Non-human traffic, click-farms and other "invalid activity" represent a $14 billion assault on the advertising industry and have spurred deals in online fraud detection, most notably Google’s acqui-hire of Spider.io earlier this year.
MdotLabs was founded in 2013 and employs 12 – including three PhD scientists. This team, including cofounders Paul Barford and Timur Yarnal, will join comScore. MdotLabs clients range from Meredith Corp. to LiveRail.
Upon acquisition, comScore will integrate some of MdotLabs’ rules, techniques and technology into comScore’s digital content measurement tool Media Metrix and Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE – which measures the audience exposed to digital ads). ComScore said the deal is also about securing talent to aid in technology and product innovation in the continuing fight against ad fraud.
ComScore has additional incentive to ensure digital audiences are human: It’s planning a fall release of a Total Video Cross-Platform Planning System and Video Metrix audience-tracking tool.
“With our video launch, the television portion [will be] brought in and in order to have that comparability, you have to make sure the digital portion is all human because the television GRPs are,” said Anne Hunter, SVP of global marketing strategy at comScore.