Revenue Optimization

Understanding EPMV: The New North Star Metric for Publishers

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There are plenty of metrics to calculate ad revenue. Even so, ad tech is always adding more to improve its understanding of publisher earnings based on factors affecting profits (like sessions, page views, and users).

In this post, we will discuss EPMV, a metric that can help publishers get a holistic view of their earnings. Hopefully, by the end, you will be better equipped to use this metric to gauge your monetization strategy.

What is EPMV? 

EPMV stands for ‘Earnings per Thousand Visitors’ and also called session revenue or session RPM. It’s used to calculate the overall revenue generated on your site for 1000 visitors including earnings from various ad networks, exchanges, and SSPs. Moreover, EPMV is calculated for the entire site. Hence, EPMV provides a birds-eye view of the publisher’s earnings.

How Can You Calculate EPMV?

The formula for calculating EPMV is:

EMPV = (Total revenue generated)*1000 / (Total website visitors)

Basically, you divide the total site earnings (from ads) by per thousand visitors. This will give the session revenue.

Let’s understand this with an example:

Suppose a publisher made $1500 ($1000 by ad network A and $500 by ad network B). This is from 1,000,000 visitors in the month of January. Going by the formula, EPMV of the publisher will be $1500(1000/1000000) = $1.5. Meaning, in January, the publisher made $1.5 for every 1000 visitors.

Simply put, all the efforts put on by publisher to bring 1,000,000 visitors to their site, earned them $1.5 per thousand visitors. 

What’s the Difference Between EPMV and RPM?

EPMV is often confused with RPM and eCPM.

This is because all these are publisher-side metrics. But they serve different purposes and hence we use different equations to calculate them. 

Let’s break it down further to understand:

  • As you know, RPM stands for Revenue Per Mille whereas EPMV means Earnings Per Mille Visitors.
  • RPM or eCPM is calculated per 1000 pageviews. On the other hand, EPMV accounts for all visitors on the site during a period.
  • This makes RPM page-specific while EPMV gives a bigger picture, taking all visitors into consideration.

You can increase RPM by adding more ad units and placing flashy-intrusive ads. However, such practices can increase bounce rate, affecting the UX for a number of visitors and hence overall earnings.

Session RPM vs Page RPM

AdSense uses page RPM in its reporting. For most parts, it is a useful metric to understand the performance of the ad units on webpages. However, measuring performance basis only ad units and fill rate does not give you the complete picture. This is why relying on just page RPM can be bad for publishers. And this is where the session RPM comes to the rescue.

Let’s take an example to better understand the benefits of session RPM:

Suppose a website receives an average of 3 page views per visit and $5 RPM for each page. Now publisher adds 2 more add units to the page which increases the RPM to $7. However, let’s say the session page views reduce to 1.5. On calculating the EPMV, the publisher will see a decrease from $15 to $10.5. On a larger scale, this change will result in a loss for the publisher.

Benefits of Using EPMV Metric

EPMV is an effective parameter for publishers to get a holistic view of how their inventory is performing. It will give the publisher an idea of whether their efforts to drive traffic to their sites is benefiting them or not.

Let’s suppose, you added more ad units to some of your webpages. Due to this, the revenue of those pages might increase. But again, adding too many ad units can increase bounce rate, too. Meaning, now those pages have fewer users with decreased session time. This change can lead to a decrease in overall revenue which can be detected by calculating EPMV.

Bad user experience can cause harm which is not immediately noticed by publishers. Hence, EPMV can help you stay on top of the earnings, user behavior (bounce rate and session timeout) and their co-relation as well.

Moreover, it is recommended for publishers to monitor both session RPM and page RPM to get session-level and page-level data to monitor the performance of the inventory better.

Why is EPMV Not Popular?

This is because most publishers work with multiple ad networks and ad exchanges, who will only provide reporting about their own performance. Meaning, it usually requires additional effort to calculate the EPMV.

EPMV is one of the most useful metrics for publishers to understand their overall revenue and growth. It includes two absolute values, i.e., revenue and visitors, and provides an accurate function for the publisher’s efforts. Some ad tech vendors have started showing their revenue in session RPM or EPMV. Even if your ad partner does not provide unified reporting or if you’re managing your own ad stack, it is pretty easy to calculate the EMPV on your own and will be well worth the effort.

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