Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

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Cost Per Thousand (CPM): An ad model that charges advertisers every time an ad is displayed to a user, whether the user clicks on the ad or not. The fee is based on every 1,000 ad impressions (M is the Roman numeral for 1,000). Most display ads, such as banner ads, are sold by CPM. This metric is generally used when focusing on views and product awareness instead of conversions.

A graph of the actual CPM per advertising medium:

Cost Per Thousand (CPM) against advertised media source

Comparison of CPM, PPC and CPA:

Cost Per Action (CPA) vs Pay Per Click (PPC) vs Cost Per Impression