure, not just the last one, marketers can fine-tune ad targeting and delivery to maximize conversions and identify new users who are most likely to convert.

Work with a partner who can bring it all together.

Look for a partner who can offer both first- and third-party data integrations, directly access a wide variety of streaming publishers, and provide both attribution tracking and real-time optimization, with complete transparency into the process so there are no surprises.

Check out the full article on Street Fight and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest Digital Remedy updates. Interested in learning more about performance CTV? Watch our on-demand webinar or speak to a member of our team.

While U.S. ad spend on CTV is expected to reach $18.29b by 2024, direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have been much slower to make the move—with most continuing to allocate the majority of their budget to social and search, their longtime go-to channels for customer acquisition.

Product Insights Marketing Manager, Brittany Paril, recently discussed why there’s never been a better time for DTC marketers to invest in the CTV/OTT space—and why working with a trusted, experienced media partner is crucial. Here’s a look at the top reasons CTV/OTT is a beneficial part of the media mix and the unique opportunities it provides DTC marketers:

1. Deliver ads within a high-quality, engaging environment.

CTV/OTT doesn’t suffer the same trust issues as social, making it more likely that viewers will interact with ads given the high-quality, lean-in format of these channels.

2. Take advantage of greater scale and unique inventory options.

While the social and search spaces have become saturated, CTV/OTT provides a much broader selection of devices, platforms, and channels for DTC brands to reach audiences on.

3. Achieve more precise personalization.

Just as DTC customers want the curated, personalized experience they get from their favorite DTC brands, CTV/OTT advertising provides advertisers the same capability for reaching the right audience—offering various targeting levers that they can activate based on their specific goals.

4. Leverage direct attribution measurement.

With the right data partner, DTC brands can measure the specific actions (site visits/purchases, store visits, app downloads, etc.) users take as a result of being exposed to the brand’s OTT ad.

5. The channel is ripe for disruption and growth.

CTV/OTT gives them an opportunity to differentiate their brand in a relatively untapped market. Because this channel is still relatively undiscovered by most DTC brands, it’s a prime opportunity to grab the attention of this valuable audience before your competitors do.

You can check out the full article on Street Fight. Whether you’re a DTC marketer just getting started in the CTV/OTT space or looking to take your campaigns to the next level, Digital Remedy is here to help. To learn more, speak with a member of our team—and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest updates.

COVID-related stay-at-home orders and the shift to work from home have completely changed the way audiences consume media, and there’s no doubt things will continue to evolve as new variants, hotspots, and policies change.

Ben Brenner, VP, Business Development & Strategy, recently discussed why diversifying your digital ad strategy across display, video, mobile, DOOH, OTT, and CTV is critical to surviving the ebbs and flows of today’s ever-changing trends and explains why putting all your eggs in one basket can be a risky play in advertising, especially given the recent volatility of the market. Top benefits for marketers who choose the right digital partner to help them diversify their strategy include:

Accurate measurement with direct attribution

Attribution technology is evolving in emerging media types, including out-of-home (OOH), streaming audio, and connected TV (CTV). What was once considered branding impressions can now become tangible and measurable KPIs like site visits, downloads, and sales.

Access to more granular insights

Having a partner with the ability to analyze across and within allows for brands and advertisers to maximize their ad spend for the highest return on investment. Having this level of direct attribution allows digital experts to see not only which platforms are working, but also which creative, publisher, or what time of day is driving results.

Bulk buying across more platforms

Working with a digital ad partner enables much greater flexibility and the advantage of lower pricing. Brands can make changes on the fly across platforms and publishers to gain the diversity that today’s dynamic market demands without the risk or the high cost.

Check out the full article over on AIthority and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest Digital Remedy updates.

David Zapletal, COO at Digital Remedy, was recently featured in MarTech Zone, discussing how Flip provides advertisers with a smarter way to buy, manage, and optimize OTT campaigns during a time where streaming media is exploding and cord-cutting continues to rapidly accelerate.

The explosion in streaming media options, content, and viewership over the last year has made OTT advertising impossible to ignore for brands and the agencies that represent them. The cord-cutting that began in earnest before the pandemic has accelerated dramatically with an estimated 6.6 million households cutting the cord last year, making nearly one-fourth of American households cable-free. Another 27% are expected to do the same in 2021.

With streaming now accounting for nearly 70% of TV viewing, this massive audience is drawing a lot of attention from advertisers. Spending on OTT advertising is expected to jump from $990 million in 2020 to $2.37 billion by 2025, creeping slowly toward overtaking linear TV’s top spot for spending. 

