CPM Seasonality: Tips to Maximize Revenue No Matter What Time of Year

December 16, 2019

What is CPM Seasonality?

Advertising campaigns are planned quarterly, with the greatest spend planned around when consumers are also spending.  Basically this boils down to Q4, with inflated holiday budgets, delivering highest demand and CPMs, and Q1 bringing the leanest.  But there are plenty of ups and downs and opportunities throughout the year that publishers can take advantage of.  

Seasonal Breakdown

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.  

Keep Your Eyes on the Campaigns

Keeping in mind where advertiser spend will flow in each quarter can help you create content that will attract the audiences that attract the higher CPM campaigns.

Q1 on the Horizon, Be Prepared!

With a lean Q1 on the horizon there are several things Publishers can do to prepare and protect their revenue during this period of less demand and spend. 

  • Fortify your Header Bidder Demand Stack – And build up more hybrid header bidding
  • Lower Floors and Decrease Frequency Caps – Drop your CPM floors and see how it impacts your Page RPM and Fill rates.  Adjust accordingly.
  • Add Ad sizes – Increase the number of available ad sizes to increase competition. Improve performance through placements.
  • Make sure Native and fluid sizes are enabled wherever possible – And look into testing new native providers.
  • Pursue PMPs and Advertisers Around Q1 Holidays Consumers spend again around the winter holidays creating opportunities for PMPS to target them (Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, MLK)
  • Test Innovative New FormatsConsider non-standard ad sizes and formats (adhesion, skin, push-up/down) that pay higher CPMs.
  • Video! – We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, go after the video CPMs with outstream and video header bidding.
  • Add Refresh – Our custom header bidder wrapper has smart refresh on 5 variables, so you can set the refresh that best works for you.
  • Add Lazy-Loading – Optimize viewability by progressively loading ads as the user scrolls down the page and the ad is in the viewport longer-
  • Add Dynamic Ads InsertionTake advantage of your longer articles by adding ads only as the users scroll through the additional content.
  • CMP Check Make sure your Consent Management Platform is working properly so it is sending maximum consent to advertisers, especially as we enter onto a new frontier with CCPA.   
  • Ads.txt Check – Make sure your ads.txt is updating to allow for maximum advertiser/agency entry.

Adapex is always here to help and make sure you are making the best decisions for your business. Contact us and we’ll help you maximize your revenues for Q1, and every season throughout the year.  Not sure where to start? Contact us for a free site audit and we can point you in the right direction.

Blog Categories
Featured posts
Recent posts



Join the Adapex community to receive future posts, offers, guides and more