What is YouTube CPM and How to Increase It

what is youtube cpm

Whether you’re a new vlogger or you’ve been making videos on the side for a long time, you’ve probably heard about something called YouTube CPM.

You’ve probably heard about something called CPM and that it’s strongly related to how much money you can make from your videos.

So here we’ll learn what YouTube CPM is, and how you can earn much more money from your channel than what this “CPM” can give you.

But before YouTube can pay you any money, know that you first need to become a YouTube partner.

For that, you’ll need to reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months.

Sounds like a lot, right? — especially the second part.

However, this is easier to achieve than you may think.

Bear in mind that there are 2 billion users going to YouTube every single month.

If one of your videos goes slightly viral, you CAN get it done with only one video.

However, not gonna lie to you:

Most of you will just have to do it the old way and grind your way to that milestone.

But the truth is that you’ll eventually get there as long as you’re creating content that people want to watch.

And if you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry:

I created a free course that will teach you how to grow your channel faster.

Now, let’s learn exactly what YouTube CPM is.

What is YouTube CPM?

CPM is an acronym that stands for “cost per mille.”

Mille is a Latin word that means “thousand.”

Therefore, simply put, CPM is the cost an advertiser must pay for every thousand views of their ad.

If that ad appears in front or around your video, you’ll get a cut of those advertising dollars.

youtube ad example

Unfortunately, the advertiser doesn’t pay your account directly for those ad views, nor do you get the full amount the advertiser pays.

Instead, the advertiser will pay YouTube directly, usually based on the extent of the advertising campaign.

Keep in mind that the CPM of a given advertisement probably doesn’t apply just to your video. 

So how much do you get out of your videos?

Whatever advertisers pay to YouTube per thousand advertisement views, you’ll keep 55% of that amount.

If, therefore, an advertiser pays $10 for 1000 views, you’re going to get $5.50 of that amount.

As the creator of the video, this is your RPM: revenue per mille, or revenue per thousand views. 

Several factors can also impact your RPM--and the CPM paid by the advertiser in the first place.

What you need to understand is that advertisers that want to pay for their ad to be shown in your videos have to outbid the others that are competing for the same spot.

It works like an auction.

youtube ad auction example

So, the more advertisers compete to reach your audience, the higher the CPM.

Some audiences are just more valuable than others in terms of purchase power.

And that’s why CPM varies a LOT between YouTube channels.

All of the following will influence how much an advertiser must pay:

Geographic location.

Location matters when it comes to CPM, and YouTube charges advertisers that target people from the highest-ranking countries substantially more than they charge for viewers who live in, for example, impoverished Latin countries.

richest countries in the world chart

As a result, you may find that where your videos are being played has a significant impact on your revenue.

How long the viewer watches the ad.

Some ads allow viewers to simply skip the advertisement--and if the ad gets skipped, the ad doesn’t count against the advertiser, which means that you won’t get paid. 

How many of your video views are actually accompanied by advertisements

Not every viewer you attract will get an ad.

If there’s not an ad attached to a specific individual viewing your video, chances are, you aren’t going to get paid for it.

There aren’t always enough advertisers for every type of video, and advertisers often choose the specific types of videos they want their ads attached to.

Not only that, users who watch multiple videos in succession won’t see ads in front of all of them, which means that you won’t get paid for those views.

Users may also choose to use ad blockers, — or they may pay for the premium version of YouTube, which can reduce the number of ads they view.

For example…

Older audiences don’t use ad blockers as much and also earn more money on average, so they usually mean a higher CPM.

USAGE OF AD BLOCK PER AGE GROUP

All of these factors can have a substantial impact on how much you actually receive when someone views your video.

Average YouTube CPM Per Country

How much an advertiser pays per thousand views will vary drastically depending on the country where the viewers live.

In the following example, the average CPM in Norway hovers around $43.16. In Algeria, that number is $25.

youtube cpm by country

In Canada and the United States, this partner has an average CPM of around $13, while the United Kingdom hovers around $14.16.

