Cost per view (CPV): Formula, advertising & more

What is cost per view (CPV)?

CPV, or cost per view, is a pricing model used in mobile user acquisition and brand awareness campaigns in which advertisers pay each time their mobile video ad is viewed.

cost per view

Cost per view ads

CPV is specific to video ads, such as rewarded video and interstitial video. Of course, what qualifies as a “view” varies depending on the source. For example, Google defines a view as 30 seconds (or the duration of the video, if the ad is shorter than half a minute). Twitter’s view duration is much shorter: about “two seconds of playtime with at least 50 percent of the video on the screen,” according to Ad Age. The reason for such variances is that users interact with different platforms in entirely different ways, and as a result they expect the time ads require to reflect this. This is important to keep in mind when crafting a video ad campaign.

CPV advertising

Traditionally, CPV advertising campaigns were reserved for brand awareness advertisers. However, performance app advertisers are increasingly buying ads on a CPV basis. This is because buying on a CPV basis levels the playing field for both types of advertisers: CPI (cost per install) campaigns, which are more typical, can sometimes place performance advertisers lower in the waterfall because the impact of the conversion lowers the final CPM they generate, meaning advertisers lose out on in-app inventory and are unable to scale their campaigns. But by buying on the same pricing model as brands, performance advertisers can ensure that their bids remain competitive.

Another reason CPV marketing is beneficial to advertisers is that they know they’re getting their money’s worth out of a good video ad campaign. Measuring success (and price) by views provides an immediate metric into how ads are performing, what tactics are working, and what areas need attention. It’s not as risky as more traditional ad payment structures. If views aren’t actually being successfully delivered, the advertiser doesn’t end up paying for something that nobody is watching.

Cost per view formula

CPV = advertising cost / video views

Learn about other pricing models such as CPCV (cost per completed view), CPI (cost per install), and CPA (cost per action).

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