In Q1 2018, we analyzed over 100 million ad impressions and over five million clicks on YouTube to uncover the average CPM, CPC, and CTR. Compared to last year, we found the average CPM on YouTube decreased by 15%, the average CPC decreased by 27%, and the average CTR increased by 22%.
YouTube benchmarks - Q1 2018
In Q1 2018, advertisers on the AdStage platform spent, on average, $9.68 per thousand impressions (CPM), and $3.21 per click (CPC). The average click-through rate (CTR) on YouTube was 0.33%.
Download the Q1 2018 Paid Search and Paid Social ads Benchmark Report to see results for all the major ad networks.
The cost of YouTube impressions down 15% from last year
Compared to the end of last year, CPMs are down 20%, and 15% lower YoY. Last year was difficult for YouTube, with several brands pulling ads from the platform amid controversy around brand safety. However, the lower price could simply be an expected overcorrection after a spike in Q4 2018.
Advertisers paid almost $2 less per click than last year
After a spike in costs per click at the end of last year, Q1 2018 CPCs on YouTube dropped by 20% QoQ. The new benchmark for Q1 2018 is 15% lower compared to last year -- $9.68 vs. $11.43.
YouTube ads drive more engagement in 2018
People are clicking more actively on YouTube ads this year, compared to last year. This year’s Q1 benchmark CTR is up almost 18% from the previous quarter, and 22% higher than at the same time last year. It still remains below the 2017 high of 0.37%.
YouTube ads trends in Q1 2018
As you can see, the costs are down, while the click-through rate is up. What’s even better, Google’s YouTube is growing its ad product offerings to help marketers reach relevant audiences and improve performance. At SMX West, a marketing conference for SEM professionals, they announced two important features: the extension of custom intent audiences to YouTube, and a new ad format called TrueView for Action.
Custom intent audiences will allow advertisers to set up video campaigns in AdWords with the keywords related to their products or services. For example, a home improvement retailer could reach people on YouTube who recently searched Google for “electric patio heaters.” According to Google, this new feature will work great with TrueView for Action, a new format developed specifically to meet direct response objectives.
The PPC community welcomed the two features with excitement (even though custom audiences only work in the new AdWords interface). Director of Search of Point It, Natalie Barreda, said the new changes gave her “hope in YouTube advertising.”
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