How Video Fraud Works Ads Views Investigation by Augustine Fou


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YouTube video views and ad impressions can be faked -- and so they are by bad guys looking to make money from the huge surge in video ad budgets.

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How Video Fraud Works Ads Views Investigation by Augustine Fou

  1. 1. How Video Fraud Works (ads, views) Dr. Augustine Fou February 2014 -1- Augustine Fou
  2. 2. Motive (of the bad guys) -2- Augustine Fou
  3. 3. Partner Channels Source: comScore July 17, 2013 -3- Augustine Fou
  4. 4. Ad Revenue Share YouTube Ends The 'Sweetheart Deals' Enjoyed By TV And Film Studios YouTube restructured the terms in partnerships it has with TV networks and major film studios. The new terms put an end to "sweetheart deals," wherein TV and film producers would keep up to 70% of ad revenues — now their share has been reduced to 55%. YouTube says it hopes to have all its partnerships, which includes CBS and Warner Bros., transitioned to the new revenue split by January 2014. Source: BusinessInsider November 4, 2013 -4- Augustine Fou
  5. 5. Display and Video Ads -5- Augustine Fou
  6. 6. Video Ads Are Lucrative Video ad CPMs are $8 - $12, which means they are more than 10X more lucrative than display or mobile ads. Source: Turn, Inc. October 2013 -6- Augustine Fou
  7. 7. Budget Allocation to Video Source: AdoTube via MarketingCharts March 2013 -7- Augustine Fou
  8. 8. Video Ad Budgets from ... An October 2013 survey from and33% New budget and Digiday polled digital marketing professionalsFrom a bead on the 31% to get Broadcast TV Where are video ad budgets coming from?video 30% FromThey found that print, and display ad budgets state of the TV, ad industry. display ad budgets online advertising budgets were most often growing at the expense of TV broadcast budgets, according to brands. In fact, 31% of brands that responded were planning to shift their advertising budgets away from broadcast television and into online video, while 30% planned to take money away from display advertising for online video. Source: and Digiday via MarketingCharts October 2013 -8- Augustine Fou
  9. 9. Online Video Ad Stats -9- Augustine Fou
  10. 10. UPDATE: Jan 2014 Dec 2013 35.2B video ads per month Source: comScore, Jan 2014 via MarketingCharts - 10 - Augustine Fou
  11. 11. UPDATE: Dec 2013 Nov 2013 reach = 56% frequency = 155 ads /mo Source: comScore, dec 2013 via MarketingCharts - 11 - Augustine Fou
  12. 12. Digital Video Ad Spend Source: eMarketer, March 2013 Digital video ad spend continues to rise rapidly as more TV ad dollars shift to digital. Because video CPMs are so much more lucrative, it is more lucrative for bad guys too. - 12 - Augustine Fou
  13. 13. Video Minutes and Ads Viewers watched 1,250 minutes of online video in May 2013 (20.8 hours/mo or 42 mins per day) Video ads accounted for 27.9 percent of all videos viewed and 2.6% of all minutes spent viewing video online Source: comScore June 2013 - 13 - Augustine Fou
  14. 14. Video Ad Formats (length) Source: Feb 2013 - 14 - Augustine Fou
  15. 15. Video Ads CPMs Video ad CPMs are $8 - $12, which means they are more than 10X more lucrative than display or mobile ads. Source: Turn, Inc. October 2013 - 15 - Augustine Fou
  16. 16. Video Ad Fraud - 16 - Augustine Fou
  17. 17. Documented Fraud REPORT: AOL's $400 Million Video Ad Business Has Tons Of Bogus Inventory – By: Jim Edwards Read more: Leaked Document Shows How Big Brands' Video Ad Budgets Get Spent On Asian Porn Sites – By: Jim Edwards Read more: - 17 - Augustine Fou
  18. 18. Video Ad Impressions 50 - 77% fraudulent, autoplay, wasted, not-in-view Source: Vindico via Adweek, December 15, 2013 eMarketer: Digital Video Ad Spend est. $4B in 2013 • Advanced bots are programmed to load video ads and wait till they are counted as ―views‖ before leaving the page • Video ads have 10x the CPM compared with display ads, and are therefore a prime target for ‗bad guys‘ - 18 - Augustine Fou
  19. 19. Where Fake Impressions Come From Ad exchanges are particularly prone to fraud because shady sites sell enormous quantities ―ad impression inventory‖ into the exchanges for re-sale. Source: Integral Ad Science, via BusinessWeek Nov 26, 2013 - 19 - Augustine Fou
