The jpoc guide Website advertising income for small websites
The cost per impression cpm

What is CPM?

CPM advertising is a form of advertising in which the advertiser pays for their ad to be shown a fixed number of times over a range of web pages. Normally, the advertiser will deal with an agency which will, in turn, deal with a number of web sites. In theory, the ad agency will offer a range of web sites and a range of advertisers. Agencies take a commission that varies between 30 and 70 percent of the advertisers payment.

CPM refers to the cost per thousand views of an advert. M is of course the Roman numeral for one thousand. This term can be used to refer to most kinds of advert: print, TV, web page, email etc. When internet advertising first took off, CPM was the standard way by which ad space was bought and sold. It is still a common method but it is now not so easy for small sites to gain access to a CPM based ad stream.

The rates vary wildly with both demand and the degree of targeting. Non targeted advertising running on low prestige sites can be very cheap indeed. Often way below one dollar per thousand ad views! On the other hand, at the top of the dot com boom, highly targeted advertising on a prestige site could cost as much as seventy dollars per thousand ad views.

What sort of advertising would get that sort of money? Well, suppose that you want to advertise a site that promotes your yacht repair company. An ad on the sailing page of a big portal site such as Yahoo will cost you top dollar but you do at least know that the people who see your ad are interested in sailing.

Unfortunately, a small site is likely to be getting the lowest rates around but it is still money.

How to get started?

I'm afraid that, right now, the answer is that you do not. CPM agencies are not accepting new websites at the moment. Instead, they are laying off existing sites. The likelihood of a small site being accepted into any CPM programme at the start of 2001 is very small indeed.

Some ad agency websites do still invite publishers to sign up but that seems to be because they have not updated their sites or several months.

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