TrueView in-stream ads

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, m.youtube.com (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 Google Ads.

VPAID is not allowed on YouTube.

Assets overview

  Required/Optional TrueView auction
Where ads appear N/A YouTube videos
Video partner sites and apps on the Display Network
YouTube video URL Required The video must be uploaded to YouTube
Companion Optional, YouTube or GDN
  • 300x60 JPG, GIF, or PNG
  • See the full specs.
  • 300x250 video wall will show on YouTube if no companion ad is provided.
  • 150 KB
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 (in order for public viewcounts to be incremented)
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, resolutions and aspect ratios.

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

To learn more about tracking TrueView Video Ad Performance with a third party vendor, click here.

Companion banner ads (optional)

Companion banners help convey your message and drive additional viewers to your website. 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


Call-to-action (CTA) 

A Call-to-Action (CTA) encourages viewers to click through to your website from your TrueView Video Ad.

Assets overview

  • Call-to-Action Text: 10 character text that directs people to the website specified in the final URL. This field is required.
  • Headline Text: 15-character appears as the primary line of text that promotes your product or service.

How a Call-to-Action works

A Call-to-Action encourages viewers to click through to your website. It can appear as an overlay on video or as additional click-target along-side your video ad.

Learn more about CTA overlays.