Cost per thousand impressions (technically, “cost per mille”).


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The CPM model refers to advertising bought on the basis of impression. This is in contrast to the various types of pay-for-performance advertising, whereby payment is only triggered by a mutually agreed upon activity (i.e. click-through, registration, sale).

The total price paid in a CPM deal is calculated by multiplying the CPM rate by the number of CPM units. For example, one million impressions at $10 CPM equals a $10,000 total price.

1,000,000 / 1,000 impressions = 1,000 units
1,000 units X $10 CPM = $10,000 total price

The amount paid per impression is calculated by dividing the CPM by 1000. For example, a $10 CPM equals $.01 per impression.

$10 CPM / 1000 impressions = $.01 per impression

see also: Digital Marketing Tools

Related Terms

eCPMclick-through rate (CTR), cost-per-action (CPA), cost-per-click (CPC)

view all terms in the Online Advertising glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary


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ClickZ (January 25, 2001)

CPMs Are Falling Down, Falling Down, Falling Down.
ClickZ (January 23, 2001)

A Good CPM
ClickZ (November 3, 2000)

Watered Down CPMs
ClickZ (December 23, 1999)