Introducing a rating system evaluating ad exchanges’ fraud activity

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Pixalate, a global intelligence platform and fraud protection provider, announced the release of a monthly in-app Mobile Seller Trust Index, or MSTI. The purpose of this index is to look at fraud activity among ad exchanges.

The world of mobile advertising is vulnerable to ad fraud and has its own series of problems. Not only is location data inaccurate at times, software cookies tracking web surfers on desktop computers are unable to follow users across the landscape of apps.

Factors in the Pixalate index determine the quality and they look at fraud, inventory, location and transparency. It outlined four other key aspects of in-app inventory: Ten sellers control 80 percent of the inventory, the device ID is missing half of the time, one-third of the inventory has location data and most fraud takes place in data centers. The final point is the most troubling.

The company had researched more than 125 supply-side platforms, which allowed them to come up with a top 10 list of ad platforms. For instance, in the month of August, some of the listed ad platforms included AOL Marketplace, Google AdExchange, Millennial Media Exchange and Rubicon.


Chart courtesy of Pixalate

This type of information will prove useful as the industry has regularly complained about a paucity of standardized quality measurement. It’s understandable considering that the supply-side in-app mobile ad space is a “minefield,” according to Jalal Nasir, CEO of Pixalate.

More than one-third (38 percent) of mobile app ad inventory is fraudulent. This causes buyers to be unaware as to whether or not ad exchanges are trustworthy. And when you look at the desktop side, more than one-quarter (27 percent) of inventory was fraudulent.

With mobile ad spending topping $29 billion this year, and accounting for close to half of all digital ad spending in the United States, standardized quality measurement will be vital to the increasing volume of inventory being bought and sold.

This past summer, Pixalate also unveiled the Pixalate Security Threat Intelligence Dome, a kind of Brita Filter that is meant to identify fraudulent traffic prior to an advertiser buying an ad against impressions. It works for both desktop and mobile Internet.

Photo created by B2Bnn, via Imgflip

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Andrew Moran

Andrew Moran is a full-time professional writer and journalist, who covers the areas of business, economics and personal finance. He has contributed to Benzinga, Capital Liberty News, Career Addict, Money Morning and PFHub.