YouTube Analytics offers a wide range of metrics to measure your channel performance and to see how much money you’re earning on YouTube. Some of these metrics are very similar to one another, but their differences are important for understanding your YouTube ad revenue. Below are some commonly confused metrics, and info on why it's important to know their differences.
CPM is a metric that represents how much money advertisers are spending to show ads on YouTube. It’s not a measure of how much your videos are earning per thousand views. 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 countries/regions 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 country. 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 country with higher CPMs, but are now getting more views from countries 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, estimated monetized playbacks, and playback-based CPM. Estimated monetized playbacks and playback-based CPM are just about 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, merch, 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 country, 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.