Adtech terms simply explained by our in-house experts

What Are Ad Impressions?

Ad impressions – or views – are the number of times an ad is viewed on a given network or publisher’s app. If you see a banner or rewarded ad, this counts as an impression. Some people also measure how long an ad has been viewed – for example, for video ads.

Impressions can be both unique and nonunique. “Nonunique” refers to the number of times the ad has been viewed in total; unique impressions are the number of users who have viewed an ad.
Key Takeaways
  • Impressions are also known as “views”
  • Impressions only indicate the number of times your ad is viewed, not engagement with an ad
  • The amount of revenue generated by an ad impression is measured by eCPM

Why Are Ad Impressions Important?

Although impressions tell you how often your ad is served, they can’t tell you how users have engaged with it. It doesn’t give advertisers any information about whether users have subsequently installed their app in the app store, for example.

Engagement is always the highest goal in mobile advertising, and clicks can measure this far more effectively than impressions can. A click indicates that an ad was enticing enough for the viewer to take some sort of action – for example, a user might install a new game after viewing a banner or display ad

user acquisition funnel: impressions to clicks to installs to new users

Nevertheless, this is a crucial metric that both publishers and advertisers need in order to calculate other important KPIs.


  • Impressions give advertisers greater insights into how their ads are performing within a particular channel. They can grasp just how significant an advertising channel’s reach is.
  •  If advertisers want to attribute a metric to their conversions and traffic, they should know the number of impressions to accurately calculate their click-through rate (CTR). If impressions are high, but the CTR is low, advertisers should look at ways to optimize their ad or its placement. 
  • Advertisers also need to know how many views an ad generates to understand the cost of a cost per mille (CPM) campaign.


  • Impressions are a key metric for publishers, as you need this number to calculate the effective cost per mille (eCPM). This is the model used to pay publishers. The eCPM essentially tells you how much you are monetizing your traffic for. 

How Do You Improve Impressions?

Are your ads not performing as well as you’d like them to? Are you falling short on your KPIs? This could be down to a couple of reasons.

Here’s a short checklist of actionable next steps to take if you want to optimize your views:

  1. Optimize and increase bids to the users and ad formats that perform the strongest. 
  2. Look for more suitable supply partners for your app.
table of ad impressions or views for different mobile games


Knowing the number of ad impressions is key to calculating other metrics needed when it comes to tracking ad campaign performance. From this broad metric, you can monitor how many users are viewing your ads – possibly also how long they are viewing your ads – and the absolute number of times your ad is shown. This metric is therefore an indicator of how much your traffic is worth.


What Is an Ad Impression?

Ad impressions are the number of times your ad is shown to an app users.

How Are Impressions Counted?

Most platforms count impressions every time an ad starts to load on a user‘s device. Unique impressions are the number of users who have viewed an ad; nonunique impressions are the number of times your ad has been viewed in total.

Why Are Ad Impressions Important?

Impressions provide a simple and easy-to-understand representation of how many people see your ads within a given campaign, audience segment, or channel. You can also use ad impressions to calculate other metrics such as CTR, CPM, and eCPM.

How Do You Know If an Ad Is Effective?

Your ad is effective if it carriers your users to the next stage of your funnel. This can be calculated through click-through-rates.

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