What’s the difference between RPM and session RPMs (RPS)?

Last updated: January 18, 2023 | by Kean Graham

This post was most recently updated on January 18th, 2023

If you’re a publisher, you may be wondering which metric is more important to track: revenue per mille (RPM) or revenue per session (RPS)? Well, wonder no more! As publishers look for ways to understand how their ad inventory is performing, RPM and RPS are two very valuable metrics. In this blog post, we’ll break down the difference between revenue per mile and revenue per session for publishers and give you some tips on how to increase the latter. Stay tuned – it’s about to get nerdy up in here!


RPM stands for ‘revenue per mille and refers to how much money you make for every 1,000 pageviews.

RPM Calculation: (Total Revenue/ Total Pageviews) * 1000

RPS stands for ‘revenue per session’ and refers to how much you make for every session. They are also referred to as session RPMs by many ad networks.

RPS Calculation: (Total Revenue/Total Sessions) * 1000

When a page loads in your browser, Google Analytics counts that as a pageview, while a session is the period of time a reader is active on your site. RPS will always be higher than RPM, even though overall earnings are the same. In the adtech industry, it’s pretty standard that RPM = pageview RPM, but some ad providers use session RPM (in other words, RPS) so it’s important to know what each provider means when referencing RPM.

Publishers should pay attention to RPS because it provides a comprehensive view of how their site is performing. RPS looks into critical factors impacting site monetization like ad viewability, fill rate, refresh rate, ad density, page speed, etc.

Related Read: https://www.monetizemore.com/blog/what-is-rpm-session-page-ad/

What's the difference between RPM and session RPMs (RPS)? MonitizeMore

What’s the difference between RPM and RPS?

Publishers can look into many metrics to dig deeper into ad performance and revenue spikes. RPMs are the most popular metric in the advertising industry that gives you the numbers for average earnings per thousand pageviews. RPM is the best way to measure overall ad earnings and ad performance because it’s a reliable metric that gives you the exact stats about how much revenue you’re generating from your traffic.

You earn more money from each pageview when your RPM is higher.  Since RPM is just a measurement of how much one pageview earns, more pageviews do not automatically lead to a higher RPM.

Don’t get me wrong here, you earn more money overall when you get more pageviews, but that doesn’t mean each pageview earns more money. So, when does RPS come into play?

RPS, aka revenue per 1,000 sessions, is calculated by dividing the total ad earnings over a specified time period by the total sessions over that time period and multiplying the final result by 1000.

A visitor’s session can contain multiple pageviews. For instance, if someone visits your site, reads your recent post, browses related posts, and reads some older posts, the time they spent browsing your site is referred to as a “session”, which is associated with multiple pageviews.

Compared to RPMs, RPS can be a more helpful measurement for publishers that use rich media, videos, or other features that lead to multiple pageviews per session.

What's the difference between RPM and session RPMs (RPS)? MonitizeMore

How are RPMs and Session RPMs (RPS) related?

The formula for both RPMs and RPS are almost the same except RPS takes the time period during which the ad earnings were generated into account as well. Google Analytics also reports the total sessions for that specific time period. On the first pageview, advertisers tend to bid the most to get the reader hooked. However, once the reader clicks through different webpages, each pageview’s value doesn’t necessarily increase.

The result is that your RPM will decrease as the reader views more pages, but the RPS will increase since the session overall recorded more impressions compared to a user visiting one page only. The total number of sessions will always be lower than the total number of pageviews since every session results in more pageviews. This is why revenue per session will always show up higher than RPM.

You might want to consider the RPS metric if your site has a high number of pages per session (2+) since your RPMs will be lower. The best way to determine how your ad layout is performing for you is to focus on RPM if you have an average number of pages per session (in the range of 1–1.5).

Session RPMs are always higher than true pageview RPMs. As a result of a user staying on a site longer, session RPM rises because the user consumes more content, creating more chances for conversions. Our PubGuru dashboard shows both Session RPMs and Page RPMs in the Profit Attribution Report. However, in case you get confused, it’s best to look into page RPMs since they are the most standardized way to analyze ad performance quickly. RPM may seem important, but it’s not the only way to determine the success of your site.

What's the difference between RPM and session RPMs (RPS)? MonitizeMore

How to improve your Session RPMs?

In order to improve your overall session RPMs, always double-check how the fill rate, ad density, viewability, etc are coming up. Let’s say, for ad density, your site’s user experience gets affected if there are 6+ ads on the page. Lots of ads can increase the bounce rate and site speed which no publisher wants.

Users who engage with a publisher’s site for just a few seconds leave little room for ads to show and for the publisher to earn ad dollars. As far as the number of ads per page is concerned, the publisher must find the ideal balance after split testing. Ad placement on the webpage is equally important along with the total number of ads you choose to display on your site.

This is where you can make use of Pubguru Header Bidding to get the best out of ad placement optimization. Advertisers and brands who bid on publishers’ ad inventory are looking for highly viewable inventory (3/4th ad viewability). High Viewability is proof that their ads are being seen and they are getting a decent return on their marketing investment.

In addition to being powerful metrics, they can assist publishers in devising content strategies that will produce high RPMs and, ultimately bring higher session RPMs. Creating quality content that engages users so that they keep coming back for more is the secret sauce.

What you should do now?

Always keep yourself updated on RPM and RPS trends. If you’re already partnered with MonetizeMore, you can analyze these metrics in the Profit Attribution Report. RPM and session RPMs are the snapshot to your daily ad inventory performance. If you haven’t signed up for Pubguru Header Bidding yet, you are missing out on taking your ad revenue to the moon.

 Get started here. Let’s talk

What's the difference between RPM and session RPMs (RPS)? MonitizeMore

Frequently Asked Questions

What is page RPM?

The page RPM is the rate an advertiser must pay for every thousand ad impressions viewed per page and is calculated by dividing your estimated ad earnings by total number of pageviews with the result multiplied by 1,000.

Are RPS and session RPMs the same?

Yes, RPS stands for revenue per session which is the same as session RPMs. The term session RPMs are used more often by ad networks compared to ‘RPS’ but they are the same.

What is session RPM?

Session RPM shows the site’s ad earnings per visitor and gives you a snapshot of overall site performance.You can calculate session RPM by dividing your earnings by total user sessions multiplied by 1,000.

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