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TrueView video ads

Our policy

TrueView video ads are video ads that can be created in AdWords using YouTube videos. The AdWords policies apply to TrueView video ads and bumper ads. To ensure your ads are appropriate and meet our technical guidelines, we also have additional requirements for the TrueView and bumper ad formats, as shown below.

How TrueView in-stream ads work

TrueView in-stream ads run on videos served on YouTube or on a collection of sites and apps in the Google Display Network (GDN). These ads may also run on YouTube videos that are embedded on other sites or apps. They can also appear on Android and iOS YouTube apps, (on iPad and Android), and on connected TVs.

Viewers can choose to skip the video ad after 5 seconds. If they choose not to skip the video ad, the YouTube video view count will be incremented when the viewer watches 30 seconds of the video ad (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Video interactions include clicks to visit your website, call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, and companion banners. If view counts on YouTube are a concern, it's a good idea to make videos at least 12 seconds long. YouTube analytics doesn’t track views less than 10 seconds.

TrueView in-stream ads can be created using AdWords.

VPAID is not allowed on YouTube.

Assets overview
  Required/Optional TrueView auction
Where ads appear N/A YouTube videos
Display Network videos, games, and apps
YouTube video URL Required The video must be uploaded to YouTube
Companion Optional, YouTube or GDN
  • 300x60 JPG, static GIF, or PNG
  • 300x250 also available for GDN
  • See the full specs.
  • 300x250 video wall will show on YouTube if no companion ad is provided.
  • 150 KB (50KB max for non-skippable video)
Display URL Required Required by AdWords UI. The domain will show on the live video.
Final URL Required The destination can be your website or YouTube video or channel.

YouTube video settings

Video requirements: Must be uploaded to YouTube (send video URL)
Must allow embedding
Must be public or unlisted
True streaming is not allowed.
Minimum video length: 12 seconds recommended
Maximum video length: Less than 3 minutes recommended

Resizing your video based on YouTube's best practices recommendations before uploading it will help your videos look better on YouTube.

Please reference our help pages on how to upload your video, accepted file formats, and optimizing your video.

If you would like your video to be non-browsable or non-searchable to the public, separate from the ad, you can unlist your video.
Uploading videos to YouTube

Resizing your video based on YouTube's best practices recommendations before uploading it will help your videos look better on YouTube. Guidelines for video upload are available via the YouTube Help Center.

Please reference our help pages on how to accepted file formats, and optimizing your video.

If you would like your video to not be viewable or searchable to the public outside of the ad, you can make your video unlisted.

Reporting metrics and third-party tracking

Tracking within YouTube video content

Including third-party tracking pixels is optional. However, if you include them, they must meet requirements for third-party ad serving. They must also follow these requirements:

  • Impressions: 1x1 tracking pixel accepted
  • All tracking pixels and any fourth-party calls made within the pixels from daisy-chaining must be SSL-compliant.
  • 1x1 image pixels are allowed on the impression, view, and skip events, but not midpoint and complete events.
  • To include more than one vendor's tracking per event, the client or agency is responsible for piggybacking or daisy-chaining the pixels because only one 1x1 image pixel per event is allowed. JavaScript is not allowed.

How Call-to-action (CTA) overlays work

CTA overlays are available for TrueView in-stream ads or video discovery ads. Once someone clicks a video discovery ad to watch the video, the CTA shows on the watch page.

The CTA overlay appears as soon as the video starts playing, and then collapses to show just the thumbnail image after 15 seconds. On desktop browsers, viewers can hover to expand the CTA. On mobile browsers, viewers can click the thumbnail image or arrow to expand it.

Learn more about CTA overlays.

CTA examples
Expanded CTA Collapsed CTA
cta_expanded cta_collapsed
cta_desktop cta_mobile

Technical requirements

TrueView format Where ads appear Video options Image options Ad text limits Click destination
In-stream ad YouTube videos

Video partner sites and apps on the GDN
YouTube video (less than 3 minutes recommended) 300x60 companion (YouTube only) N/A Your website
Video discovery ad YouTube-related videos search results pages; the video opens on a YouTube watch or channel page

Video partner sites and apps on the GDN
YouTube video (any length) Choose from 4 thumbnails 100 characters maximum for headline; 35 characters maximum for each description

Description not shown in Suggestions
Clicks on your video thumbnail go to your video

Clicks on CTA overlays go to your website.
Asset Optional/Required Unit File type
Video URL Required for all N/A Must upload video to YouTube
Display URL Required for in-stream ads N/A This URL isn't displayed to viewers. But, the domain is displayed and must match the destination URL.
Final URL Required for in-stream ads N/A Clickthrough URL to which the ad will link
Companion banner Optional (in-stream ads only) 300x60 (can appear on YouTube or GDN), 300x250 (appears only on GDN) JPG, static GIF, or PNG
Video ads

When uploading a video for a TrueView ad, follow these specifications for the video file.

