Varos Glossary

Cost Per Completed View (CPCV)

What is Cost Per Completed View (CPCV)

Cost Per Completed View (CPCV) is a pricing model for video ads where an advertiser is only required to pay for a placement if a user watches an ad to completion. It's important to note that this does not necessarily mean from beginning to end. Different platforms have different definitions of what constitutes a full view: 

  • On YouTube, a full view is 30 seconds. 
  • Facebook and Instagram count 15 seconds as a full view on video ads, and 3 seconds as a full view on stories.

Not all platforms offer CPCV as an option for ad pricing — primarily because most platforms can't afford it. There's no guarantee that their users will even watch part of a video ad, which means losing out on a large chunk of advertising revenue. Larger platforms and social networks can afford to eat the potential costs associated with CPCV in the interest of attracting more advertisers, particularly given that most have multiple options for generating ad revenue.

The Benefits of the CPCV Advertising Model

CPCV is an excellent compliment to metrics such as P50 Video Views

CPCV is a low-risk advertising model with the potential for an incredibly high return on ad spend (ROAS). On average, a cost per completed view-based campaign will be less expensive than a campaign based on impressions. Moreover, CPCV helps you target your most engaged, highest-quality leads, which in turn minimizes wasted ad spend. 

CPCV also provides you with a more accurate means of measuring your campaign's performance. Because video ads frequently suffer from low visibility, knowing your ad was viewed by a thousand people tells you almost nothing. Many of them may well have watched your ad for only a few seconds before skipping.

On the other hand, if you know that of a thousand people, thirty watched your ad from beginning to end, that's thirty potential qualified leads you're now aware of — though it's still important that you contextualize CPCV with other metrics such as clickthrough rate

No metric exists in a vacuum. It's important to measure your data both in the context of your other KPIs and against industry benchmarks.

Cost Per Completed View Formula

The formula to calculate CPCV is relatively simple. All you need to do is divide your total advertising cost by the number of completed video views. Alternatively, you can simply plug the values into a cost per completed view calculator, such as the one found here.

CPCV Alternatives

Alternative video advertising pricing models to CPCV include:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC). Ad placements are billed based on the number of times visitors directly click on an ad. Typically used in display ads, though it can be applied with video ads that include a link. 
  • Cost Per Thousand (CPM). Also known as cost per mille, this pricing model charges for every 1,000 impressions or views, regardless of how long the user watches. 
  • Cost Per Action (CPA). Similar to cost per click, this pricing model bills the advertiser based on how many users perform a predefined action. 

Additionally, although they are not generally used as pricing models on their own, the following metrics can be used to help track ad spend and returns: 

  • Cost Per Lead. Measures the total cost associated with acquiring a new customer, including all money spent on video ad placements. 
  • Cost Per Sale. Helps measure the overall effectiveness of a business's advertising efforts by dividing total ad spend by number of product sales. 
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). A metric that determines how much money a business has made for each dollar spent on advertising.