CPM Seasonality: Tips to Maximize Revenue in Q1

January 18, 2022

The holidays have come and gone.  And taken the boosted CPMs and traffic with it.  Don’t despair, Q1 is traditionally a quieter time, for everyone.  However, there are some tactics publishers can use to improve their Q1 revenue and be well prepared for the more robust seasons ahead.

Seasonal Breakdown

Advertising campaigns are planned quarterly, with the greatest spend planned around when consumers are also spending.  Basically, this boils down to Q4 delivering the highest demand and Q1 bringing the leanest.  Spending is lower at the beginning of a quarter and picks up towards the end. These ups and downs are typical but can present challenges for publishers.

Though individual site performance may vary based on its content and target audiences, there is a general CPM trend over the course of the year.  

CPM Seasonality

Seasonal Trends

Seasonal fluctuation is driven by users (traffic) and marketers (ad spend). Thinking about events and holidays throughout the year that influence both ad spending and internet traffic, build content that will attract the users that attract the higher CPM campaigns. 


Quarterly chart

What Can a Publisher Do?

Here are some things publishers can do to protect revenue when demand is slow, and be prepared for the ramp-up that begins as the year goes on.  

Tech Check

We can’t say this enough.  The right technology suite is critical to your revenue success…any time of the year but especially during the slower seasons.

  • Hybrid Header Bidding – maximizes competition and fill
  • Custom wrapper features: smart refresh, lazy loading
  • Real-time data allows for real-time, ongoing optimizations

Optimize Viewability

  • Use GAM Analytics to help optimize viewability
  • Prioritize ad sizes with the highest demand

Improve Site Performance

  • Do a site audit- core web vitals, update ads.txt, assess page layout
  • Optimize for mobile

Lower Floors and Decrease Frequency Caps

  • Adjust as needed for page RPM and fill

Monitor other KPI

  • CPMs are only a part of the picture, also consider RPM and RPS

Know Your Audience

Data Monetization

  • Maximize data-driven revenue via artificial intelligence
  • Transform data into monetizable insights
  • Monetize audience data and chart a future for open web advertising

Find the Right Partner

Staying on top of your content, site performance, data, and constant optimizations can be taxing for any publisher.  The programmatic ecosystem is in a constant state of shifting and these shifts can bring big opportunities if you’re ready.  Working with an experienced adops partner can be a game-changer for your business.  

Whether you’re looking for a plug-and-play technology solution or an experienced adops team, or a little bit of everything, Adapex can help.  Our Client Success team constantly monitors site performance and makes ongoing optimizations to ensure your revenue is maximized and protected against seasonal fluctuations. If you’d like a free site audit or a demo of our m4 Tech Suite™, reach out.  We’d love to help you navigate Q1 and prepare to take your revenue to the top in 2022.


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