Upload encoding settings: See YouTube specifications

File format: .MOV, .MPEG4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, or WebM See YouTube specifications

Aspect ratio: 4:3 or 16:9

Maximum file size: No maximum

Video length: No maximum (5 minutes maximum length recommended for in-stream ads)

Video requirements:

  • Must be hosted on YouTube
  • Must be public or unlisted

If you use a previously uploaded YouTube video, the formatting of your video must meet these requirements:

Embedding: The video must allow embedding.

Privacy settings: The video can be public or unlisted, but cannot be private.

File format: AVI, ASF, Quicktime, Windows Media, MP4, or MPEG

  • Preferred video codec: H.264, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4
  • Preferred audio codec: MP3 or AAC

Resolution: 640x360 (16:9) or 480x360 (4:3) recommended

Frame rate: 30 FPS

Aspect ratio: Native aspect ratio without letter-boxing (examples: 4:3, 16:9)

Maximum file size: 1 GB

Click-throughs: A third-party click redirect or click command is acceptable.

Resizing your video to these specifications before uploading will help your videos look better on YouTube. Guidelines for video upload are available in the YouTube Help Center.

Companion banner ads (optional)

If a companion ad isn't provided, no other advertiser's ad will appear next to your pre-roll. When comparing video impressions with companion impressions remember that companion banner ads are not served on all YouTube pages where in-stream ads are served

Companion banners won't show for in-stream ads shown to users watching videos on YouTube Leanback, whether on GoogleTV or in their browser.

Image: Ads must meet our image ads requirements.

Dimensions: 300x60

File formats: GIF, JPG, or PNG

CTA overlay

Headline text: 1 line with up to 25 characters

Display URL: The URL displayed to the users on the overlay

Destination URL:: The URL to which the overlay links. Can be a redirect and/or link to an external site.

Thumbnail: Thumbnails must be hosted on YouTube.

  • JPG or GIF only
  • 74x74 pixels

Content requirements

Family status

Google assigns a family status to all ads to make sure that ads are shown to an appropriate audience. InVideo ads and the content they point to must be "family safe." InVideo ads and their associated websites or apps cannot contain "on-family" or "adult" content. YouTube age-restricted videos cannot be promoted in TrueView ads.

Submissions and turnaround times

Content should be received by YouTube no later than four business days prior to your campaign start date, if sent via your Account Manager.

A maximum of 2 creative revisions for site-served ads are allowed per 6-week period for active campaigns.

How do I resubmit my ad for review?

If your ad is disapproved, you can resubmit it for review by simply editing your ad and then saving it. To avoid getting disapproved again, make sure that your ad complies with our policies and that you remove any references to unacceptable content before saving your ad.

Here's how to edit your ad:

  1. Visit your account's Ads tab.
  2. Hover over the table row that lists the ad you want to edit. Click the pencil icon next to your ad, and you'll be able to edit your ad right there.
  3. Click Save when you're done editing your ad.

After editing and saving your ad, the Status column will change from "Disapproved" to another status like "Under review" or "Eligible." We review most ads within 1 business day. Some reviews may take longer because some ads require more complex review.

If you think your ad was incorrectly disapproved, you can request a review through the Disapproved ads and policy questions form.

What happens if you violate our policies

Ad or extension disapproval: Ads and extensions that don't follow this policy may be disapproved. A disapproved ad won't run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.

Site suspension: We may suspend websites that violate our policies, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised until the problem is fixed.

Account suspension: An account may be suspended if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, all ads in the suspended account will stop running, and we may no longer accept advertising from you. Any related accounts may also be permanently suspended and your new accounts may be automatically suspended at setup. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Contact information

If you still have questions about this policy, you can contact us via the link below. You'll be taken to a form where you can write to us about your issue.
Contact AdWords Support

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