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Cost per impression (CPI) refers to the rate that an advertiser has agreed to pay per 1,000 views of a particular advertisement. A website that serves ads based on CPI doesn’t need the user to click on the ad – each appearance of the ad in front of a user counts as one impression. The advertiser agrees to pay the website a certain price for every 1,000 impressions the ad receives.

Cost per impression is also known as cost per thousand, or CPM (the letter "M" is the Roman numeral for 1,000).

Cost per Mille is slightly different than PPC. Much like traditional advertising, the display of an ad (impression) is nothing more than a single appearance of an ad. Viewers are not required to take action, for example click the ad, in order for payment to be due. Banners or other advertisements are placed, according to the terms of a contract. Payment is typically based on a predetermined number of impressions, generally set at 1000, thus naming it Cost per Mille. (thousand) While advertisers are paying for each instance of the advertisement, it is generally less expensive than Cost per Click. Advertisers are drawn towards CPM because of the enormous amount of visibility it can bring; the ad is seen often even when the ad itself is not clicked. It is strongly believed that the ad is still read and that exposure counts over the long run. If the ad is attractive and grabs attention, the Click Through Rate (CTR) will be higher, thus generating even better results.


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