Advertiser demand for Connected TV (CTV) inventory continues to grow. The appeal of CTV to advertisers is clear when one considers the fast growth of CTV audiences, the measurability of digital video, and the appeal of sound and motion on the living room’s biggest screen. CTV ad spend in the US is projected to reach $20.1 billion in 2020 according to Tru Optik — a growth rate of over 50% year-on-year. Compounded by the current worldwide quarantine restrictions, people globally are consuming more video content — further accelerating advertiser demand for CTV opportunities.


Fraud follows ad spend. This is especially true within emerging channels, where standards have yet to be established, independent measurement isn’t broadly adopted and demand outstrips supply. In 2018, DoubleVerify identified the first scaled CTV botnet attack specifically targeting CTV devices. Between January and April of 2020, we detected a 161% increase year-over-year in fraudulent CTV traffic. Further, we detect over 500,000 fraudulent CTV devices daily. In addition, eMarketer estimates that almost 60% of CTV inventory will be bought programmatically by 2021. With more inventory bought through intermediary platforms, the risk of fraud rises. Advertisers need to be able to detect and prevent fraudulent activity that can have a significant, adverse impact on program success and return on media investment.


CTV also has a transparency challenge. Advertisers usually don’t know what apps or content they advertise in. Publishers will need to build support for the IAB macros (think data fields) that will fully unlock transparency. This issue is concerning for buyers – especially as they contemplate shifting more budgets from linear TV to CTV. Testament to this trend, according to eMarketer TV ad spend is anticipated to see a drop between 22% and 29% in H1 2020 and, according to a recent Advertiser Perceptions’s survey, 50% of the advertisers said they felt it was possible to replace linear TV reach with OTT/CTV and digital video ads.


Last but not least, it is impossible for advertisers to directly measure viewability in Connected TV. You need VPAID or a measurement SDK such as OM SDK, neither of which are supported in CTV environments today.


Even though there are a number of challenges in CTV, it doesn’t mean advertisers need to wait to address their business objectives when it comes to quality. DoubleVerify offers a number of CTV solutions to help brands monitor and address fraud, brand suitability, and measurement. We offer our clients comprehensive transparency reporting and we are building additional controls to enable advertisers to take action to protect brand reputation in CTV environments — like inclusion and exclusion lists, and controls based on the app itself.


Our ultimate goal is to extend DoubleVerify’s Authentic Impression® measurement, a definitive measure of quality, beyond desktop, mobile web and in-app to also include CTV inventory. To accomplish this properly we are:

  1. Taking a cross-platform/device approach, leveraging one video omni-channel tag.
  2. Using industry standards such as VAST that are scalable in a CTV environment.
  3. Collaborating with the IAB and publishers on the adoption of scalable standardized solutions.


Advertisers can help move the needle by pushing sell-side technologies and partners towards adopting industry standards and transparency in CTV environments. This includes extending Open Measurement into CTV environments, implementation of cross-platform tags, and improving transparency by leveraging standard macros.

Please reach out if you would like to learn more.


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