Despite the huge opportunity, executing OTT advertising can be a challenge for both big and small brands and agencies. With so many platforms, it’s hard to know which one to choose. Managing relationships with multiple publishers is cumbersome and it can be hard to track the right metrics to know what’s working and what’s not. 

To solve that challenge, Flip, the performance OTT platform from Digital Remedy, provides a smarter way to buy, manage, and optimize OTT campaigns. But beyond just video completion rates, this Digiday award-winning platform provides brands with detailed insights into top performing creatives, geos, publishers, dayparts, and more. It delivers full-funnel attribution, brand lift, and incremental lift analysis to let advertisers know not only which campaigns are driving results (and how), but puts these insights to work immediately, optimizing campaigns in real time towards top-performing variables. The full-service solution handles the entire OTT advertising lifecycle, enabling brands and agencies of all sizes to capitalize on the OTT opportunity with simplicity.

Source directly from premium inventory

Through extensive industry partnerships, brands and agencies get direct access to every premium OTT publisher to maximize audience reach. The Flip platform leverages more enriched data to fuel real-time optimization, ensuring campaigns are performing to their full potential while providing in-depth insights and making the most of an advertiser’s budget. Because there’s no middleman, brands get the most efficient pricing possible, creating higher ROI and return on ad spend (ROAS). And because the entire OTT strategy is managed within Flip, there’s no need to hassle with multiple vendor relationships or contracts. It’s simple, consolidated, and efficient. 

Measure actions, not just views

As OTT measurement continues to mature, brands want to look beyond video completion rates (a binary yes/no), clicks, and impressions. At the end of the day, advertisers want to know how their campaigns are driving measurable outcomes, and ultimately, sales. Flip is able to connect those dots, to measure KPIs like app downloads, website visits, shopping carts started, and even in-store visits. The platform ties views to the actual outcome of the advertising, so you can see what’s working and what’s not working.

“This is one of the key features that makes our solution really unique—we can tie the outcome to the advertising and do it across every device, so you can see what’s really moving the needle,” said Michael Seiman, Digital Remedy CEO. “That means you get real, actionable insights to make meaningful adjustments to your campaigns to achieve your bottom line business goals.”

Broader data for deeper insights

Most marketers have access to their own first-party customer data and that’s it—nothing about your competitors’ customers or even potential customers. With Flip, you can bring your own data and combine it with Digital Remedy’s extensive third-party data sources and leverage this broader data set for deeper, more refined audience targeting and reporting. That means you can capitalize on your competitors’ data to get better results.

Real-time brand lift results

Beyond just views and low-funnel conversions, Flip also allows marketers to track brand lift by combining OTT engagement metrics with survey-based insights to measure awareness, recall, and perception. So even for those who haven’t converted yet, Flip lets you take a pulse on brand affinity to see whether your ads are resonating with your target audience.

Find out what really moves the needle

In digital advertising, there are a lot of variables that can be attributed to campaign success. The truth is, audiences can, and most likely will, be exposed to your ads on other media channels simultaneously throughout your OTT campaign run. Wouldn’t it be great to pinpoint what parts of your campaign are actually driving results? With Flip, brands can answer the question: of everyone who took action, how many of them did so because of an OTT exposure specifically? Flip provides in-depth incremental lift metrics, measuring and identifying which variables of your campaign have the truest impact on your bottom line in the consumer pathway to purchase. It offers a level of granularity by isolating the effect and establishing the value of OTT within your overall campaign. By comparing conversion rates of exposed and control groups across variables like creatives, publishers, and audiences, we’re able to see how much more likely someone is to convert when exposed to your ad on OTT or based on certain campaign variables.

Decades of expertise on your side

The machine is only as smart as the humans behind it, and the team at Digital Remedy has been working in video and OTT since before you could track anything. With more than 20 years in the digital space, they’ve been executing across all types of media, since back when you still had to manually optimize. And with roughly five years in the OTT space itself, this institutional knowledge means you get data-powered technology that’s backed by deep expertise from professionals who have been on the other side as marketers themselves, and have a deep understanding of the metrics that advertisers really want to see. The workflow, visualization, and reporting has all been built from a clients’ perspective to provide the insights you need to fully understand campaign performance. 

Jumping into a new medium like OTT can seem overwhelming, especially with the added pressure of knowing that you really have no choice—it’s where your audience and your competitors are going. But with the right tools and expertise in your corner, even the smallest brands and firms can compete with the big guys in this hot new channel. With the Flip OTT performance platform, Digital Remedy is making it accessible, simple, and affordable for brands and marketers at all levels to win at OTT.

