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Amazon CPM Ads FAQs


Top FAQs

What is Amazon Associates?
What is Amazon CPM Ads?
What does CPM stand for?
Who is eligible to participate in Amazon CPM Ads?
When should I use Amazon CPM Ads and when should I use Associates products such as Banners, Widgets, and Product Display Links?
How does Amazon CPM Ads differ from Associates Banners, Widgets, and Product links?
Can I show ads from Amazon CPM Ads if I currently don’t use display advertising banners on my site?
Can I show Amazon CPM Ads ads on https (secure) pages?
Where can I display ads from Amazon CPM Ads?
Will I need to redesign my website to participate?
What is a site list and how will you use it?
Should I submit a list of all the pages where I plan to show ads from Amazon CPM Ads?
What types of advertisers will I see on my site?
Can I control which advertisers or product ads show on my site?
What size ads are available with Amazon CPM Ads?
My site has been blocked from Amazon CPM Ads. What can I do?

Getting Started

How do I get started?
How soon will ads from Amazon CPM Ads appear on my website?
Do I need an ad server such as DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers) to use Amazon CPM Ads?
Why are some of the website domains I enter in my site list not approved for Amazon CPM Ads?
Why should I declare the websites in my site list that are directed primarily at kids under 13?
I run a general audience website, not a child-directed website. Can I show Amazon CPM Ads to all of my users?
Can I use the same ad code on more than one page of my website or on multiple websites that I operate?
What is an ad unit?
How do I edit my ad code variables such as target CPM, passback ad code, ad unit name, or ad size?

Earnings

How do I earn a guaranteed monthly eCPM with Amazon CPM Ads?
How much can I earn with Amazon CPM Ads?
What can I do to increase my earnings?
Why is my reported eCPM below my target CPM?
Do I get paid advertising fees for purchases made via Amazon CPM Ads?

Target CPM

What is target CPM?
How do I calculate my target CPM?
Do I receive a CPM at or above my target CPM for every ad request that Amazon fills?
Can I be paid more than the target CPM?
If I specify a target CPM of zero, will Amazon CPM Ads show an ad for every impression?
How long does it take for changes to my target CPM and passback ad code to take effect?

Passback

What is a passback or passback ad code?
What if I do not have a passback?
Why am I not seeing an ad even though I have integrated the Amazon CPM Ads ad code?

Payments

How will I be paid?
Will I get paid for every ad impression?
Will my Amazon CPM Ads earnings payment be combined with my other Associates program earnings?

Reporting

How can I track my earnings and other metrics?
What time zone do you use for reports?
Can I access my reports through an API?
Why do the metrics on Associates Central differ from my website analytics tool?
Why do my CPM earnings not match my target CPM?
Why is my payment amount for CPM Ads lower than earnings reported in Associates Central?
Why is an ad unit name showing up as "UNKNOWN" or only partially displayed in the reports?

Quality and Compliance

How do you evaluate website quality?
How can I make sure that my website is compliant with Amazon Associates?
Does Amazon CPM Ads allow ads on parked domains?
What can I do if my site has not been approved for showing ads from Amazon CPM Ads?

Troubleshooting

Why am I not receiving any impressions from Amazon CPM Ads?

Top FAQs

What is Amazon Associates?
Amazon Associates is a free advertising program designed to help website owners earn money via Affiliate tools and display advertising. Members participating in the Associates program can earn advertising fees in three ways:
  • Associates can refer visitors from their website to Amazon using links, widgets, and banners available in Associates Central. When these visitors purchase products, associates earn advertising fees calculated as a percentage of the purchase price.
  • Associates can also earn fixed-rate advertising fees (“bounties”) when visitors they refer try and/or sign-up for valuable services and programs.
  • NEW. Amazon CPM Ads allows associates to earn advertising fees by showing display advertising from Amazon and other brand and performance advertisers on their site. Click here to learn more and get started with Amazon CPM Ads.
What is Amazon CPM Ads?
Amazon CPM Ads is a display advertising program that enables you to show ads from Amazon and other premium advertisers on your web site(s). You will be paid on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis for each ad impression served.