  20. 20. Video Ad Viewability A new study [download page] from VideoHub indicates that during the first quarter, average viewability for online video ads in the US was 83%, although rates varied widely among properties, from 43% on the low end to 94% on the high end. Broadcast TV sites fared best (89% on average) among property categories, with networks and exchanges (73%) bringing up the rear. Source: VideoHub August 2013 via MarketingCharts - 20 - Augustine Fou
  21. 21. Video Ad Views Fraud 35 billion video ad impressions /mo 40% Source: Vindico, 2013 estimated fake views ~$8 - $12 cost per thousand $1-2 billion wasted ad spend (annualized) - 21 - Augustine Fou
  22. 22. Fake YouTube Videos for SEO - 22 - Augustine Fou
  23. 23. Google Search ―selena gomez nude‖ 22.3M results • 4 of 10 page 1 results are YouTube videos • exact duplicate video, different keywords on page • click through to same porn site - 23 - Augustine Fou
  24. 24. All Videos Go To Same Site /watch?v=upSOCzlSoHk watch?v=lhbDGpqCmZQ watch?v=UcdiM4uD6fM /watch?v=an6xRpQ5Wh8 - 24 - Augustine Fou
  25. 25. Google Search ―natalie portman nude‖ 10.6M results • 4 of 10 page 1 results are YouTube videos • exact duplicate video, different keywords on page • click through to same porn site - 25 - Augustine Fou
  26. 26. Google Search ―ariana grande nude‖ 3.3M results • 5 of 10 page 1 results are YouTube videos • exact duplicate video, different keywords on page • click through to same porn site - 26 - Augustine Fou
  27. 27. What Legit Viral Video Traffic Curve Looks Like - 27 - Augustine Fou
  28. 28. Improv Everywhere In the cumulative chart, the initial rise is large and then it flattens out. In the daily chart, after an initial, large spike the long tail remains low. - 28 - Augustine Fou
  29. 29. Space Jump The cumulative chart shows asymptotic rise and the daily chart shows asymptotic drop to near baseline. NOTE: the official RedBull video has statistics turned off so this one was used instead. - 29 - Augustine Fou
  30. 30. Old Spice Guy Views supported by TV ads Increases in views correspond to support by TV ads; search volume at those exact times also corroborate. - 30 - Search volume for ―old spice guy‖ Augustine Fou
  31. 31. What Purchased Video Views Looks Like - 31 - Augustine Fou
  32. 32. Bruno Mars – Treasure straight line propped up baseline In the cumulative chart, views are perfectly straight line (consistent with a set amount of purchased views over time). In the daily chart, the traffic remains ―propped up‖ and shows regular spikes; this is inconsistent with naturally occurring PR or word of mouth generated views. - 32 - Augustine Fou
  33. 33. Macklemore – Same Love When they started buying traffic - 33 - Augustine Fou
  34. 34. What Advertisers Can/Should Do - 34 - Augustine Fou
  35. 35. Areas of Optimization 30% 40% 30% - 35 - targeting improving optimization delivery viewability bots /not seen by humans waste reduction Augustine Fou
  36. 36. Low Hanging Fruit The most immediate, direct impact on ROI comes from reducing waste 25% On-Target Delivery (Nielsen) 54% Not In View (comScore) 23% Ad Blocked (PageFair) 24 – 29% confirmed bot (Solve Media) - 36 - Augustine Fou
  37. 37. Digital Ad Forensics Process Preliminary Scan Sizing of ad fraud Forensic Analysis Maintenance • Technology Tools • Statistical analysis • Budget shifts • Further optimization Implementation FREE $$$ Preliminary analysis of paid campaigns and analytics to determine magnitude of the ad fraud impacting client. Creating recommended list of changes, including list of sites to exclude in each ad channel. - 37 - $ Subscribe to triangulated, cross-industry database of ―ad fraud offenders‖ to continuously update blacklists and whitelists. Augustine Fou
  38. 38. Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Consigliere “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. One main area of focus is reducing ad waste due to fraud – fake impressions, clicks, leads, and sales.” FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT '95) AT AGE 23 ClickZ Articles: Slideshares: LinkedIn: - 38 - @acfou Augustine Fou
  39. 39. Related Articles Digital Ad Fraud Briefing By: Augustine Fou December 2013 Fake Linkedin Profiles By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Ad Fraud Fighting Techniques By: Augustine Fou October 2013 Fake Facebook Profiles By: Augustine Fou, Dec 2013 How Display Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 Fake Twitter Accounts By: Augustine Fou, August 2013 How Click Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 An Ecosystem of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, October 2013 The Magnitude of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 - 39 - Augustine Fou