YouTube Playback Based CPM (Explained)

Wondering what the playback based CPM column means on your Youtube analytics report?

You are not alone – a ton of publishers don’t know what it means, and there’s only a very few short guides about this on the internet.

But don’t worry, that’s where we come in!

In this quick post, I’ll explain what playback based CPM is, how it differs from normal CPM, what a good playback-based CPM rate is, and give you tips on how to increase it.


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What Is Playback Based CPM?

CPM stands for Cost Per Mille (mille means a thousand in latin). CPM is basically the amount of $ an advertiser pays for 1000 views.

Also Read: Can I close Youtube while processing

If you have been a youtube creator for some time, you know that not all of your views are monetized and ads are not displayed/skipped for some viewers.

Playback based CPM is the amount of money an advertiser pays for 1000 video playbacks where at least one ad was played.

It ignores all the non monetized views.

Because of this, playback based CPM is always higher than CPM.

Regular CPM considers all the ad views on your videos, whether they were watched fully or only partially. And it doesn’t even matter if someone skipped your ad when watching the video, it still counts.

Let me do an example to make this easier to understand:

CPM vs Playback Based CPM – Example

Let’s assume your video got a total of 10,000 views. Out of these, 2,000 views have one ad, while another two ads get 1000 views. That adds up to 3,000 ad views in total.

However, if you did the math as well, there were a total of 4,000 individual ad impressions since some viewers saw multiple ads.

Now, let’s say the advertiser paid a total of $15.

To calculate the video’s cost per impression, you divide the $15 by the 4,000 ad impressions, which equals to $0.00375 per impression.

If we want to convert that into CPM, we multiply the $0.00375 by 1,000, giving us $3.75.

However, for playback-based CPM, we consider the 3,000 monetized views.

By dividing the $15 by the 3,000 monetized views and multiplying it by 1,000, we get a playback-based CPM of $5.

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What Is A Good Playback-Based CPM?

The average playback based CPM for most niches is around $6 – $13, and any rate that is higher than this is a good playback based CPM.

However, there are people with over $20 – $30 CPMs which is around $26 – $40 playback based CPM (estimate).

Rates like this are really really good!

How To Increase Playback CPM

Now, increasing your playback-based CPM isn’t as easy as the majority of us would like it to be.

Basically, you need more viewers – and they need to watch till the end or at least more ads.

You’re going to have to produce videos that are entertaining, informative, or whatever your audience craves for. The more captivating your content is, the more likely viewers will stick around and watch it till the end.

And you need to perfectly SEO optimize your videos so that it can bring in more viewers. Your titles and thumbnails should be catchy too.

Also Read: Youtube video processing stuck at 99%

Here are a couple of other tricks to increase your CPM

  • Target the US or UK audience.
  • Target the 35 – 55 age groups (this group spends the most money)
  • Create longer videos (at least 8 min + for more in video ads)

Though if your playback-based CPM doesn’t seem to be increasing, don’t stress it. There are other factors at play too, like your target audience, niche, and the ads themselves.

Advertisers might bid different amounts for different types of videos or target audiences, and that can affect your overall earnings.

CPM vs RPM On YouTube

Somewhere along the lines while searching for what CPM is, you may have come across another acronym – RPM (Revenue Per Mile).

CPM is the amount of $ advertisers pay for 1000 views, while RPM is the estimated amount of $ YOU make for 1000 views.

RPM takes into account all the money you make from ads, YouTube Premium revenue, channel memberships, super stickers and chat.

As you probably already know, CPM values are calculated without reducing Youtube’s 45% cut. RPM on the other hand is based on your 55% revenue share.

So, RPM will always be lower than your CPMs.

Is playback based CPM your money?

No, playback based CPM is not your money. Youtube takes a 45% cut from it. Your money is 55% x playback CPM x total monetized plays x 1000.

What is a good RPM on Youtube?

The average RPM for most people is around $1 – $2.5. Anything higher than $2.5 is a good RPM. But there are people who get around $10 – $20 which is a really awesome RPM.

About Author

Lito James is the founder of He is an entrepreneur and marketing specialist who helps businesses to get more leads, subscribers, and customers. Massive Peak has been featured on G2, Cloudways, Sujanpatel, GetResponse, Renderforest, and many more. Follow on LinkedIn | Twitter

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