What does CPM stand for?
CPM is short for cost per thousand (mille). Some advertising providers may use the term eCPM (effective CPM) when referring to CPM. In the context of Amazon CPM Ads, CPM refers to the amount you earn from us for every 1,000 impressions we fill, and does not include revenue from your passback ad network. By default, CPM is reported by ad unit for Amazon CPM Ads. You can calculate CPM by multiplying your earnings by 1,000 and dividing it by the total number of impressions. Your monthly CPM is guaranteed to be at or above your target CPM for ads that we serve.

Who is eligible to participate in Amazon CPM Ads?
Amazon CPM Ads is available by invitation to select US Associates. Eligible Associates must comply with the terms of the Associates Program Operating Agreement. If you have not been invited yet, stay tuned for more details as we expand the program.

When should I use Amazon CPM Ads and when should I use Associates products such as Banners, Widgets, and Product Display Links?
It is best to use Amazon CPM Ads where you already serve display ads from other ad networks or sponsors. We recommend using Banners, Widgets, and Product Display Links to promote Amazon-specific products, events, and special bounty offerings on your site that are relevant to your users. You may find these ad units useful as a complement to your other display advertising placements.

How does Amazon CPM Ads differ from Associates Banners, Widgets, and Product links?
Amazon CPM Ads offers the following benefits:
  • Cost-per-thousand impression monetization that gives you the opportunity to earn revenue from every impression.
  • Display ads from Amazon and other premium advertisers.
  • Set your target CPM and you will earn a monthly CPM that is guaranteed to be at or above your target for the ad impressions we fill. Any unsold impressions will be sent to your existing ad network via the passback feature.
  • You only need to integrate the ad code for Amazon CPM Ads once. Ads are automatically updated to stay fresh and relevant to your users.
Can I show ads from Amazon CPM Ads if I currently don’t use display advertising banners on my site?
Yes. If you are currently not using display advertising, you can show ads from Amazon CPM Ads by
  1. Integrating our ad code onto your website, and
  2. Setting up the Associates banner ad code as the passback. To get the Associates banner ad code, go to the Banner Links page and copy the appropriate ad code (use the iframe version). Your Associate banner earnings will be reported on the Earnings Report.
Can I show Amazon CPM Ads ads on https (secure) pages?
Yes. Amazon CPM Ads supports ad serving on https (secure) pages. Make sure you use a passback ad code that is https compliant.

Where can I display ads from Amazon CPM Ads?
You can display Amazon CPM Ads on sites that you own or operate.

Will I need to redesign my website to participate?
No. Amazon CPM Ads serves ads to the following 4 standard IAB ad unit sizes: 728x90, 160x600, 300x250, and 300x600.

What is a site list and how will you use it?
A site list is a list of the websites where you will show ads from Amazon CPM Ads. Amazon uses this list to manage publisher quality. You can include up to 50 websites in your site list. Amazon CPM Ads will only serve ads to websites that are part of the site list.

Should I submit a list of all the pages where I plan to show ads from Amazon CPM Ads?
No. You only need to provide the top-level domain for each website. All sub-pages from a domain will be eligible to show ads.
  • Example 1: if you own or operate a website www.johndoesrecipes.com and you want to show an ad on the recipes page with the URL www.johndoesrecipes.com/recipes.html, you should enter johndoesrecipes.com in the site list.
  • Example 2: If you own or operate mysite.blogspot.com and you want to show ads on the home page with the URL mysite.blogspot.com/home.html, you should enter mysite.blogspot.com in the site list.
You do not need to enter http or www in the site list box.

What types of advertisers will I see on my site?
You will see ads from Amazon and other premium advertisers.

Can I control which advertisers or product ads show on my site?
We strive to serve high-quality ads that are relevant for your users. At this time, you cannot specify which advertisers or products will show on your site.

What size ads are available with Amazon CPM Ads?
We support 4 standard IAB ad unit sizes: 728x90, 160x600, 300x250, and 300x600.

My site has been blocked from Amazon CPM Ads. What can I do?
We reserve the right to block any website from Amazon CPM Ads that does not comply with the Associates Program Operating Agreement. If you have questions, please contact us.

