YouTube Promoted Video Advertising Program Move to Cost Per View (CPV)

YouTube Promoted Video Advertising Program Move to Cost Per View (CPV)

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It’s not so often we get to talk about AdWords here at ReelSEO, but I keep a keen eye on their blog because tidbits of fascinatingly shiny news pop up now and again….oooh shiny! Anyway, I just saw a post from yesterday that said they are switching up the way the bidding on Promoted Videos work on YouTube. Formerly they were cost-per-click (CPC) much like AdWords search. Well now they’re changing all that. Here’s why that’s good news.

According to the blog, on May 25th Promoted Videos will change to cost-per-view (CPV). So that weights the cost toward people actually seeing the video. Previously, it was CPC so when a user clicked on the Promoted Video you were charged, but they didn’t necessarily see the video. Now the user must click and then initiate viewing of the video.

That sounds much better for you as video advertisers because a click didn’t necessarily mean there was a video view initiated and now the cost is shifted toward the value of a viewer actually starting and watching the video. This is definitely a good thing for Promoted Videos if you ask me.

Here’s what Baljeet Singh, Senior Product Manager, YouTube had to say about the new system

How Bids Work

When you create your Promoted Video ad, you’ll be asked to set a maximum CPV, which is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a video view. Promoted Videos use the AdWords discounter to automatically reduce your costs. As always, we’ll only charge you one cent more than the next advertiser on the page competing for the same or similar keywords/placements, ensuring auction-driven efficiencies.

What You’ll See

As before, Promoted Video campaigns can be set up and managed right in AdWords or via As of May 25th, billing terms from all Promoted Videos campaigns will officially convert from CPC to CPV and will be reflected in your advertising dashboards in both systems. If you’re using AdWords to purchase Promoted Videos on YouTube, you may continue to see mentions of CPCs in your campaign dashboard as we introduce additional CPV formats and adjust verbiage in the system.
Please visit the Help Center for more details and FAQs. Our hope is that this change in the pricing model aligns Promoted Videos more closely with your goals, driving the right results for your business.

The Take Away

This is a major change if you think about it. Formerly Promoted Videos were treated just like search ads. However, there’s a major difference. A search ad, when clicked on, generally leads the user right to more information about your product or brand. A Promoted Video would take them to the page with the video, but they wouldn’t really get engaged with the product or brand. So you were probably not seeing a very good conversion ratio or completion rates for your campaigns.

Now, since the user has to initiate a viewing of the video, they will be more engaged. You’ve got them into a click stream where they clicked to get to the page, clicked to start the video… perhaps they’ll click for more information (if you’ve got a good call-to-action) or click on another video or click on a buy now link, etc.

It’s that old social psychology principle, if you start them off saying yes (clicking) it will be easier to get them to say yes later (clicking more). Car salesmen use this trick a lot… can I get you something to drink? Would you like to have a seat? Can I get you into a hugely overpriced, gas-guzzling car that you don’t really need because your current car actually is just fine but you think you might need a new status symbol?

If you answered yes, then I might have to switch jobs… Kung Pao I’m out!


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