CPM vs CPI – Difference and Comparison

What is CPM?

A marketing metric known as cost per mile (CPM) calculates the price of an advertisement for every 1000 impressions. This metric is used to measure the effectiveness of digital and traditional advertising campaigns and determine the cost of an ad buy.

CPM benefits advertisers who want to reach a large audience with their message but do not have a specific goal. The cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is computed by dividing the total cost of an ad buy by the number of impressions the ad received.

When comparing different advertising options, it is essential to understand CPM to determine the most cost-effective option. Advertisers can use CPM to determine which channels are generating the most cost-effective impressions and which are not.

The CPM for an ad campaign is much lower than the CPM for a similar campaign on another channel. In that case, the advertiser may consider expanding their ad buy to include that channel.

By understanding CPM, advertisers can determine which channels provide the most cost-effective impressions and adjust their ad buys accordingly.

What is CPI?

Cost Per Installation (CPI) is a metric used to measure the cost of acquiring a single user for an application. It is expressed as the cost of acquiring one user divided by the number of users. It is a good measure of the efficiency of a marketing campaign and is used to compare different campaigns.

CPI is calculated by dividing the total marketing and advertising cost by the total number of users acquired.

CPI is an essential metric for measuring the efficiency of a marketing campaign. It allows marketers to compare the cost of acquiring users from different campaigns and determine the most cost-effective ones. It also helps identify improvement areas and optimize campaigns for maximum ROI.

CPI can also compare campaigns across different channels, platforms, and geographies. CPI is an important metric for marketers, and it can help them optimize their campaigns to get the most bang for their buck. By tracking CPI, marketers can better understand their target audiences and make informed decisions about their campaigns.

Difference Between CPI and CPM

  1. CPI stands for Cost Per Impression, and CPM stands for Cost Per Mile.
  2. CPI is a performance-based pricing model, while CPM is an impression-based pricing model. 
  3. CPI campaigns are shorter in duration, while CPM campaigns are longer.
  4. CPI is used for mobile and video campaigns, while CPM is used for display and search campaigns.
  5. CPI is better for tracking the success of a personal ad, while CPM is better for tracking the success of an entire campaign.
  6. With CPI campaigns, you only pay when somebody takes the desired action, while with CPM campaigns, you pay for the exposure of your ad regardless of the results.
  7. CPI campaigns are more targeted, while CPM campaigns are broader.

Comparison Between CPM and CPI

Parameters of ComparisonCPMCPI
MeaningCPM campaigns are used to run for displaying an ad to a user.CPI campaigns are run to get installations for the software.
LevelThese campaigns are of basic level and the default supported by ad brokers.These are advanced-level campaigns and are supported by limited ad brokers.
CostCPM campaigns are less expensive.CPI campaigns are more expensive.
ObjectiveThese are used for creating brand awareness or product awareness.These increase the number of desktops, tablets, or mobile applications install.
TypesThere are no types of CPM-based campaigns.They can be incentivized or non-incent based. Incent-based campaigns will reward the user with benefits like a recharge coupon code.


  1. The Irreconcilables on JSTOR