Pay-Per-Download FAQ

Welcome to the Pay-Per-Download FAQ. Here you will find answers to common questions about the PPD program. If you are unable to find the information you are looking for here, please feel free to contact us.

I. General Pay-Per-Download (PPD) Questions

II. Bidding Questions

III. Account Management Questions

IV. Campaign Tracking Questions

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I. General Pay-Per-Download (PPD) Questions

What is the Pay-Per-Download (PPD) program? The Pay-Per-Download (PPD) program is a performance-based marketing program offering highly targeted, high-visibility product listings for your software. You can determine the cost per Certified Unique Download and set the limit for your marketing budget (Spend Cap).

How does it work? At the beginning of the month, we open bidding for the top five placements in each software category across CNET At bidding close, we award winning placements to the top bids for the upcoming month.

What promotional opportunities are included? Your title, based upon its winning position, will be located within the top five listings in your category and above other date-added titles in the CNET listings. A small Sponsored tag will appear above your title for easy identification. Your title may also be included in the top positions for relevant keyword-specific search results on CNET Additionally, Pay-Per-Download listings are given rotation in sponsored placements across our partner network.

How long does the PPD campaign run? Can I end my campaign early? PPD campaigns begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of that month. Campaigns cannot be deactivated until the spending cap has been met or until the month has ended.

How do I sign up for the PPD program? If you are a registered user and have at least one product listed on CNET, you can sign up for the current PPD offering by clicking the Manage Bids tab located within the Pay-Per-Download Center.

What are the Terms & Conditions of the PPD program? As a user of the Pay-Per-Download program, you must agree to our Terms & Conditions; for reference, you may review our full documentation here.

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II. Bidding Questions

What are the minimums to participate? The minimum Certified Unique Download Rate and Spend Cap are $0.15 and $250, respectively. The Mobile category has a slightly lower minimum Certified Unique Download Rate of $0.10 (the minimum Spend Cap remains $250).

How do I determine my ideal bid price? You will be given an opportunity to preview the estimated rank and campaign spend for your PPD bid during the bidding process. You may also use the following formula to determine your ideal bid amounts. First, calculate the break-even bid using your distribution target number, software sale value, and the percentage of trials that convert to sales. Then apply the target ROI percentage to calculate your ROI-driven bid. See the formulas below for further explanation:

(Distribution target #) x (Software sale value) x (% trial to sale) = Projected sales (Projected sales) / (Distribution target #) = Break-even bid
(Break-even bid) x (1 - target ROI percentage) = ROI-driven bid

How do you determine rankings? Rankings are determined on a discretionary basis. When determining ranking, we take the following into consideration: editorial fit or product context; bid amount relative to other PPD clients; spending cap relative to other PPD clients; download history; and effective yield to CNET Networks (Yield = Blended calculation of [Bid] x [# Downloads]).

Can I bid multiple times? Yes. We will accept multiple bids for your product during the open bidding period. We will consider the latest date-stamped bid submitted as your final offer.

Do you alert me if I am outbid? Yes. When submitting your PPD bid you may choose to have e-mail alerts sent to you every time your estimated rank changes (within sponsored area only), or only if your bid falls below the sponsored area for your category. You will also receive an e-mail with the results of your bid after the bidding window closes.

If my competitor bids $0.20 and I bid $0.50, do you charge me $0.21 or $0.50? We will charge you based upon the bid you submitted, independent from other PPD participants.

Can I get detailed information about current bids in my category? Yes. You will be given an opportunity to preview your bid before submitting it to us. The preview rankings will show you which slots are open for bidding and which are currently ranked with competing bids from other users. We do not reveal which products or bid amounts are competing for your category, but you can adjust your own bid amounts to see how your estimated rank changes relative to competing bids.

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III. Account Management

Can I manage my account online? All management of your account is done through, including daily reporting of product-detail page views and initiated and completed downloads.

Do I still have to pay a subscription fee if I participate in the PPD program? Yes. To participate in the PPD program, you must have an active account and a qualified listing package associated with your title(s). More information is available at the Listing Packages page.

What does a PPD Blackout period mean? A Pay-Per-Download processing blackout happens at the end and beginning of each month. In order to ensure the successful launch and quality of the listing order on, we will be unable to process last minute product modifications. When this blackout is over, the modification you submitted for your title will be processed as soon as possible.

What credit cards do you accept for PPD? To participate in the PPD program, at this time we only accept payment arrangements using one of the following major credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and Discover. If you have one of these credit cards and are still experiencing problems using it, we suggest that you contact the financial institution that issued your card.

How do I change the credit card on file used for the PPD program? For your safety, we do not store credit card information for PPD. If you would like to use a diferent card, you will need to place another bid with the new credit card information. Once a PPD campaign has started, we will not be able to accept new credit card information until the following month's campaign.

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IV. Campaign Tracking

Do you guarantee impressions or downloads? Neither impressions nor downloads are guaranteed. PPD is a pay-for-performance program.

What kind of performance reporting will I receive? Daily reporting is available through your account. To view current download activity, click on the "My Reports" tab located at the top of the page in your account.

What is the difference between an initiated download and a Certified Unique Download? An initiated download occurs when a user starts the download process by clicking a Download Now link on your product-detail page.

A Certified Unique Download occurs each time our tracking software records that a user has initiated a download of your product from any site within the Network. If that user clicks on the Download Now link more than once per session, it is not counted as a Certified Unique Download and therefore is not billed against your spend cap.

How is the PPD program affected by Button Partner links? If you would like to participate in the Pay Per Download program but are concerned about being billed for users that are sent to your product page via the Button Partner Program, don't worry. Your specially created button will be automatically tagged by the Button Creator in your Upload Manager to avoid being charged for any traffic you drive to our sites.

Publisher Blog

Pay Per Download (PPD) program ending

Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:48:19 PST

The PPD program will end on February 29, 2016.

February 2016 PPD window now open

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:48:37 PST

The February PPD bidding window is now open and will close at noon (12:00 PM) PT on Friday, January 29, 2016.

January 2016 PPD window now open

Mon, 14 Dec 2015 15:27:4 PST

The January PPD bidding window is now open and will close at noon (12:00 PM) PT on Tuesday, December 29, 2015.

December 2015 PPD window now open

Fri, 6 Nov 2015 9:37:36 PST

The December PPD bidding window is now open and will close at noon (12:00 PM) PT on Friday, November 27, 2015.

November 2015 PPD window now open

Mon, 5 Oct 2015 16:42:17 PDT

The November PPD bidding window is now open and will close at noon (12:00 PM) PT on Thursday, October 29, 2015.