Mobile app marketers are losing between $100 and $350 million a year to fraud according to a new report from Tune.

The report said mobile marketers spent $5.5 billion on them in 2016 in the United States alone, and it suggests another $6.2 billion this year.


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“In 2015, before brand advertising jumped significantly, mobile app install ads accounted for a quarter of all mobile ads by some measures.”

Among the key findings;

  • Mobile ad fraud costs marketers between $100 million and $350 million per year
  • Mobile ad fraud globally hovers at 7.8 per cent
  • India (17 per cent) and South Korea (12 per cent) have the highest fraud rates
  • Data from 627 million installs driven by 705 ad networks (2017)

The researchers said, “Global statistics are harder to come by, but traditionally, the US has accounted for about a third to a half of mobile app install ad spend, a proportion that is decreasing over time as Asia (especially China) continues to grow.”

Global app install spend is expected to grow to $15 billion in 2017.

“Vast revenues like this attract vast numbers of fraudsters. And while Tune’s fraud prevention measures have been in place for some time, mobile marketing criminals continue to try to deliver fraudulent app installs, take credit for others’ legitimate installs, and generally make a dishonest buck wherever possible.”

That costs mobile marketers dearly: $100 million to $350 million, by various reports.

Tune said that based on what thousands of marketers with apps in over 3.5 billion devices globally see, global app install fraud rates are now approaching 8 per cent.

“Do the math, even at a $10 billion worldwide industry, and app install fraud could easily be costing mobile marketers double that.”

The company claims its report is the first-ever global report with specific details on app install fraud rates by region and by country. It is based on an analysis of 627 million installs driven by 705 ad networks, measured from January 1 to July 31, 2017.

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