Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) Advertising Payment Model

Cost-Per-Mile (CPM), also known as Cost Per Thousand Impressions, is a common online advertising payment model. In CPM, advertisers pay based on the number of times their ad is displayed, regardless of whether it leads to a click or a specific action.

Simplified Explanation

In the CPM model, the focus is on impressions. An 'impression' happens each time an ad is shown to a user. The cost is calculated per thousand impressions, hence the name "Cost-Per-Mille" (Mille being Latin for thousand). This model is preferred when the main objective is brand exposure or visibility.

How It Works

The CPM model is straightforward: advertisers pay for every thousand times their ad appears on a webpage or screen. This method is particularly effective for broad-reaching brand awareness campaigns where the goal is to reach as many people as possible.

CPM Calculation

The formula for calculating CPM is:

CPM = Total Cost of the Campaign Total Impressions x 1000

Each part of this formula has a specific meaning:

Total Cost of the Campaign: This includes all expenses related to the ad campaign.

Total Impressions*: The number of times the ad is displayed to users.

Advantages & Disadvantages for Advertisers:


Ideal for awareness: Great for spreading brand awareness broadly.

Easy to measure: Simple to track and calculate costs based on impressions.

Wide reach: Helps in reaching a large audience quickly.


No action guarantee: High views don't guarantee user engagement or action.

Potentially lower engagement: Focus is on visibility, not on clicks or actions.

Risk of overexposure: Possible ad fatigue if the same audience sees the ad repeatedly.

Industry Use Cases

Many industries use CPM for brand awareness campaigns. Retailers might use it to introduce new products, while entertainment companies use it to promote new shows or movies. It's also common in launching large-scale, general brand campaigns.

Comparisons with CPA

Unlike CPA, where advertisers pay for specific actions, CPM is all about visibility. It's a more traditional approach, focusing on reach rather than direct user actions. While CPA is more result-oriented, CPM aims at maximizing exposure, making it suitable for different campaign objectives.

Recommended content