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About cost-per-view (CPV) bidding

Cost-per-view (CPV) bidding is the default way to set the amount that you'll pay for your TrueView video ads (when created with AdWords). With CPV bidding, you'll pay for video views and other video interactions (such as clicks on the call-to-action overlays, cards and companion banners), whichever comes first.

With traditional online text or image ads, customers on the web may see your ad, read its text and click on your URL to go directly to your site. This type of interaction doesn't take interactive content like video ads into account. With CPV and video ads reporting, you can evaluate how engaged viewers are with your content, where they choose to watch your videos, and when they drop off from watching your content.

This article describes how CPV bidding works.

How it works

To set a CPV bid, you enter the highest amount you want to pay per view while setting up your ad group in a video campaign. Your bid is called your maximum CPV bid, or simply "max. CPV". This bid applies to all ads in an ad group.


If you think it's worth 25p to have someone watch your video, you can set £0.25 as your max CPV bid. This means that:

  • For a TrueView in-stream video ad, you'll pay a maximum of £0.25 when someone watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with an interactive element, whichever comes first. Interactive elements include call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, companion banners and links to your site or mobile app.
  • For a TrueView video discovery ad, you'll pay a maximum of £0.25 when someone clicks on a video ad thumbnail or title and begins watching your video.

You can also set a lower bid for your video discovery ads than for your in-stream ads.

How to decide what max. CPV bid amount to set

How do you know what max. CPV to set? You can base this amount on the traffic forecasting data that we present as you select your targeting settings and max. CPV when building a new campaign (or managing your ad groups later). You can also base this on what you know about your business and the value of a view.

What you're charged

Your max. CPV bid is the most that you'll be charged for a video view, but you won't always be charged this maximum amount. Wherever possible, we'll try to charge you only what's necessary for your ad to appear on the page. The final amount that you actually pay for a view is called the actual CPV.

Actual CPV is often less than max. CPV because in the AdWords auction you pay no more than what's needed to rank higher than the advertiser immediately below you.

Two elements affect the actual CPV that you pay: Quality Score and Ad Rank. Your Quality Score is a measure of how relevant your ad is to a customer, and includes multiple performance factors such as view rates. Once your Quality Score is determined, it's multiplied by your Max. CPV bid to rank your ads among other advertisers. That's called Ad Rank.

Once all ads have been ranked, the actual CPV for your ad is based on an equation that considers the ad rank of the bidder below you and your Quality Score.

The highest ranked ad wins, and the cost for a video view of this ad (the actual CPV) will be just above the CPV bid of the next ranking ad.


Let's say that your max. CPV is £5.00, and there are two other advertisers in the auction with you with the same Quality Score. One bids a max. CPV of £1.00, and another bids a max. CPV of £3.00. Since there are no other competitors bidding more than £5.00, you're the top bidder. However, we're not going to charge you £5.00 if your closest competition is only bidding £3.00. We'll charge you £3.01. £3.01 is your actual CPV.

How CPV affects your ad rank

The max. CPV bid that you set helps determine your ad's chances of winning the auction and appearing to viewers. For TrueView video discovery ads running on YouTube search results, it can also affect your ad’s position among other ads on the search results page.

A higher max. CPV will increase your ad's chances of appearing, and increase your ad's chances of appearing in a higher position compared to other ads, if applicable.

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