SYDNEY: The proportion of digital ad inventory classed as invalid has declined on both desktop and mobile over the past year according to new research from IAB Australia.

The IAB/PwC Invalid Traffic Benchmarks (IVT) were based on market-level aggregate data collected by PwC from third-party measurement vendors Comscore, Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Moat. The definition of invalid relates to material not seen by a human and includes general invalid traffic via bots, spiders, crawlers, as well more sophisticated invalid traffic such as hijacked devices, ad tags or creative, malware and misappropriated content.

The results showed that more than 97% of desktop inventory was classed as valid human traffic (compared to 96% in 2016) as was 98% of mobile (compared to 96% in 2016).

Video inventory, monitored for the first time in the second wave, stood at more than 98%.

The IAB also noted that the amount of inventory being monitored by the three vendors significantly increased during the second wave, indicating additional reduction in invalid traffic.

More specifically, the proportion of desktop inventory that was invalid had fallen from 3.7% in the period from July to September 2016 to 2.4% in the period October 2016 to March 2017.

For mobile, the movement was even bigger, from 3.8% to 1.3%. Video, measured for the first time, stood at 1.4%.

We “encourage all marketers to genuinely understand IVT and ad fraud for their brand and their market,” urged Vijay Solanki, CEO of IAB Australia. “Don't listen to vague conjecture but get into the details and the data.”

That includes appreciating that invalid traffic does not automatically indicate ad fraud – which costs the Australian market an estimated $116m a year, over half via fraudulent traffic.

Data sourced from IAB Australia, Ad News; additional content by WARC staff