Difference Between CPM and CPI

CPM and CPI are the two ways in which the advertisement industry works. CPM means cost per mile; CPI stands for cost per install. There are other ways in which advertisers get charged, like CPA and CPC campaigns.

In this article, we will see what is the difference between CPM and CPI.


The main difference between CPM and CPI is that the advertiser gets charged when several Impressions are delivered for his ad in case of CPM. But in the case of CPI, the advertiser is charged based on several installs for his ad.


Both of these are used in the context of how an advertiser will pay for running his ad campaign.

Both these methods of running campaigns send objectives to fulfill for the advertiser. When an advertiser wants to show his business or product in front of the audience then the CPM method is used.

When the advertiser wants to get install is software or mobile app then the CPI method is used.


Comparison Table Between CPM and CPI (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonCPMCPI
MeaningCPM campaigns are run for displaying an ad to a user with a cost of X amount per 1000 impressions.CPI campaigns are run for getting installations for the software.
LevelThese campaigns are of basic level and usually 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 are used specifically for getting installs for the desktop, tablet, or mobile application.
TypesThere are no types in CPM based campaigns.They can be incentivized or non-incent based. Incent based campaigns will reward the user with some benefit like a recharge coupon code etc.


What is CPM?

Cost per mile or CPM is a way in which the advertiser will run his campaign display his ad in front of a maximum number of people. The CPM based campaigns in existence since the beginning of the online advertisement industry.

The process of setting up a CPM based campaign includes creating and AD copy and then deciding a budget that will be spent when shown to 1000 people.

So, CPM is a metric that can be used to decide which ad campaign is performing better than the other one. The campaign which costs less money for every 1000 Impressions will have lower CPM.

The companies would let their ad campaigns run for one week and then choose the best performing ad campaign.

The main point to remember about CPM is that it is the amount of money that will be spent on showing the add to 1000 audience. Most of the time, the average cost of running a CPM campaign will be a few cents per 1 thousand ad impressions. 


What is CPI?

CPI stands for cost per install. Whenever an advertiser has the objective of is software or an app installed on the device of the customer then he will use the CPI-based campaigns.

Unlike in the CPM based campaigns here, the cost is per install and not per 1000 installs.

CPI campaigns are used for desktop-based applications like Windows or Mac Software as well as for mobile-based applications.

Since the boom of the smartphone industry, Google has also allowed special best campaigns for advertisers.

The advertisers who want more install for their mobile app or the mobile game will choose universal app campaigns when creating a campaign for their mobile app.

Even Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest have also the option to create and install based campaign. The average cost of running a CPI campaign would be starting from 20 cents up to $5. 


Main Differences Between CPM and CPI

  1. CPM based campaigns are used when the advertiser wants to show his ad to a maximum number of people. CPI-based campaigns are used when the advertiser wants to get more installs for his software.
  2. Usually, advertisers start their first campaign with the CPM based campaign and after getting more data about their audience, they will launch a CPI-based campaign.
  3. The most common objective for running CPM based campaign is to create brand awareness. The most common objective for running a CPI-based campaign is for more people to use the software product.
  4. CPM based campaigns are usually cheaper than CPI-based campaigns. This is because, in the case of CPI campaigns, the user is required to install something on his device.
  5. CPM based campaigns were the first campaigns that were available for the advertisers when the online advertising industry was started. As time passed, CPI-based campaigns were also made available to the advertisers.



Both CPM and CPI-based campaigns have pros and cons. It is not the case that one is more superior than the other.

The objective of the campaign in the case of CPM is very different from the objective in the case of the CPI campaign. CPM campaign is run for brand awareness or product awareness whereas the CPI campaign is run for more users for the software.

Both CPM and CPI campaigns have their price points. The usual trend of high-cost campaigns in the case of tier 1 countries applies to both types of campaigns. 

While CPI campaigns will be available from several ad brokers like Google and Facebook, CPM based campaigns are available from almost every ad broker. 

For beginners, it is always advised to first run a CPM based campaign to know more about their target audience. Once the advertiser knows his target audience, he can then run a CPI campaign.

AskAnyDifference HomeClick here
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments