The latest addition to YouTube’s suite of performance metrics for Partner Program creators is a figure showing their channel’s overall RPM, or revenue made per 1,000 views.
Matt Koval, a former YouTube creator who became the platform’s head creator liaison earlier this year, took to Twitter today to explain why this new metric is important. “For over a decade, we have all talked about CPM, which is cost per one thousand views,” he says. “We creators, me included, always thought that meant the money we make per 1,000 views. But not quite. CPM has always actually meant the amount that advertisers pay for 1,000 ads.”
That’s why CPM has “not been a great metric for how much you make from ad revenue,” he explains. “It’s kinda been like you get a paycheck every month, but you’re not exactly sure how it came to that number.”
Creators in YPP: Your revenue isn’t changing, but there’s a new monetization metric in YouTube Studio called “RPM” that’s a better way to see how much money you earn for every 1000 views (vs. CPM). Quick vid 👇 and full detail here: https://t.co/UN3sVgFoWS pic.twitter.com/962vZYh1HR
— Matt Koval (@YouTubeLiaison) July 9, 2020
RPM, however, isn’t solely an ad metric. A creator’s RPM figure is meant to tell them how much total income they make–including their 55% cut of ad revenue from monetized views, plus earnings from YouTube Premium, Channel Memberships, Super Chat, and Super Stickers–per 1,000 views (both monetized and non-monetized) their channel garners.
The platform describes RPM as a “holistic measurement of the overall rate at which you earn money on YouTube.” The reason RPM counts both monetized and non-monetized views, as well as alternative monetization methods, is because it’s supposed to give creators a big-picture look at how much income their whole YouTube presence is generating, relative to how much traffic they’re bringing in.
All YouTube Partner Program creators can now see their RPMs in the Revenue tab of their backend Channel Analytics section. The updated tab shows creators’ estimated revenue for the current month, then RPM, then CPM (which you can see in the GIF below).
Creators: You can now see how much 💸 you make on YouTube relative to views you receive w/ RPM in YouTube Analytics.
RPM = total revenue earned per 1,000 views
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) July 9, 2020
(As YouTube notes, creators’ RPMs will most likely be lower than their CPMs, because CPM solely refers to the amount marketers are paying YouTube per 1,000 ads served.)
Both Koval and YouTube clearly note that this new metric will not affect how much creators are making; it’s just additional insight into what was already happening.
You can see more info about RPMs here.
This is just the latest in a string of analytics updates YouTube has made over the past month or so. In early June, it condensed performance data to a single combined report showing monthly subscriber gains/losses, estimated revenue, the channel’s overall watch time, and a then-new metric: monthly views. It also began showing some creators their click-through rates and average view durations. And, just this week, it rolled out Analytics for Artists, a metrics hub made specifically for musicians.