YuMe takes on click fraud in video ad platform

Michelle Clancy | 12-10-2013

YuMe has improved its fraud detection system within its Placement Quality Index (PQI) to offer a variety of new features for customers of its digital video brand advertising solutions. The company has also developed a series of best practices with the aim of improving the overall safety and delivery of digital ads throughout the industry.

The new fraud detection capabilities include tools to detect impression scams, in which fraudulent publishers send out bogus ad requests; ad stacking, in which ads are stacked onto a single out-of-view or below-the-fold ad; and click-fraud, in which bots do the clicking.

In terms of click fraud, publishers are continually susceptible to third-party bots, which are becoming increasingly difficult to detect. YuMe employs machine learning, mimicking human behavior, to downgrade fraudulent inventory right out of its system. The company also pre-screens publishers, and uses a combination of quantitative methods such as PQI along with human screening, to identify the true quality of each impression and ensure that advertisers reach real audiences.

“YuMe wants to ensure that there's a human behind every impression,” said Jayant Kadambi, CEO and Co-founder, YuMe. “These improvements to our fraud detection system and PQI, combined with our newly-launched anti-spam best practices, will provide an essential layer of comfort for those planning media buys or monetizing ad inventory.”

YuMe has also defined the four key guidelines, for both advertisers and publishers. For one, video ad inventory should employ a proactive grading system. Placement quality improves by employing a grading system which focuses on brand safety, tracks current and historical brand safety violations, video player size and location (including clutter and competing ads around the player) and proactively blocks ads in violation.
Video ad reporting also should include blacklist and whitelist features. Strict reporting features ensure that requests consistently come from appropriate sites and are not delivered on digital publishers that are not approved advertisers. Video advertising should be viewable and visible. Ad viewability is a critical pillar to successful ad placement, assuring that video ads are only served when video players are being watched by a real human being. A visible video ad is essential to deliver the intended brand impact. The company also recommends using video ad inventory should be delivered with a software development kit (SDK). SDKs target player size and location, and help with domain and app monitoring - all of which are better for spam control and brand safety.

“Whitelists, blacklists, viewability and visibility are all essentially table stakes for brand advertisers and publishers,” said Simon Hayhurst, senior vice president of products at YuMe. “But the single, most important problem in our industry today is correctly identifying and matching audiences to ads, and understanding the quality of an impression every time, on every publisher – which is why we developed PQI.”