Mobile app marketing is big business. Last year alone commentators estimated that in excess of $65 billion was spent on acquiring new users, as the remote and 'on the go' consumer demands technology at their fingertips, and app developers and marketers scramble to ensure they are appeasing the consumer in real time.
But, those same developers and marketers, while presiding over a sizable revenue stream, aren't seeing the full fruits of their labour because up to 90 per cent of that marketing spend lands firmly in a fraudster's pocket, says Gary Danks, chief executive of Londonbased Machine Advertising. Here, he examines this rise in crime and says the victims are either blissfully unaware of the cash haemorrhage or burying their heads in the sand.
In 2017, an on-off lawsuit between Uber, its ad agency and a whole host of ad networks hit the headlines. As with any high-profile case, the financiais change depending upon which source you take your information from, but a reported $70 million was paid by Uber to Fetch for fraudulent installs and an inventory that contained few downloads. And by anyone's reckoning, that's a lot of taxi miles to make up.
Those of us keeping a close eye on progress assumed it would be the catalyst for change. That an end to fraudulent practice was to be seen and every app developer and user acquisition (UA) manager would now be able to track a fair and true line between output and outcome. And, that when an app developer pays an ad network a commission for a successful download of its app, it's because that download is legitimate, a real human, and not fraudulent.
But change did not come, the fraud continued to grow exponentially. In fact, on a wider scale, global annual ad spend topped $333 billion in 2019 and it's predicted to rise even further I.
To put an exact figure on how many billions of dollars are wasted globally is difficult. Many app developers, or corporates in the gaming, gambling, retail, entertainment and travel worlds view one report detailing downloads, and a final report showing a boost to the bottom line. For most businesses, this is good, right?
The stark truth is that the correlation doesn't add up. The CFO of a global, online ecommerce business will be delighted that profit exceeds net ad spend--what they won't see is that the net ad spend could, we believe, be significantly less for the same returns. App developers need to know how and where to find the real human being that will...