Blocking mobile ad fraud at scale with AppsFlyer’s fraud protection solution
810KFraudulent installs blocked
6MFraudulent in-app events prevented
With over one billion app downloads and over 95 million active users as of 2020, the Vietnamese music-tech app publisher Amanotes has amassed an extensive collection of hyper-casual gaming apps such as Magic Tiles 3, Tiles Hop and Dancing Road.
As part of its vision – “Everyone can music”- Amanotes aims to deliver fun and sensational experiences for everyone to interact with music.
In just six years, the company posted a massive 200% increase in year-on-year (YoY) app downloads, and were named the mobile gaming industry’s top music game publisher worldwide in 2019, as well as one of the Top 20 app publishers. In 2019, Magic Tiles 3 alone saw a 150% YoY increase in downloads, as did Tiles Hop with its staggering 800% growth – both saw their number of downloads soar into the hundreds of millions.
In the first half of 2019, Amanotes began noticing an abnormal increase in paid installs from one specific channel – even though its revenue remained unchanged. Upon closer investigation, they found that the channel also posted an uncommonly low number of user value (UV) and retention rates.
The team also found more complex cases in which UVs and retention rates were high, yet revenue remained unaffected.
Acting on this data, Amanotes discovered that the retention rate figures were compromised by malicious bots that were repeatedly performing in-app actions with no material value to Amanotes. For instance, songs would play for less than a second, meaning that the ad itself would not be viewed. On closer inspection, the team was surprised to discover signs of fraud, which was not typical for the industry at the time.
This finding led Amanotes to continually spend time and energy checking the quality of installs from a number of ad networks. But this type of manual reconciliation proved ineffective at fighting fraud, even after reaching out to the networks.
They, therefore, needed a quick and transparent way to weed out fraudulent installs, without having to negotiate directly with the ad networks.
To combat fraud (and to save time and costs), Amanotes’ user acquisition team turned to Protect360, AppsFlyer’s fraud protection solution. Their ad networks would learn about fraud installs in real time, and stop optimizing on wrong signals immediately.
“Before using Protect360, we’d be spending too much time and resources ineffectively trying to manually fight fraud to boost the quality of our user acquisition campaigns,” said Yaroslav Zakharchuk, Marketing Manager of Amanotes. “Protect360 was exactly what was needed. It’s helped us save on costs while freeing up time and budget, which has paved the way for more efficiency and scale.”
Right away, Protect360 revealed that the scope of Amanotes’ problem was even larger than expected, prompting the team to immediately stop acquiring users from lesser-known sources, opting rather to stick with long-term partners and choose from more reputable sources.
Even among these more legitimate sources, Protect360 would continue to demonstrate its value, deploying complex algorithms to automatically block suspicious site IDs.
All this meant that the team no longer needed to manually check sources, saving a great deal of time and effort. In addition, this allowed Amanotes to grow confident in choosing potential partners, while saving money and time both through the deduction of fraudulent installs post-attribution and the quick detection of fraud.
This knowledge helped the Amanotes team determine which ad networks were worth investing in, based on the quality of traffic and fraud rates.
As such, they stopped working on some ad networks which proved less than reliable, and were quickly able to notch spectacular changes.
They stopped at least 810,000 fraudulent installs just two months after installing Protect360, which effectively translated to having blocked over 6 million fraud events.
“Protect360 was exactly what was needed. It’s helped us save on costs while freeing up time and budget, which has paved the way for more efficiency and scale.” – Yaroslav Zakharchuk, Marketing Manager
As the Vietnamese music-tech giant grows from strength to strength, they’ve taken advantage of AppsFlyer’s Protect360 product to safeguard against fraudulent installs, and thus fraud events.