What is the difference between PPV and PPC?

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The difference between PPV (pay per view) and PPC (pay per click) is that PPV is normally an adware ad that pops over a website where the website owner did not install the ad so the website owners does not make any money, and PPC ads are installed by the owner of the website when it comes to affiliate marketing and media buying.  For advertisers, PPV ads cost you money when the ad is viewed and PPC ads cost you money when a click occurs.  PPV is also an outdated term for a subscription model with selling tv shows and movies by entertainment companies.

Someone asked me why I am opposed to PPV and not to PPC when it comes to affiliates buying media space, and the answer is pretty easy.  PPV ads can pop over targeted websites like our client’s ecommerce stores and set a cookie for a user that was already there.  This can overwrite the channel that actually brough the customer in, and take a commission away from a top-funnel affiliate partner.  If that affiliate does not get their sale, they’ll stop sending traffic to our clients and our clients lose even more.

PPV ads can also pop over media sites by recognizing specific words, pages, or topics.  Although this can bring top-funnel traffic to a brand, if the website the ad pops over did not optin, and does not get paid, the PPV ads company is taking money out of their pockets.  If the website has ad spaces placed on their website and they are getting paid per view vs. a CPM space (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC, then it is fair game because the media buyer gets the traffic and the website gets their media money.  Everyone wins.

Not all PPV ads are bad, and not all PPC ads are good.  Some PPV platforms require the website to install their code, and that means the website owner is being compensated so it is fair, and some PPC platforms can run ads on PPV ones as a way to get extra impressions and meet media buy minimums for eyeballs.  Both can have issues with bots, click farms, and inflated numbers, so if you’re buying space you’ll want to ensure the data and click patterns match up with how consumers would normally engage.

Both PPV and PPC media buying can be good and bad, its up to your own business ethics and the way you do the buying to determine if they are right for your company.  And if you’re man affiliate manager, you’ll need to determine if the ads are popping over your own site to drive a conversion you would have had without the ad popping, and if you’re ok with your margins being reduced by the amount of the commission and network fees.  And all affiliate managers should be well versed in the main PPV adware, PPV non-adware, and CPC platforms in order to do their jobs.  If they cannot name which are which, and there is traffic coming to your site they cannot verify the origin of, it might just be this.  Have an affiliate program audit done by someone with experience on the sub networks and ad networks, this will help clarify what is actually occurring.

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6 thoughts on “What is the difference between PPV and PPC?”

  1. Thank you for writing this post. I am certain that most affiliates and merchants are not aware that there are people regularly stealing commissions from them or that many Affiliate Networks are doing nothing to curb these tactics.
    .-= Gail´s last blog ..Ethical Affiliate Marketing =-.

  2. No problem Gail. Thank you for reading this post. The thing is that some Networks do take action on this type of behavior while others endorse it but give it fancy names like PPV or Contextual Advertising.

    Now, not all contextual is bad, the Google Adsense Network is contextual and not bad, but when it comes to Affiliate Marketing and Media Buying, there is a very good chance that Contextual can mean the same as PPV or Adware. It is showing ads based off of content.

  3. Thanks for this post. Gail recommended it on Twitter. I am new to blogging and hope to do some affiliate marketing eventually. I want an honest business and have already seen some dubious practices on the net that I stay well clear of. Here is another to add to my list!
    Thanks again. Learning heaps from all you experieced ppl out there.
    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for reading and posting. No problem at all. It is good to see someone taking an ethical and long term strategy approach. If you are able to build your own community and your own readership or visitors then you won’t have to worry as much as they will keep coming back to you.

      Let me know if you ever need any help and I would be happy to have you in any of my programs.



  4. “In my mind and my opinion is that if you have to use PPV to pop ads over other people’s sites because you are not talented or smart enough or creative enough to build your own sites and drive your own SEO traffic, then you probably should not be in Affiliate Marketing or even in Online Marketing in general.” .. Just had to say that I could not agree with you more!

    1. Thanks Aden. It’s great to see you here as well.

      It’s a shame that theft like this continues in our industry and in Media Buying but fortunately certain networks like Share a Sale, Buy.at and a few others do their part to help keep it out of their Networks. Although no one can catch all of it there is a list of Networks I like to work with that I am always happy to share privately. The other thing to keep in mind though is that if the Merchant is not exclusive on those networks and is on a CPA Network, one of the other Big 4 or Big 5 Networks then you are not as safe from having your cookies overwritten as many of the large Networks and Many of the CPA Networks allow Toolbars, Reminderware, Couponware, Contextual, Interstitial, Interference Marketing, Loyaltyware or however they would like to make adware sound like it is a good thing for Merchants.

      Thank you again for reading and happy to have you here.


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