Fraud Scheme Targets CTV; Biden’s Social Skills

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A Tangled Web

Joe Biden hasn’t gained much traction with online platforms. Does he need to? This election is a “battle for the soul of the internet,” with Biden’s mild-mannered decency pitted against President Trump’s shock-jock appeal on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, said Rob Flaherty, the Biden campaign’s digital director. But the pandemic may work in Trump’s favor, since Biden is an old-school retail politician (a glad-hander who does well at in-person events), writes The New York Times. “This video is 2 days old and it’s sitting at 20,000 views,” wrote one YouTube commenter under a recent Biden campaign video. “This is a guy that is supposed to beat Trump?”

CTV Fraud

WhiteOps uncovered a fraud scheme called ICEBUCKET, which it claims has impersonated more than 2 million people and 300 connected TV publishers. ICEBUCKET scaled undetected by hiding in server-side video ad impressions, a new technology with limited signals and transparency. At its peak, WhiteOps said 28% of the programmatic CTV traffic it measured – roughly 1.9 billion ad requests per day in January – were powered by the scheme. During January 2020, ICEBUCKET drove 46% of traffic on Roku, 26.8% of traffic on Samsung smart TVs and 6.1% of traffic on Android mobile devices. While SSAI makes the viewing experience better for users, fraudsters are able to exploit it. This bot scheme was particularly hard to detect because it generated noise by mixing in traffic that benefited publishers directly with bot traffic.

Me Ball

Sports may not resume anytime soon, but the NBA wants to be more personalized when it returns. The league signed a multiyear deal with Microsoft to use its AI and cloud computing services for fan personalization and services. The NBA plans to create a new media platform with tailored content and better search functionality (including on its ecommerce platform), as well as more personalized game viewing options, Bloomberg reports. A fan of LeBron James, for example, might see images of him on the court rather than tracking other players, and a sports bettor could see real-time data feeds. The NBA chose to work with Microsoft over rivals Amazon and Google because of CEO Satya Nadella’s personal commitment to the project, said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

But Wait, There’s More

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