What is CPV (Cost Per View) in Marketing?

what is cpv - cost per view

As a business owner, you’ve probably heard several times that video advertising is one of the most lucrative options out there. 

It makes sense: we’re all pretty familiar with television commercials, so the format is nothing new. 

However, television air time is awfully expensive. Isn’t running an ad on the internet, which can be accessed by millions of people simultaneously, even more costly?

Not necessarily! With CPV marketing, you only pay for that which is specifically consumed by viewers. But what is CPV, and how does it work?

What is CPV in Marketing? Definition and Process

how does cpv work

CPV, in the marketing world, stands for “Cost Per View”

That means that as an advertiser, you are only paying for your online video ad once viewers interact with it.

The basic process is much like PPC, or pay-per-click advertising (more in this page). As the advertiser, you are asked to bid on keywords entered by online users. Whoever has the highest bid on a certain keyword based on the search engine’s metrics and search parameters will have the honor of their ad appearing.

In PPC advertising, the business owner is only charged if a viewer clicks on and interacts with their link. The same is true in CPV… with a caveat.

Some platforms and some users have auto-play features for video ads. That means the viewer has no control over whether the ad starts playing; however, they often have an option to close the ad or stop the video after a few seconds. If the viewer stops, skips, or closes out of the ad within a certain timeframe, the advertiser is not charged.

However, if the ad is watched in full, or the user clicks on an ad to visit your website and learn more, the advertiser pays for the view.

Is the CPV Format Expensive?

One of the most attractive features of CPV marketing is that there’s very little risk. Either the viewer interacts with your video ad, and you pay, or they halt the video and you don’t pay.

Unfortunately, we all know that seeing an ad doesn’t guarantee that anyone will immediately rush to your site and fill their cart. Much like every other advertising method, your videos will most likely spread brand awareness and establish your voice and products. 

Another great benefit is that you can very quickly tell whether or not an ad is successful by gauging how many people have watched it. No views means no cost to run the ad. You’ll also have access to metrics such as how long the video ran before people ended it or clicked to learn more, how often people skipped it, and data that can help you target where and when your ad is most successful.

Side Costs to Consider

However, CPV marketing does require that you have a video ad campaign on hand. The cost of producing that video can have a big hand in how much people want to watch it.

That’s not to say that you have to produce a Super Bowl-level video with popular entertainers, CGI, and a script that could win awards. As long as you present your brand in an authentic, clear way, and share your products or services in a way that intrigues, informs, and entertains your audience, you have the potential for a successful video ad.

Current CPV Rates

In 2022, CPV rates on platforms such as Google, YouTube, and Facebook/Meta can range from $0.10 per view to $0.30 per view and beyond, depending on the bidding enthusiasm for a particular keyword.

Therefore, if you agree to a $0.20 CPV, and your video ad is watched 100 times, you’ll pay $20. Depending on your niche, that might be something you can accommodate easily in your marketing budget, or at least make up for with a few good sales.

Because of the bidding terms of CPV, there’s no definitive guide to how much it costs to run an ad for coffee versus tennis shoes, for example. Prices fluctuate based on demand.

What Are The CPV Requirements per Video?

However, it is very important that business owners and marketers take a close look at the terms and conditions of each site before agreeing to a CPV model.

Here’s some requirements from the best two platforms: Google and Meta.

Google’s CPV Requirements

Let’s use Google as an example. Google’s CPV requirements indicate that a “view” occurs once a user has watched your ad for a minimum of 30 seconds. If your ad is shorter than 30 seconds, then the view is counted by watching the whole ad. Interactions occur when someone clicks on the ad, call-to-action cards, or banners.

Google also allows business owners to set a maximum that they’re willing to pay for CPV advertising. This is helpful for ensuring you’re never over budget, but it can limit how often your video sees an audience.

YouTube is considered part of the Google TrueView system, and thus adheres to their requirements, with one significant difference: viewers see ads In-Stream and In-Display.

  • In-Stream ads are those which kick on automatically before and during videos, just like tv commercials.
  • In-Display ads are those which appear as search results- for example, if a user were to search for “How to make a cup of coffee,” and your video happened to have the same title.

Meta’s CPV Requirements

Facebook/Meta offers only a 10-second window. A view is counted after 10 seconds. This may not seem like a long time compared to Google and YouTube standards, but consider how the platform is used. Most people are scrolling very quickly through their feed, and really only pause for more than a moment when something truly fascinates them. 10 seconds on Facebook can be a very long time, depending on what you’re trying to share with your audience.

How To Get Your Brand Noticed: An Optimization Tip

Therefore, when submitting video ads for CPV, consider putting all of the pertinent information at the very beginning of the video, such as your logo, web address, or product. It’s not exactly free advertising, since you paid for the creation of the video, but if someone does skip your ad in the first five seconds, they’ll at least know that they skipped an ad for Your Company at This Website, and you sell This Product.

This information may be fleeting in their memory, but if your ad appears frequently enough – such as the beginning of every YouTube video someone watches – they might find themselves more familiar with your brand than they intended.

Final Words about Cost Per View

Advertising can happen anywhere, and it’s up to the savvy business owner and marketer to get the most for their money. CPV is one way to share your video ad with the world at a price based on interaction. 

While television commercials pay for air time and time slots, CPV ads on the internet only incur cost when someone views or otherwise interacts with them. This means you can very easily see what interests consumers without spending a ton of money on an ad.

Before you set up your video ad, make sure you check out the terms and conditions of the deal. How long is a “view?” Is there an extra charge for interaction with your ad? What’s the maximum you’re willing to spend?

From there, it’s up to you and your team to create an ad that will go viral!



Teachingbiz provides internet marketing services and education to digital entrepreneurs and marketers who want to learn how to build and scale their businesses.

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