In Mexico, on the other hand, average CPM is just 21 cents, while Georgia and Hungary come in at the lowest CPM, at just .01 cent per mille. 

This is for reference only and these numbers won’t look the same for you.

Why?

In these examples, Algeria’s CPM was taken from 1 view while the US one from 148 views.

So this is not statistically accurate.

And let me warn you:

Don’t expect a CPM even near $20.

The best-earning audiences I’ve ever heard of can only generate around $14 CPM — and that’s a VERY specific niche that is highly profitable.

But from my experience, CPM in the US is mostly around $2-$5.

Also, it’s probably impossible for an Algerian audience to earn you as much money as a US one, just because of the huge GDP per capita difference between these regions.

In other words, the general rule is that “first world — and especially western — countries” will give you more CPM — and thus, more money per thousand views — because their citizens are more expensive to reach for advertisers.

Nonetheless, each YouTube channel has a different audience and a completely different CPM.

If your channel is for young Fortnite gamers, they will earn you a lot less money than, for example, an audience of lawyers that are looking to start a business — even if both audiences are from the US.

What does that mean for you?

You can’t control which advertisements play in front of your videos, nor can you control where your viewers come from.

You can, however, market heavily to an audience that is more lucrative --and accept that when it comes to video views, your income may be limited by the language you target and your geographic region. 

How to Calculate Your YouTube CPM

In order to calculate the CPM of an advertisement, the cost of advertisement is divided by the total number of impressions, then multiplied by 1000.

So your calculation might look something like:

(Cost of advertisement / total number of impressions) x 1000

If you want to calculate your RPM--that is, your revenue per million views--your calculations start by taking your estimated current revenue, then dividing by the current number of video views and multiplying by 1000.

Your calculation might look like:

(current revenue / total number of video views) * 1000

This won’t give you an exact picture of exactly how much you should expect for each video view or how much income you can expect over time, but it will give you a basic understanding of how much your video is making.

This simple calculation can also help show you which videos are bigger earners, which means you can produce more, similar content in the future. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about calculating CPM, RPM, or how advertisements work on YouTube? Consider some of these frequently asked questions. 

1. How can I get a more accurate view of my RPM on YouTube?

In order to get a more accurate view of your RPM--or your overall revenue--go to your YouTube studio.

There, click on Analytics in the menu to the left.

Then, click on the Revenue tab at the top.

Monetized playbacks include all those video views that earned you money over the course of the selected period.

2. Why is the number of monetized playbacks so much lower than actual video views? There are thousands of people viewing my videos, but I’m not making nearly that much in ad revenue!

Keep in mind that the number of monetized playbacks is not the same as the number of overall video views--and in fact, you will find that you have far more actual views than you have monetized playbacks.

Most people cannot earn a sufficient income stream from their YouTube videos through advertisements alone.

While it’s a great way to boost your income, it’s common for this source to generate relatively low income over the course of the month.

That’s why you must find more ways to monetize your audience.

Only views that include advertisements will be included in your monetized views. Many sources can decrease ad content:

  • Mobile views, which are less likely to have ads
  • Ad blockers
  • Viewers watching multiple videos in one session
  • Viewers using the premium version of YouTube

3. Can I Increase my CPM?

You can, technically, increase your CPM (or at least the amount of money you make) if you play more ads on your videos.

Or, if you choose to make your videos in English or target a country with a higher GDP per capita (but this is not as practical).

Also, it depends on the type of ads that you play:

types of ads on youtube

In-stream ads appear before your video.

These are the traditional ads that usually frustrate viewers and make them start looking for that important skip button.

As the video creator, you’ll usually get paid most when viewers watch these advertisements--but if they skip them, you may see no revenue from them at all.

In-display ads start at the same time as your video.

They don’t usually include sound, which means they won’t interfere with your video, but they do appear beside it, which can take attention away from the video.

