CPI [Cost Per Install]

What does CPI mean?

The CPI price is the amount paid per installation of an app on a mobile/cell phone.

For example if you booked a campaign to have your app installed 800 times at a CPI rate of $8 then each install would cost you $8 and in total you would pay $6,400.

Calculator IconWork out the Cost Per Install of your campaigns with our CPI Calculator >

CPI Definition

CPI stands for Cost Per Install and is essentially a type of CPA campaign for apps. It is a new type of pricing model specifically designed to track installations on smart phones of apps.

CPI is sometimes used to mean cost per impression but as that is a pretty meaningless value, CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) is used far more often.

Note: Payments are triggered on installs, not on users getting to an installation page. Therefore the CTR is not a good way to optimise these campaigns, as the Install Rate is between 1-4% (which means only 1-4% of clicks lead to an installation. This makes this type of deal kind of harsh for mobile publishers, however it is still mostly better than the alternatives (CPM rates on mobiles can be rock bottom).


CPI Formula

The equation to work out cost per install couldn’t be simpler:

Cost Per Install Equation or CPI Formula

Click to enlarge

CPI = Ad Spend / Installs


Average Rate

The average Cost Per Install is over $3 apparently, and because of this many mobile ad networks have re-positioned themselves to focus on this type of advertising.



CPI Definition or Cost Per Install


Find out more

Ad Pricing Guide

Author: Justin Driskill

Justin is the founder of The Online Advertising Guide and a freelance Digital Projects Manager.

Back: Glossary Index