Companies Will Waste $1.5 Billion Advertising to Internet Bots This Year

Can you imagine flushing 10% of your advertising money down the toilet? Well, research by Solve Media last week concluded that 10% of all internet traffic is generated by “bots,” or software applications that run automated processes across the web. 

Combine this astonishing fact with eMarketer’s prediction that online ad display will crack $15 billion globally this year, and what do you have? A staggering $1.5 billion wasted by companies who are unknowingly advertising to bots.

According to Solve Media, the majority of bot traffic comes from the US. But in some places, such as Singapore, more than half of all online traffic is generated by bots—advertising there could be a colossal waste of over half a company’s ad budget. And Solve Media is not the only organization concerned by this.

“The existence of non-human traffic is an issue that affects the entire digital ad ecosystem,” says Kirby Winfield, senior vice president of corporate development for research firm comScore. “ComScore research has shown that a significant percentage of ad campaigns are delivered against non-human traffic, which represents waste for advertisers that can diminish their confidence in the medium. Any efforts to quantify the magnitude of this problem and validate ad delivery represent a step in the right direction for digital.”