In-video Overlay Ads

In light of the recent announcement of the Chrome Plugin Power Saver feature that may become the default as early as September 2015, we highly recommend that you build your In-Video overlay creatives using image formats rather than Flash. This will prevent your ads from being automatically paused as well as avoid negative impact to performance and reach.
In-Video Overlays are only available for reservation sponsorship campaigns.

Assets Overview

Asset Optional / Required Unit File Type File Size Frame Rate Animation
Animated Flash Overlay Optional 480x70 SWF 150 Kb
  • Exactly 12 fps if any timeline animation is used*
  • Maximum 24 fps if all animation is AS2/AS3 (no timeline animation is used)
≤ 10s
(Backup) Image Required 480x70 .GIF or .JPG 150 Kb N/A ≤ 10s
Companion Banner Optional 300x250 SWF, JPG, GIF, rich media 150 Kb ≤ 24 fps ≤ 30s
  • *We strongly recommend that all in-video overlays use AS3/AS2 instead of the timeline for all animation. As the YouTube player uses a variable frame rate, overlays that use timeline animation may be sped up or slowed down during playback. YouTube therefore cannot and does not guarantee a consistent rate of playback for overlays that use timeline based animation.
  • We recommend that any/all vital animation is delayed for the 1st second of the overlay's animation sequence to avoid it getting cut off
  • If a Flash overlay is not provided, Image is the main asset, and due to technical limitations it must be static.
    If a Flash overlay is provided, Image serves as a backup on systems without Flash, and it can be animated.

How YouTube In-video Overlay Ads Work

YouTube in-video overlay ads only run on Partner Watch pages. The overlay ad appears when user initiates video play.

Optional Assets

  • 300x250 companion display is highly recommended. These elements are road-blocked for the same advertiser/campaign. If companion display is not provided, no other advertiser's creative will appear next to your overlay.
    • Expandable ads are not allowed.

Creative Submission and Turn Around Time

  • Assets received by YouTube no later than FOUR business days prior to campaign start date sent via your Account Manager.
  • Maximum of 2 creative revisions for site-served creatives are allowed per 6-week period for active campaigns.
  • Maximum of 3 creatives per site-served placement.
Prior to asset delivery, all in-video overlay ads must be tested in our development environment ( to verify that they will animate correctly on YouTube.

Animated Flash Overlay Ad

InVideo - overlay

Technical Specifications


Dimensions: 480x70
Formats: SWF with backup .GIF/.JPG
Flash Versions: Up to Flash Player 11.5 (SWF 18, AS2 or AS3)
Frames Per Second:
  • 12 fps if any timeline animation is used
  • 24 fps if all animation is AS2/AS3 (no timeline animation is used)
Maximum File Size 150 Kb
Scaling: Must Scale


Maximum Animation Time: 10 seconds
Transparency: Background and major objects must be transparent (with max 80% alpha).
Minor Elements: Text/animations may appear up to 70px and need to be opaque
Audio: No sound
Mouse Rollover No rollover animations/buttons allowed
Backup image Opacity is not required as it is applied by the YouTube player.
"Advertisement" word Automatically added in the bottom-right corner of the ad



InVideo - alpha - good

Why? All major elements (background) are set to maximum 80% alpha and do not extend above 70 pixels

Not acceptable

InVideo - alpha - bad

Why? Background is set to 100% alpha making it completely opaque.

Compatible Browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10+, Firefox 25+, Safari 6+; Chrome 33+

Reporting Metrics

  • Overlay impressions
  • Clicks and click-through rate

Third-Party Tracking Capabilities

SSL capability is required! All impression tracking pixel URLs must begin with HTTPS:// More information here.
  • Cannot be third-party served.
  • Accept third-party impression tracking pixel.
  • Accept third-party redirect for exit clicks (provided website or YouTube Brand Channel)
  • No third- or fourth-party calls allowed from within the flash file.

     We will only accept 3rd party redirect/tracking pixels from a certified Ad Serving Vendor. Please refer to the full list of approved vendors.

Additional Requirements

  • Must not use "_root", "_level0", set "_lockroot = true;" or contain Stage class references as this published SWF will be loaded into a parent file.
  • Should not use external/custom libraries as we cannot guarantee their functionality.


  • Be sure to include a compelling call-to-action on the overlay (i.e. watch companion content or interact with ad).
  • Frequency cap: minimum at 1 impression per user per hour
  • No clickTag implementation needed. The creative will function normally with and without clickTag
  • In-video overlays are loaded into a flash container that will be loaded and reloaded without garbage collection. Although it is rare for creatives to fail, the three most common reasons why they might are race conditions, initialization logic issues, path issues that do not take the container or the reloading into account.
  • For optimal performance, transparency should only be used on the overlay background and major objects. Minor objects do not need transparency.
  • We recommend that creatives are built to use as few layers as possible to reduce CPU usage as well.

Companion Display Ad - Optional

InVideo - companion

The 300x250 companion display ad can be either site-served or third-party served.

  • YouTube is aware of ad delivery issues with some companion units (300x250s & 300x60s) due to the nature of how VAST is requested and rendered by the IMA SDK. As a result, companion banners may not always appear. Please note that the unit itself is not billed upon and not guaranteed. We are working to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

Please reference this page for complete list of specs.