The Ultimate Guide to YouTube CPM

By Emily KringsJul 12, 2023

If your YouTube channel has reached monetization status, you’ve likely noticed the term "CPM" on your YouTube dashboard. If you’re publishing content exclusively on YouTube, this metric is likely your number-one reference when understanding your current video monetization setup. 

If this term is new to you, do not fret. It’s fairly easy to grasp. Whether you are starting or are a video veteran, understanding YouTube CPM can bring you to new heights when it comes to making money from your videos. 

With that in mind, this article will walk you through everything you need about YouTube CPM. We will discuss what YouTube CPM is and how to increase it. We’ll also review some alternatives for video monetization.

Table of Contents

What is YouTube CPM?

YouTube announces creators will be eligible for revenue from Shorts, the  platform's TikTok competitor

YouTube cost per mille (CPM) is the amount advertisers pay out per 1000 ad impressions. Impressions are counted any time an ad is displayed. CMP is sometimes referred to as cost-per-thousand because the Latin and old French word “mille” means a thousand. 

YouTube also shares info on Playback-based CPM, which tells you how many viewers you have on content with ads. This is a little different because it only counts one viewer per video rather than one video per ad, and some videos include multiple ads.

CPM metrics are not to be confused with the revenue per mille (RPM) is the amount of money YouTube pays eligible creators for every 1000 views they rack up. 

Since YouTube creators' main source of revenue comes from advertisements, this metric is very important. If you decide to monetize outside of YouTube, understanding the revenue your content has earned with ads can guide you as you explore other options, such as sponsorships.

Keep in mind that your channel’s CPM isn’t what the advertisers are paying YouTube for each view. YouTube only pays out a 55% revenue share.

How to Calculate CPM on YouTube

Calculating your YouTube CPM is not cut and dry since different advertisers pay different amounts. Luckily, YouTube provides CMP and other monetization metrics for you, so there’s no math or guesswork.

You can find these metrics in your YouTube Studio Dashboard. Go to analytics, and find the estimated monetized playbacks. This is where you’ll find these important metrics.

What is the Average CPM on YouTube?

The average YouTube CPM varies based on several factors. Every advertiser targets a different topic, so they each pay different amounts. 

Some will pay as low as $0.50 per mille, while others will pay $10 or more per mille. It is normal for advertisers to fluctuate as they go based on target keywords and ad costs.  

The YouTube CPM rates can vary depending on where you live. Geography affects the amount of money you make from your YouTube channel. For example, the average CPM in the U.S. is $0.38, while the average in Spain is $4.38. 

The length of your video and your industry are other factors that can affect your YouTube CPM. Holiday seasons can alter your CPM as products become in demand, as well. 

Highest YouTube CPM Niches

As we mentioned, YouTube CPMs vary by industry. The most profitable niches include:

  1. Gaming
  2. Random comedy videos
  3. Music videos
  4. ASMR
  5. Educational content
  6. Life hacks
  7. Personal finance
  8. Lifestyle

Since the CPM average can be quite unpredictable, we find the best results when content creators pay close attention to the market. As a professional content creator, your goal should be to stay ahead of the curve and listen to your audience. This mindset will keep you on track to gaining new subscribers and raising your YouTube CPM.

YouTube Premium's best video feature might no longer be iPhone-exclusive |  TechRadarHow to Increase CPM on YouTube


As a brand, you will want to use CPM as your main metric to gain attention from advertisers. It is important to input a keen strategy that will increase your YouTube CPM for a long period of time. CPMs can shoot to the stars when used to their full potential. Countless YouTubers have shared that some CPM rates can increase as high as $200. 

We shared a few niches to help you gain more eyes on your content, but there are some controllable factors that can help you increase your CPM on YouTube. Let’s check them out.

1. Create Content for All Ages

Brands like to be associated with universal content. Mature content does not do well with advertisers that steer away from controversy. Instead, they prefer content that all ages can enjoy. 

If your videos are made for children, then it is likely that adult users will not see your content. This will bring down your YouTube CPM and decrease your revenue. You want your YouTube channel to attract high-paying advertisers. Keeping your content neutral will make you eligible for ads increasing your CPM on YouTube.

2. Increase Video Length 

Advertisers have the liberty of placing more than one ad on your content. The more ads your video can hold, the higher your CPM will be. YouTube has stated that a video should be at least eight minutes long to have ads in the middle. Watch time plays a big role in how profitable your channel is. 

YouTube ranks your channel based on your subscribers and viewership. A high total subscriber base will help your CPM, but a high total subscriber base with high watch time will attract the best advertisers.

3. Optimize Your Meta Data

Using metadata that is relevant to your video is also imperative. Optimizing elements that appeal to your target audience is key. 

The metadata of a video includes your titles, tags, and descriptions. Metadata helps YouTube index your video content better so it is served to the right audience. Appearing in YouTube search results and recommendations will lead to high CPM rates.

4. Use Appealing Thumbnails

Thumbnails are users' first impressions. Create an eye-catching thumbnail to capture their attention and make them click on your video. Customized thumbnails have been the most successful way to get more views. Remember, more views lead to a higher CPM.

5. Focus on a Niche

YouTube's system will pair your video content with similar ads. That’s why it’s extremely important to pick a niche and stick to it.

Choosing the right category can make or break your CPM. You want the type to be in the same realm as your video. Being too far off will decrease your CPM and cause your video to end up in the wrong market.

Alternatives to YouTube CPM

How to Increase or Improve Your App Downloads with YouTube | AppSamurai

Remember how we mentioned the 55% revenue share on YouTube? This means that YouTube is keeping almost half of the earnings from content that you’ve brought to their site. With that in mind, it’s wise to consider alternative monetization methods. 

Monetizing premium content with ticketing, pay-per-view, or subscriptions is another way to go. These methods allow your viewers to pay for access to exclusive content or experiences that they won’t find anywhere else. 

Live commerce and tipping are two monetization options that can easily be added to free or premium experiences to give viewers a way to pay you even more.

Sponsorships are also a way for creators to earn money. This method is comparable to ads in the sense that viewers don’t have to pay for access since the money is coming from sponsors.

Alternative Streaming Solutions

YouTube is a great tool for creators that are just getting started, but as you grow, you’ll need a more advanced video monetization solution.

Fortunately, there are many alternative video platforms that enable users to take charge of their monetization. The top six alternatives for YouTube include:

  1. Maestro: Professional-grade solution with flexible video monetization
  2. Streamyard: Professional in-browser streaming
  3. Vimeo: Professional live and VOD streaming
  4. Panopto: Education-focused streaming
  5. Dailymotion: Free streaming platform with minimal content restrictions
  6. Facebook: Free streaming with powerful community tools

As you can see, this list represents a mix of paid tools with professional-grade features and free tools with different guidelines from YouTube. You can explore these and other live streaming platforms in our live streaming platform comparison.

Monetize with Maestro


Now that you’re a bit more familiar with YouTube CPM, it’s time to take control of your revenue and make the most of your content. Whether your goal is to increase your YouTube CPM or explore additional revenue-earning opportunities, having this foundation will set you up for success.

Looking for a professional-grade alternative to YouTube for creating premium video streaming experiences? Sign up today to start making more money from your video content in no time at all.

→ Start for Free 

Join our Discord server for more helpful tips and tricks!