TrueView video ads

What's the policy?

TrueView video ads are video ads that can be created using AdWords for video and YouTube videos. The rules that apply to text ads generally apply to TrueView video ads, too. To ensure your TrueView video ads are appropriate, please read the "Technical requirements: video ads" section below.

Uploading your 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 upload your video, 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.

How TrueView in-stream ads work

TrueView in-stream ads run on videos served on YouTube or within Google Display Network videos, games and apps. These ads may also run on YouTube videos that are embedded on other sites. They can also appear on Android and iOS YouTube apps, as well as m.youtube.com (on iPad and Android)

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 engages with the video ad or 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 on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, and companion banners. If view counts are a major concern, it is recommended to make videos at least 12 seconds long.

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 only 300x60 JPG, GIF, or SWF
See the full specs.
300x250 video wall will show on YouTube if no companion ad is provided.
Display URL Required The display URL for all in-stream ads will now be shown as part of the ad attribution and clicking on the displayed URL will take you to the advertiser's site.
Click 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.

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.

Call-to-action (CTA) overlays

CTA overlays are provided for TrueView in-stream ads and in-stream ads bought on reserve in Google AdWords.

cta_desktop cta_mobile

Assets overview

  • Headline text: 1 line of 25 characters maximum
  • 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, GIF or PNG only
    • 74x74 pixels

How CTA overlays work

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.

Expanded CTA Collapsed CTA
cta_expanded cta_collapsed

Learn more about CTA overlays.

Technical requirements

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

Display Network videos, games, and apps
YouTube video (less than 3 minutes recommended) 300x60 companion (YouTube only) N/A Your website
In-display YouTube videos (Suggestions; in-video overlays); YouTube search results; video plays on YouTube watch or channel page

Display Network content
YouTube video (any length) Choose from 4 thumbnails 25 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 N/A This URL isn't displayed to viewers. But, the domain is displayed and must match the destination URL.
Destination URL Required for in-stream N/A Clickthrough URL to which the ad will link
Companion banner Optional (in-stream ads only) 300x60
(appears only on YouTube)
JPG, static GIF, or SWF

Technical requirements: video ads

  • Formatting: See YouTube specifications
  • Format: See YouTube specifications
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3, 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

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

  • The video must allow embedding.
  • 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 it'll help your videos look better on YouTube. Guidelines for video upload are available via the YouTube Help Center.

Technical requirements: optional companion banner ads

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

Technical requirements: call-to-action (CTA) overlays

  • 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

Additional details and recommendations

  • Companion banner ads are not served on all YouTube pages where in-stream ads are served. Please note this when comparing video impressions with companion impressions.
  • If a companion ad is not provided, no other advertiser's ad will appear next to your pre-roll.
  • If submitting SWF video content, see how to implement clickTags.

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 cannot contain “non-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 gets 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.

What happens if you violate our policies

  • Ad disapproval: Ads that don't follow this policy may get disapproved. A disapproved ad won't be able to run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.
  • Domain disabling: We may suspend websites that violate this policy, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised until the problem is fixed.
  • Account suspension: An account may get 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 get permanently suspended and your new accounts may get 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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