You can see how much money you’re earning on YouTube and your channel performance using metrics from YouTube Analytics. Some metrics seem similar, but their differences are important for understanding your YouTube ad revenue.
Below are some commonly used metrics, and info on why it's important to know their differences.
Revenue Per Mille (RPM) is a metric that represents how much money you’ve earned per 1,000 video views. RPM is based on multiple revenue sources including: Ads, Channel Memberships, YouTube Premium revenue, Super Chat, and Super Stickers.
Why is my RPM lower than my CPM?
- is calculated after YouTube's revenue share
- includes all views including those that weren’t monetized
What’s the difference between RPM and CPM?
Why is RPM important?
How can I increase my RPM?
- enable monetization on all videos
- enable all ad formats
- enable ads at eligible positions (e.g. midrolls)
- enable AltMon features (e.g. memberships, superchat, etc) to diversify your revenue streams.
Keep in mind that each feature has its own requirements and guidelines.
How should I interpret RPM? What does it mean if it is going up or going down?
What doesn't RPM tell me about my revenue?
RPM is a useful monetization metric for creators, but it can’t tell your whole revenue story. Here’s what it doesn’t include:
- Revenue made from selling merchandise or using the merch shelf
- Revenue made through brand deals and sponsorships (excluding YouTube BrandConnect)
- Any other revenue generated indirectly through YouTube (services, speaking, consulting fees, etc.)
RPM can’t tell you which revenue source is responsible for swings in your overall revenue
Because RPM combines multiple metrics, it can’t tell you which revenue source is responsible for swings in your revenue.
For example, you might see a decrease in RPM because your views may be up, but not all are ad-enabled views. Or you may see your RPM go up with no significant change to views because viewers are signing up for Channel Memberships.
We recommend you use all the different analytics YouTube provides to help you fully understand changes in your RPM.
Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) is a metric that represents how much money advertisers are spending to show ads on YouTube. You’ll see a few different CPM metrics in YouTube Analytics:
- CPM: The cost an advertiser pays for 1,000 ad impressions. An ad impression is counted anytime an ad is displayed.
- Playback-based CPM: The cost an advertiser pays for 1,000 video playbacks where an ad is displayed.
What’s the difference between CPM and playback-based CPM?
Why is CPM important?
Why is my CPM changing?
- Time of year: Advertisers tend to bid higher or lower depending on the time of year. For instance, many advertisers bid higher just before holidays.
- Changes in viewer geography: Advertisers can control which geographies they’d like to reach with their ads. Different locations will have different levels of competition in the ad market, so CPMs will vary by geography. If there’s a shift in where most of your views are coming from, you may see a shift in CPM. For instance, if you previously had views from a geography with higher CPMs, but are now getting more views from geographies with lower CPMs, you may see a decrease in your CPM.
- Shifts in distribution of available ad formats: Different ad types tend to have different CPMs. If, for instance, there are more available non-skippable ads in the ad inventory, CPM might be higher.
Estimated revenue vs. ad revenue
- Estimated revenue: Revenue from all revenue types. You’ll see this metric on the Revenue tab.
- Estimated ad revenue: Revenue just from ads on your videos. You’ll see this metric in the revenue sources report.
The key metrics card on the Revenue tab shows your estimated revenue, RPM, and playback-based CPM. Playback-based CPM refers to ad revenue. This means the estimated revenue may be higher than your ad revenue, due to revenue from other sources. Other revenue sources include channel memberships, YouTube Premium revenue, and Super Chat. Check your estimated ad revenue to see how much money you’re earning from ads alone.
Views, ad impressions, & estimated monetized playbacks
- Views: The number of times your video was watched.
- Ad impressions: The number of times individual ads were viewed on your videos.
- Estimated monetized playbacks: The number of times your video was watched with ads.
If your video is viewed 10 times, and 8 of those views contained ads, you would have 10 views and 8 estimated monetized playbacks. If one of those estimated monetized playbacks actually had 2 ads, you would have 9 ad impressions.
Not all views on YouTube have an ad. A view may not have an ad if:
- The video is not advertiser-friendly.
- Ads or individual ad formats are turned off for that video.
- There isn’t an ad available to show to that particular viewer at that time. Advertisers can choose to target specific devices, demographics, and interests. Your viewer may not match this targeting. Learn more about available targeting methods for video ads.
- A range of other factors, including the viewer’s geography, how recently they’ve seen an ad, whether they have a Premium subscription, etc.
Because of this, you’ll likely have more views than estimated monetized playbacks.