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    Mobile Ad Fraud Trends 2019: iOS vs. Android Advertising


    2.7 million. This is the population of Chicago, how many new paid subscribers were acquired by Netflix in Q2, 2019, the price of one huge blue-fin tuna and the amount of apps estimated to be on Google Play in 2019. The last stat is the one that is relevant to this blog. The first three were for fun. 

    From the App Store’s infancy, there were a meager 500 apps. Now, there is 1.8 million.  This platform certainly has developed and been embraced by society. This reliance upon and prominence of apps in marketing, advertising and in our daily lives, clearly necessitates the need for management. However, this leaves a lot to be desired. Ad Fraud has cost marketers $2.3 billion dollar in the first half of 2019. This ad fraud trend illuminates the failings of current advertising process. If you’d like to know how to combat the changing world of mobile ad fraud, we’ve listed four major differences for iOS vs Android regarding mobile ad fraud trends for 2019. 

    Want to know more about exactly what is ad fraud? Read here.

    Android has MILDLY More Mobile Ad Fraud Than iOS 

    According to the Interceptd report: Q1 2019 report on ad fraud, they found that whilst ad fraud is increasing, and is the second largest organised crime, after drugs, that Android is still slightly more affected by mobile ad fraud vs. iOS. However, the rates are relatively similar when comparing Android Vs. iOS. Android has 27.3% of their mobile ad traffic being fraudulent, Vs. iOS’s 22.1% of their mobile ad traffic being fraudulent


    Android is Overestimated Greatly. 

    Open your browser and do an internet search on mobile ad fraud, Android Vs. iOS. You likely find numerous articles touting that iOS has barely any mobile ad fraud, while Android is littered with it. This simply is not true. For example, Exchangewire wrote: “…fraud on Android more than 6 times higher” whilst TotalRetail, published that the mobile ad fraud rate is Android (29.1%) Vs. iOS (4.5%). The dominant opinion is that iOS is far more safer with regards to ad fraud, in comparison to Android, which is partially true, however, the gap between Android vs iOS which has been stated, is exaggerated. 

    iOS is slightly safer. The main differences is that click injection and changing the device ID is not possible on iOS” – Aykut Bal, Head of Product at Interceptd. 


    Different Categories Affected 

    Three categories are in the top four in both iOS Vs. Android which is: finance, gaming and shopping.  However, the final category is different as well as the mobile ad fraud rates of these four categories. The results are: 

    Android iOS
    Finance (35.3%)
    Games (33.7%)
    Shopping (31.1%)
    Social (30.9%)
    Shopping (31.9%)
    Gaming (31.1%)
    Finance (28.6%)
    Travel (22.9%)

    The concerning result is finance, which is present in both Android and iOS on their most vulnerable categories to ad fraud. Apps such as payment methods and banking are among the apps in this category, and are often are home to private and sensitive information. To give perspective on the types of finance apps which are in this category, that are possibly affected by mobile ad fraud, check out the current top ten chart in Google Play (Oct 2019) for Australia (below). It cannot be certain if those companies are running UA campaigns, however, it gives an image of the potential marketing budget that is possibly wasted on mobile ad fraud.

    Google Pay
    NAB Mobile Banking
    Beem It
    ANZ Australia



    Different Fraud Types

    A stark contrast between iOS vs. Android is that there is no click injection present on iOS. Contrastingly, click injection is one of the most common forms of ad fraud on Android. iOS and Android have few differences, therefore, it is to be expected that the technologies and methods used to fraudulently steal funds from mobile advertising is different across the stores. According to Interceptd’s 2019 results, these are the differences for Android Vs iOS on ad fraud, regarding the different ad fraud types that exist:

    Android iOS
    Device Farms: 22.5%
    SDK Spoofing: 17.75%
    Click Injection: 17.5%
    Click Spamming: 17.5%
    Bot/emulators: 13.75%
    Device Farms: 26%
    SDK Spoofing: 24%
    Click Spamming: 18%
    Bot/Emulators: 16%

    App Samurai has the option to protect customers from this billion dollar industry, as a part of our mobile growth platform. If you’d like to know more about how App Samurai can simultaneously help your business to grow, whilst keeping your marketing budget safe from ad fraud, then click here to get started!


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