Ad fraud is a low-risk, high-profit crime, which is what makes it so attractive to fraudsters. According to Juniper Research, global digital ad fraud will cost companies $100b by 2023. The latest target? Digital audio. Brittany Paril, Product Insights Marketing Manager at Digital Remedy, was recently featured on Mediatel News, discussing key points and red flags that marketers need to know and look out for in the fight against this evolving threat and the importance of strategic partnerships with the right technology and data providers to protect brand reputation and budgets against scammers. Here’s some highlights:

  1. Digital audio is booming (creating new opportunities for fraud).
  2. Digital audio fraud is impossible to eliminate completely, but there are ways to avoid it.
  3. Digital audio fraud is similar to CTV ad fraud.
  4. Auditing is necessary.
  5. Choosing the right data partner is crucial.

To avoid fraudulent or low-quality audio traffic, some main identifiers and red flags that marketers can look out for include:

  1. Name Recognition – Top brands are going to have quality inventory. The low quality is going to come from online radios and apps that no one has ever heard of, yet somehow have millions of impressions.
  2. IP Addresses – Reputable sources appear much different in their reporting compared to non-reputable sources. When you see a single server reporting hundreds of thousands of impressions, that is abnormal. You would never see that in reporting from larger vendors.
  3. Price – It’s true what they say, you get what you pay for. Questionable inventory may seem appealing because it is half the price of higher-end inventory, but you will most likely get half the quality inventory.
  4. Frequency – With “pay to listen” opportunities, people can engage in incentivized audio experiences by keeping a browser open playing audio/ads, resulting in high frequencies in reporting. Advertisers may accept this and brush these results off, chalking it up to “someone has the radio on all day in their shop”. However, legitimate platforms will continuously check the user’s engagement by delivering pop-up messages.

To better understand the new breed of fraud within this rapidly-growing channel and how to effectively combat it, marketers need to be proactive, vigilant, and strategic in their efforts. The new ad fraud methods require new protection measures. That’s why we partner with Protected Media to leverage fraud prevention technology to catch fraud before it takes place and ad dollars are wasted. 

Check out the full article on Mediatel News and be sure to follow Digital Remedy on LinkedIn and Twitter for additional industry insights.

Digital ad fraud is a pervasive problem, and by 2022, it’s estimated that fraudsters will steal up to $87 billion a year from the industry. Having blazed through CTV/OTT, fraudsters have set their sights on digital audio as their latest conquest. David Zapletal, COO at Digital Remedy, recently spoke with The Drum to discuss how fraudsters are shifting their attention to the digital audio space, and what marketers need to do to be vigilant and protect their budgets. The silver lining? Reliable partners are on the front lines, working with brand safety advocates like Protected Media to uncover ad fraud to keep the digital media space safe. That being said, here’s what you need to know:

Digital audio is irresistible

Like CTV/OTT before it, there’s been a huge increase in audiences flocking to digital audio, especially during the pandemic. Podcasts, in particular, have accelerated, and seen a boost in ad spending, with revenues approaching $1 billion.

Finding fraud: what to look for

One of the ways marketers can fight back against digital audio fraud is to carefully review reports and look for these tells:

  1. Questionable traffic. The server between the content and the ad is a mystery box, where fraudsters can reroute traffic. You might see apps with massive ad-driven download volume but little traction on app stores—a sign the traffic has been rerouted. 
  2. Poor quality. Not all fraudulent traffic is invalid—it is just poor quality. It might come from a public venue or a sports bar that has a revenue share agreement with a streaming app. They turn it on and the content plays, followed by an ad call. However, it might be playing 24/7, even when the venue is closed and no one’s there to listen. The ad played, but didn’t reach anyone.
  3. Impersonation. Spotify’s counterfeit podcast problem saw shady creators distributing dozens of shows with similar names as popular podcasts. In this scheme, copycats created the show, uploaded it to the platform, and then used Spotify’s ad injection to monetize. Other fraudsters spoof reputable broadcasting companies, using similar names to bait advertisers into buying seemingly legitimate inventory.

So, what’s a marketer to do?

Until the Media Ratings Council establishes a standard, or a big advertiser sounds the alarm, marketers must do their own fraud protection:

  1. Buy from brands you know. Quality inventory comes from the brands you recognize. If they have millions of impressions, but you have never heard of them, that’s a red flag.
  2. Examine the metrics. Look at these three key pieces of data:
  3. Find a partner with strong brand safety parameters. Monitoring fraud takes up resources, and when working with a media partner with existing processes in place to identify and combat fraud, you benefit from both clear reporting and expertise that can help mitigate the risk.

Ultimately, if marketers buy correctly and carefully, fraud won’t happen. But in the rush to capitalize on the audio boom, some brands value quantity over quality. That incentivizes fraudsters and hurts the entire industry.

For more information, you can check out the full article over on The Drum, and follow Digital Remedy on LinkedIn and Twitter for additional industry insights.