Getting Started

How do I get started?
There are 3 easy steps you need to complete to get started with Amazon CPM Ads:
  1. Create a site list
  2. Create your Amazon CPM Ads ad code
  3. Copy and paste the Amazon CPM Ads ad code onto your website or your ad server
Refer to the Getting Started Guide for more detail.

How soon will ads from Amazon CPM Ads appear on my website?
Ads from Amazon CPM Ads will appear after you have integrated our ad code onto your site, and as soon as we have a relevant ad that will allow us to meet or exceed your target CPM on a monthly basis.
Ads from your passback ad network will be shown when we do not have a relevant ad that meets or exceeds your target CPM.

Do I need an ad server such as DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers) to use Amazon CPM Ads?
No. Amazon CPM Ads can be used with or without an ad server.

What is a site list and how will you use it?
A site list is a list of the websites on which you want to show ads from Amazon CPM Ads. You can include up to 50 websites in your site list. We use the site list to manage Amazon CPM Ads program quality and will only serve ads on websites that are part of your site list.

Why are some of the website domains I enter in my site list not approved for Amazon CPM Ads?
Only website domains that meet our quality expectations, are compliant with the Amazon CPM Ads Home Page, and are owned or operated by you are approved to participate in Amazon CPM Ads. Some examples of the types of websites that are not approved for Amazon CPM Ads include cache services (e.g. webcache.googleusercontent.com), websites that incentivize users to view ads, ad servers disguised as a website, parked domains, websites that are directed at children under 13, and inactive domains.

Why should I declare the websites in my site list that are directed primarily at kids under 13?
Websites that are directed primarily at kids under 13 are not eligible to participate in the Associates program, including Amazon CPM Ads. This is because of restrictions on advertising found in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and in related regulations. If you are uncertain whether a site is directed primarily at kids under 13 (as defined by COPPA), please refer to the FTC guidance on COPPA, which can be found here.

I run a general audience website, not a child-directed website. Can I show Amazon CPM Ads to all of my users?
You may not show Amazon CPM Ads to users you know are under 13, even on a website that is not child-directed. For example, if you ask a user for their age and they indicate they are under 13, you may not show an Amazon CPM Ad to them. This is because of restrictions on advertising found in COPPA and in related regulations. If you are uncertain about how COPPA applies to you, please refer to the FTC guidance on COPPA, which can be found here.

Can I use the same ad code on more than one page of my website or on multiple websites that I operate?
Yes, you can use the same Amazon CPM Ads ad code on multiple pages of one or more of your websites that are included as part of your site list. Keep in mind, however, that we provide reporting at the ad unit level. “Ad unit” refers to all the ads that are displayed as a result of a particular ad code we provide you. Using the same ad code in multiple ad slots within the same website, or across multiple websites will preclude you from setting a customized target CPM for each ad slot. This will also limit your ability to evaluate ad performance at an ad slot, webpage or website level.

What is an ad unit?
A set of one or more ads displayed as a result of the same Amazon CPM Ads ad code. Each ad unit, by definition, has one target CPM and one passback ad code.

How do I edit my ad code variables such as target CPM, passback ad code, ad unit name, or ad size?
You can edit your target CPM and passback ad code from the Amazon CPM Ads Home Page. If you want to change an existing ad unit’s name or ad size, you must create a new Amazon CPM Ads ad code with the desired name and ad size. You are not permitted to directly edit any part of the Amazon CPM Ads ad code. If you do so, you will be violating the Associates Program Operating Agreement and you will not get paid for impressions served as a result of a modified ad code.

Earnings

How do I earn a guaranteed monthly eCPM with Amazon CPM Ads?
You set a target CPM for each ad unit. We will fill your ad requests at a range of CPMs above and below your target CPM so that your aggregate monthly eCPM is always at or above your target CPM for that ad unit. In other words, you are guaranteed to receive a monthly eCPM that is always at or above your target CPM for each ad unit, for ads that we serve. How much can I earn with Amazon CPM Ads?
Website specific performance can vary due to many factors such as your number of ads, ad location, target CPM, site content, audience make up, and relevance of the advertising campaigns to your users. We encourage you to try our program to gauge the performance for your website.