In-slate ads show up after the video itself plays.

The location and the number of ads make a big difference in how much you can make.

As a content creator, you have some control over the ads that appear along with your video.

Keep in mind that the more you limit those ads, the less you have the potential to receive in ad revenue.

PRO TIP: Want to get more views? Put more ads!

I used to think that putting more ads would be harmful to my channel. I thought that people would get annoyed by them. Thankfully, I noticed that 99% of people don’t mind at all if you put more ads.

This is a secret that YouTube doesn’t tell you, but people that have been doing YouTube for a while have realized that the more ads you put, the more money you make, and the more your video is recommended by the algorithm.

Why does this happen? We can only assume that since YouTube is a business, they will recommend videos that actually make them more money 😉

As a rule of thumb, you should be showing a total of 4 ads per video.

For this, first your video needs to be at least 10 minutes long.

Then, put the ads as it follows:

1 at the beginning, 2 during the video — spaced out similarly —, and 1 at the end.

How to Earn More From Your YouTube Channel

Many people start their YouTube channels with high hopes for its earning potential--only to discover that it fails to generate nearly the income they were hoping for.

If you’re struggling to get your YouTube channel to generate the income you were hoping for, try some of these strategies to increase your earnings and make it easier to maximize your income. 

Sell Your Own Online Courses

What are you able to do that no one else can do?

What can you teach that people want to learn?

They’re already coming to your channel to view the content that you’ve created.

If you’re already putting together how-to videos, consider selling your own online courses.

You can do this in three steps:

  1. Collect emails from your viewers by linking to an opt-in page from your videos.
  2. Ask them what is the main struggle that they have once they join — that is related to the subject of your videos.
  3. Create and upload your course fixing this problem.

You can upload your course to an online course host like Teachable (affiliate link), which will take care of everything else from you (automatic emails, account creation, payments, refunds, etc.).

create course on teachable

From there, just start offering it to your email subscribers.

In many cases, your viewers will be eager to pay for that additional content.

Even better, that content is often very similar to the content you’re already putting together.

If you want to maximize your earnings, make sure that you’re offering genuine value through your paid videos.

You want to be sure that you’re giving your paid visitors more than they can get from your site or channel for free. 

Offer Coaching or Consulting

Your YouTube channel is a great way to make a name for yourself and establish your expertise.

To your viewers, you will quickly become a trusted name--which means that when they want to learn more about your industry, they’d be delighted to turn to you for that information.

By offering coaching or consulting services, you can often substantially improve your income while continuing to do the things you love. 

Make Sponsored Videos

As your reach increases, so does the desire of other brands to interact with you.

The videos you put together for your own purposes remain your own, and you can continue to produce those videos.

You can also, however, put together sponsored videos: videos that other companies pay you to create.

Those sponsored videos often pay much, much more than you normally make in ad revenue. 

Add Affiliate Links

Any time someone makes a purchase through an affiliate link in the description of your videos, you receive a portion of the proceeds from that sale.

And it’s as simple as signing up for an affiliate program and basically anyone is welcome.

Then, just insert the links in your video’s description:

affiliate links in youtube video description

How much you receive will depend on the company that sponsors you and, in many cases, on your overall popularity.

But nothing beats the excitement of logging into your affiliate account and taking a look at how money starts appearing magically.

Conclusion

Those affiliate links, however, can go a long way toward increasing the overall income from your YouTube channel. 

Understanding CPM, RPM, and how to make money from your videos can go a long way toward helping you improve your YouTube account.

First and foremost, however, it’s about the content you’re creating and your connection with your customers.

When you create high-quality content, you get more views, more interest in your channel, and more opportunities, therefore increasing all your revenue streams.

Will A.

Will is the founder of VloggerPro. He's a YouTube Certified partner and has been reviewing equipment and teaching others how to grow and generate real income on YouTube for the last 5 years.

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