Ad CPM Rates in South Africa: 2021 Edition

This article has been penned down to discuss ad CPM rates in South Africa. Selling ad spots on your site used to be a complete pain and not worth the effort it was a full-time job just setting them up and keeping them going. Then Google AdSense came around and made the monetisation of a website a comfortable and carefree process.

There are thousands of blogs in South Africa not being monetised and if you’re one of them you’re probably wondering how much traffic do I need to earn a living? Could my blogging bring in a reasonable side income? Well, today you’re in luck because we aim to answer these questions and a lot more so we can help South African bloggers earn from their blogging efforts.

Auctions, Media Buying, and CPM Rates

In order to understand the seller’s point of view, you should also be able to understand the buyer’s side of the story. Auctions are a delivery method with the goal of generating the most revenue for each ad impression. Effectively, rather than picking an ad randomly via a lottery system, it calculates the expected revenue (eCPM) you’ll make for each ad and selects the ad that’ll deliver the highest return. Almost 80% of your earnings is brought by less than 20% of the impressions. This essentially means that there is a huge difference in inventory buying, rates, quality conversions and much more.

If you are using AdSense revenue profile or have used the AdSense lab tools, you have a fair knowledge of this. Buyers are paying premium rates for some impressions and a fair volume of impressions are taken at flat rates. However, almost most of the time these pricings and optimizations are determined by Google’s algorithms (smart pricing) or other techniques that define the CPC or CPM rates on individual websites. So, based on the traffic, conversions, viewability, and other parameters, these rates change! Therefore, it is difficult to predict the CPM of a website entirely. Thus we will be sharing information about the network CPM rates for specific countries.

Understanding Network CPM Rates

One of the most common Internet advertising models is CPM, or cost per mille, which pays the advertiser a flat rate for every 1,000 times an advertisement is displayed on their website. The price of the CPM is reflective of the quality of impressions an advertiser is receiving. If an ad is being displayed a lot of times, but resulting in few sales, an advertiser will pay a lower CPM to account for the low quality traffic.

How to Increase Website CPM Rates?

Give your ads key position. Successful advertising depends largely upon the location of the ad. The most valuable real estate on a website is the area referred to as “above the fold,” meaning the part of a page a user can see without having to scroll down. Placing ads in this area will increase the probability that they will be clicked on, thereby increasing the value of the ad displays you are serving.

CPM Rates in South Africa
CPM Rates in South Africa

Display Ad CPM Rates in South Africa

Display advertising is a method of attracting the audience of a website, social media platform or other digital mediums to take a specific action. These are often made up of text-based, image or video advertisements that encourage the user to click-through to a landing page and take action (e.g. make a purchase). The CPM rates vary depending on the niche of the site and how well the traffic converts for the advertisers. For general purpose sites like news, entertainment, etc, the US display CPM is around USD 0.5 to USD 1. For specific niche sites it goes higher due to the increased competition, however, it is comparatively lesser than AdSense.

ADX CPM Rates in South Africa

Of late, ADX has shifted to first price auction and publishers saw some fluctuations in their ad revenue. ADX tends to perform on websites which have high volume traffic and offers better scope for advertisers. The ad exchange CPM rates hover around USD 0.50 to USD 0.75 for South African traffic.

AdSense CPM Rates in South Africa

The performance and eCPMs of AdSense ads are tough to beat and the initial setup is also quite simple. With a lot of changes happening in the ad tech world, AdSense continues to maintain its pace and innovate at the same time. AdSense CPM rates can vary depending upon the category of the website. It is usually USD 1 to USD 2 and can go higher for niche websites. Over the years, we have seen many ad units coming up like in-article ads, in-feed ads, auto ads, and more.

Native Ads CPM Rates in South Africa

Native ads give a steady widget RPM of USD 0.50. Like banner ads, the CPM rates for native ads hugely vary and depend on the niche of the content, the demographics and advertiser conversions. Publishers often find it difficult to choose the highest paying native ad network based on their traffic geos.

Video Ads CPM Rates in South Africa

The video ad industry has exploded in recent years, as more publishers have started incorporating video content into their sites and advertisers have embraced this medium as an effective way to promote their products and services. This growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, with many advertisers shifting budgets towards video. The video CPM rates for US traffic vary from USD 3 to USD 7 for general and entertainment sites.

The most lucrative approach to maximize revenue is to sell ads directly to advertisers, and host the video within your site. This approach requires developing relationships with advertisers and agencies, which can be a very time consuming process. But it allows publishers to keep 100% of the revenue generated.


Hope this article on ad CPM rates in the South Africa gives you a holistic summary of the current CPM rates across the various digital ad formats which includes display, video, native. We will continue supplementing new ad formats like VR, podcast, in-app, and others so feel free to check back this article after a few days for a latest version.

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