What can I do to increase my earnings?
You can maximize your earnings by placing Amazon CPM Ads on each web page of your website. You are allowed up to three ads per webpage (per the terms of the Associates Program Operating Agreement) from Amazon CPM Ads. You can further optimize each ad unit’s performance by:
  • Placing your ads in clear view for your users. For example, above-the-fold ad units have greater visibility
  • Lower your target CPM. The lower your target CPM, the more likely our network will be able to serve ads on your inventory. Balance of more content and less ads
  • Provide useful, engaging, and original content
If you are integrating Amazon CPM Ads through an ad server, in addition to the above actions, you can also
  • Increase the priority of the Amazon line in your ad server to the highest level possible.
  • Remove frequency caps set in your ad server on Amazon CPM Ads lines. We will set that on our end.
Why is my reported eCPM below my target CPM?
We report eCPM earnings by month. Target CPM can be changed at any time. If you increase your target CPM over the course of a month, your reported eCPM may be lower than your target CPM as of the end of the month. For example, if your target CPM was $0.50 for 29 days of the month and you raise it to $1.00 on the last day of the month, the eCPM we pay you for most of the month will be based on a target of $0.50, not a target of $1.00. Do I get paid advertising fees for purchases made via Amazon CPM Ads?
No. Amazon CPM Ads is different from other Amazon Associates tools. It is a display advertising program that allows you to earn money on a CPM basis for the ad impressions you show on your website, regardless of whether or not visitors click on them. Other Amazon Associates tools, such as text links, banners, and widgets, allow you to earn advertising fees for visitor purchases on Amazon.com. You can use an Associates banner as your passback ad, or use other Associates tools for the opportunity to earn advertising fees for visitor purchases. Refer to our Getting Started Guide for information on setting up an Associates Banner as your passback ad.

Target CPM

What is target CPM?
Target CPM is the guaranteed minimum monthly average CPM rate that you are willing to accept for ads that we serve on your website. Target CPM is set by ad unit. Note that an ad unit can include more than one ad slot.

How do I calculate my target CPM?
We recommend setting your target CPM to the average ad slot CPM you receive from your other ad networks. You can find your average CPM by running an "ad unit" (or "ad slot" or “ad space”) report from your ad network. If you don’t know your specific ad unit CPM, we suggest you set the value to the lowest value you are comfortable. You can even set your target CPM to $0.00 to increase your fill rate.

NOTE: Some ad networks report on RPM (revenue per thousand page views). RPM is the cumulative earnings for all ad units on the page from that ad network. If you have more than one ad unit on a page from the same ad network, you should divide your average RPM value by the number of ad units to arrive at your eCPM. Check your ad network’s glossary to make sure you are using the right RPM definition. For step-by-step instructions on how to set your target CPM, refer to the “Estimate target CPM from your passback provider reports” section within the Getting Started Guide.

Do I receive a CPM at or above my target CPM for every ad request that Amazon fills?
No. Amazon CPM Ads will fill your ad requests at a range of CPMs above and below your “target CPM” for each ad unit. However, you are guaranteed to receive an aggregate monthly CPM that is at or above your “target CPM” for that ad unit.

Can I be paid more than the target CPM?
The “target CPM” is a guaranteed minimum average CPM rate, calculated on a monthly basis for each ad unit. The CPM actually paid can exceed the target CPM depending on how advertisers value your impressions.

If I specify a target CPM of zero, will Amazon CPM Ads show an ad for every impression?
Not necessarily. CPM is not the only factor that determines whether or not Amazon serves an ad. One example of other criteria is relevance of an ad to your users. How long does it take for changes to my target CPM and passback ad code to take effect?
It can take up to 4 hours for updates to your target CPM and passback ad code to take effect.

Passback

What is a passback or passback ad code?
There are instances when we may not have a relevant ad for your user. In such cases, we recommend that you “passback” the ad request to an existing ad network to maximize your yield. In order to “passback” an ad request to another provider, you need to provide their ad code so that they can serve an ad. This is called the “passback” ad code. Some options that can serve as “passback” are: an Associates banner ad code, another ad network’s ad code, or ad code to a standard graphical ad unit that is stored on your ad server.

