June 16, 2017 by Sara Jabbari

How to Increase My Video CPMs?

When online publishers sell video inventory to advertisers, advertisers must pay a CPM. The CPM is the cost of displaying an advertisement one thousand times and can vary depending on the type of ad, the traffic on the hosting website, and the advertiser’s specific criteria. As advertisers continue to find value in video ads to increase their brand awareness, publishers need to make sure that they match their requirements if they want to maintain high CPMs. So how can publishers ensure that they are maximizing the revenue earned on these video ads?

Make sure ads are “viewable”

While most advertisers pay every time their video ad is displayed on a publisher’s website, many are concerned with the low quality, namely the low viewability on these ads. When ads are displayed on a particular page, it does not always mean that they are being viewed since they can be “shown outside the viewable space of the browser on a user’s screen”. Because of this, some advertisers run campaigns for a few days, and decide to pull them if the viewability on their ads do not meet their expectations. As viewability becomes more of a problem, advertisers now have stricter criteria and only agree to pay on the basis of a “viewable CPM.” This means they only pay for viewable impressions i.e. when their ad has actually been seen by a user. In this case, publisher must guarantee good viewability, in which the ads are 50% visible for at least two seconds on a user’s screen. Publishers should design their pages such that viewability is optimized, use click-to-play or scroll-to-play rather than autoplay videos, or use a product such as Pulpix’s multitask and immersive view to ensure that the video ads are seen, but also provide a good user experience. By doing this, publishers can charge higher prices for non-premium inventory because it results in more valuable impressions for advertisers, who are willing to pay the higher price.

Increase video player size

Another important criteria of advertisers is in regards to the size of the video player serving the ad: the larger the player, the higher the bid advertisers are willing to make. While large players are typically greater than 600px, medium players are between 300px and 600px and small players are below 300px. It is therefore ideal to increase the size of the video player delivering the ad in order to maximize your CPM. Larger video players also tend to have higher fill-rates because more advertisers are willing to buy inventory knowing that their ads are being optimized for viewability and better user experience. By increasing the size of your player, you can meet the standards of many advertisers and generate revenue from this incremental supply. 

Create pre-roll inventory

Of all the different video ad formats, pre-rolls are the most demanded inventory for advertisers because they perform the best, with high levels of viewability and completion rates. Unlike other in-stream and out-stream ads, users are more likely to watch and complete a pre-roll ad in order to get to to their selected content. Since there is not enough supply of quality pre-roll inventory to meet advertiser demand, publishers are able to charge high CPMs on this valuable inventory. By focusing on this ad format and creating more quality inventory for pre-rolls, publishers can take advantage of this highly-demanded inventory and increase their revenue stream. 

Make sure ads are not muted

Finally, another way for publishers to increase their CPM is by simply ensuring that the video ad served on their website is not muted. Because a brand’s message cannot be delivered if the sound is off, most advertisers do not see the value or effectiveness of muted ads and are unwilling to pay high CPMs for them.  Publishers should therefore ensure that the video ads displayed on their websites are not muted in order to meet this qualification and maximize their revenue while benefiting the advertiser. They can do this by focusing more on in-stream ads and avoiding the use of out-stream ads which typically autoplay on mute. 


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