Ultimate Guide to YouTube CPM!

YouTubers are sometimes described as the richest people coming in on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Lists frequently. YouTubing has evolved from a hobby back in the early days to a sustainable source of income for many YouTubers nowadays as they redefine what content is, and of course, rewarded appropriately for it.

For many new vloggers, it is a future goal to one day become a full-time YouTuber and to achieve that they need to be making enough money from YouTube to sustain themselves.

What is YouTube CPM?

CPM is an acronym in the wonderful world of advertising, that stands for Cost per Mille. Mille is the Latin word for thousand. For us, on YouTube, this means Cost Per 1000 Views on a video. While these are advertising terms, content creators should take notice as optimizing for your CPM by doing the right things can dramatically increase your CPM on YouTube over time. 

CPM is the amount of money an advertiser pays per 1000 views of their advertisement. For Example, An advertiser puts in $10 per 1000 views.  This money then made from the CPM goes to YouTube/Google Directly and once they take their fair share, they give the content creator their share.

Google’s Adsense platform takes 32% of the effective CPM. Following our example above, for every $10 an advertiser spends google takes $3.2 and you get the remaining $6.8. While the share is quite high, the platform runs on ads and gives you the opportunity to generate income through the massive amount of traffic YouTube gets.

So How Much Does YouTube Pay for 1000 Views?

This is the Mille Dollar Question, YouTube is completely variable on how much they pay and it really depends on the advertising algorithm and the occasional YouTube Adpocolypse. Generally, they pay anything from $1 to $10 per 1000 views but its a huge variable depending on a lot of factors that we’ve cracked below!

What are the factors that determine CPM?

Location & Demographic – If you had a subscriber base from the US, with “US only” viewers watching your videos you can earn anything from $5-$8 per 1000 views. The US has one of the highest CPMs due to consumer behavior, but top tier countries such as Canada, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, Italy, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia and of course the reigning champion of CPM, the UAE have the highest CPMs.

Mobile vs Desktop views
Desktop V Mobile views both have different CPM rates, as typically consumer behavior and intent is different depending on what device their using, the brand of device, etc.
Typically iOS has better CPM than android as iOS users are expected and have proven in studies to purchase more than the typical Android user.

Type of content (vlogs, news, reviews, beauty, crypto, travel etc)
The type of content you produce and on what topics relate heavily to CPM. Your keyword terms and topic of the video are parsed and used to influence advertising. If your genre has high CPC competition from advertisers you’re likely to get higher CPM than for someone who is making videos about low competition keywords in terms of advertising competitiveness.

Seasonality is part and parcel of your CPM rate. Typically at the start of the year, you will see a drop of up to 50% in advertising rates as advertisers do not want to spend all of their budgets at the start of the year. You’ll notice that advertisers usually increase their spend at the end of each quarter and at especially around consumer-based holiday seasons such as black fridChristmasstmas when people are more likely to buy things and use their remaining advertising budget so they won’t have less of a budget for the next year.

Personally, I’ve seen CPM’s increase to about $20 per 1000 views at Christmas.

How to Increase YouTube CPM

There are a few ways to improve your CPM on YouTub from targeting high CPC keywords, increasing engagement and watch time and making more videos which I will explain a bit more below.

1. Developing your brand

2. Interactions

3. Creating consistent content.

1. Target strong CPC keywords.
This is a great way to increase your eCPM rates. Since you are paid with a mixture of CPM and CPC adverts on YouTube This is a sure way to increase your income. So each keyword has a value which is assigned by advertisers that ‘bid’ on that keyword with the price they want to pay per click or per impression. If you make a video on Favourite Dog Collars for example, and the CPC of a dogs advertisement is 0.5 cent, you will earn 0.5 cents per click or have a CPM of $1.20 per thousand views then you will earn $1.20.

You can find the CPM of keywords that are related to your video on the google keyword tool. You will need a google account and signed up for Adwords, Googles Advertising platform which is free to sign up to. 

If you’re solely focused on making money you may want to research keywords before you make a video. Eg. Looking up video ideas on Insurance, finding the highest keyword such as “Bluewater insurance which has a CPC value of 4.50”   You might make a video on Bluewater Insurance – My Experience/Review. Now, this may not get a ton of views but the CPC/CPM will be quite high due to advertisers paying high amounts for insurance keywords.

I would not recommend switching from your niche area to accommodate CPC. You cant go from being an established beauty blogger with a ton of subscribers to becoming an insurance reviewer as you will lose your audience and will get negative feedback. So try and stay within your niche area as much as possible, although you can deviate if it relates someway to the niche.

2. Increase your watch time and user engagement rates.

Watch Time. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, watch time and engagement rates are vital for CPM. The better the engagement, the more likely Google is to serve higher paying ads to your video as they see that your video has a good active audience who are paying attention. You can find how to increase your watch time in this post here:

3. Create more content
Now, this is a no brainer, the more content you have the more views you will bring in cumulatively. This will increase your CPM without a doubt. Create a content schedule of daily videos or a video every 2-3 days. This will allow your channel and your revenue to grow effectively. Don’t post a flood of videos as it looks spammy and may not get the attention it needs from your subscribers.

My CPM is going down, what’s happening?
CPM is determined purely by advertisers and which ads are being served to your video. Ad budgets are usually a lot lower at the start of the year, don’t worry about this.  Ad budgets pick up around the summertime and the months towards Christmas, you will see the highest CPM/CPC rates due to holiday advertising and advertisers trying to spend the last of their yearly budget.

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