What if I do not have a passback?
A passback ad code is a prerequisite to use Amazon CPM Ads. We recommend using a passback ad code from your existing display ad network or an Associates banner to maximize your yield from each display ad unit. Refer to the Getting Started Guide for instructions on using Associate banner as a passback. If you do not have a passback ad, your users will see white space in instances when we do not have an ad for you.

Why am I not seeing an ad even though I have integrated the Amazon CPM Ads ad code?
Test your Amazon CPM Ads ad code using debug mode. Refer to the Getting Started Guide for more detail.

Payments

How will I be paid?
Subject to tax withholding requirements that are applicable to you, you will be paid for ads served from Amazon CPM Ads via the same payment method you have selected in your Associates profile. For all other payments related questions, please refer to the Payments FAQ.

Will I get paid for every ad impression?
You will be paid for every ad impression we serve, other than impressions in violation of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, low quality impressions, or impressions where the ad code was modified. You are not permitted to modify the Amazon CPM Ads ad code. You will not get paid for impressions served as a result of a modified ad code.

Will my Amazon CPM Ads earnings payment be combined with my other Associates program earnings?
No. You will be issued two separate payments – one for Amazon CPM Ads earnings and one for all other Associates program earnings.
For all other payments related FAQs, please refer to the Payments FAQ.

Reporting

How can I track my earnings and other metrics?
We offer current-day estimates from the Amazon CPM Ads Home Page on Associates Central. We report on ad requests, impressions, fill rate, and CPM by ad unit/size on a daily basis.

What time zone do you use for reports?
The time zone for reports is Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Can I access my reports through an API?
There is no API available at this time. Our reports are currently accessible through the Associates Central website. You can download a CSV file with daily performance data (ad requests, impressions, fill rate, CPM, and earnings by ad unit/size).

Why do the metrics on Associates Central differ from my website analytics tool?
The methodologies, tools, and time frames to compute website metrics vary among website analytics providers. As a result, it is not uncommon for metrics to vary among different sources.

Why do my CPM earnings not match my target CPM?
We deliver ad impressions with a range of CPMs, some lower and some higher than the target CPM. We do this to maximize the number of ads we deliver while meeting or exceeding your target CPM on a monthly basis.

Why is my payment amount for CPM Ads lower than earnings reported in Associates Central?
We do not pay advertising fees for impressions in violation of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, low quality impressions, or impressions where the ad code was modified. You are not permitted to modify the Amazon CPM Ads ad code. You will not get paid for impressions served as a result of a modified ad code. The current-day estimates reported in Associates Central are not reduced to account for these unpaid impressions.

Why is an ad unit name showing up as "UNKNOWN" or only partially displayed in the reports?
We support ASCII characters only and recommend using letters (Aa to Zz) and numbers (0 to 9).

Quality and Compliance

How do you evaluate website quality?
We evaluate website quality from the perspective of a visitor’s customer experience on that website. We are committed to delivering a great customer experience by serving high-quality and relevant ads from Amazon and other brand and performance advertisers. We want to ensure that our ads are shown on websites that have a similar commitment to quality and exceptional customer experience. Websites that deliver a great customer experience tend to have features such as:
  • Substantial original content
  • A clear and consistent layout
  • A balance of more content and fewer ads
  • No pop-ups, pop-unders, layered ads, redirects etc.
Refer to the best practices guide for associates to learn more about how we evaluate website quality.

How can I make sure that my website is compliant with Amazon Associates?
Review the Associates Program Operating Agreement to confirm your website complies with the terms outlined.

Does Amazon CPM Ads allow ads on parked domains?
No. Parked domains do not meet our quality expectations.

What can I do if my site has not been approved for showing ads from Amazon CPM Ads?
We encourage you to improve your website quality and bring it in line with the expectations of the Amazon CPM Ads program. If you have made these changes to your website, please contact customer service.

Troubleshooting

Why am I not receiving any impressions from Amazon CPM Ads?
Your website may not receive any impressions from Amazon CPM Ads for reasons such as:
  • Your website is not included in your site list
  • You have a malformed ad code (Refer to the Getting Started Guide for instructions on how to test that your ad code is working properly)
  • Your website does not meet our quality expectations or is not compliant with the Associates Program Operating Agreement
  • We do not have a relevant ad that will allow us to meet or exceed your target CPM on a monthly basis.