YouTube Masthead

With YouTube Masthead, you can showcase your brand, product, or service in a native video-based ad format that appears in the YouTube Home feed across all devices. YouTube Masthead is ideal for people who want to:

In this article, you’ll learn about YouTube Masthead assets, technical specs, and reporting tools.

Note: Masthead ads are only available on a reservation basis through a Google sales representative. Learn more about reserved placements for YouTube

How Masthead appears on YouTube

Desktop

Mobile

TV screens

Available assets

You can use these assets in a Masthead. To preview your assets, use the YouTube Masthead Preview tool. The YouTube Masthead Preview tool shows what your Masthead will look like on YouTube across desktop, mobile, and TV screens. 

Some assets may not be supported or have limited support in the Masthead format:

  • 360 videos and app install campaigns aren’t supported.
  • Live streaming is only supported for CPD campaigns and require additional review by your Google sales representative.
  • YouTube Premieres have limited support for CPM and CPD campaigns.
Asset Supported device(s) Guidelines
YouTube video URL

Desktop

Mobile

TV screen

The link to your video. The URL can be any standard video uploaded to YouTube. The video must be "Public" or "Unlisted" to be eligible to serve.

(Recommended) Provide a 16:9 video for optimal performance. The resolution should be 1920 x 1080 or higher.

Headline

Desktop

Mobile

TV screen

The text that appears next to, on, or under the Masthead. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview tool for recommendations on text lengths.

Call-to-action button text

Desktop

Mobile

The text in the call-to-action button. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview tool for recommendations on text lengths.

Call-to-action click-through URL

Desktop

Mobile

The destination URL for the call-to-action button. The destination URL can go to other pages on YouTube or go directly to another website. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview tool for recommendations on text lengths.

All creatives within a Masthead must have the same destination URL. For example, if you have a creative that goes to https://play.google.com, all other creatives for the Masthead must go to the same URL.

Supporting description text

Mobile

TV screen

An optional description that accompanies the Masthead. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview tool for recommendations on text lengths.

Primary video layout

Desktop

TV screen

The way the Masthead appears on a compatible device. You can select either "Widescreen" or "Standard video size".

Autoplay timing

Desktop

The video start time and duration. You can specify the exact time when the video should begin to autoplay and the amount of time the video should run.

Captions may be automatically added to videos when the video is muted. You can turn off automatically generated captions for your videos in Video Manager. Learn more about turning off captions

Companion videos Desktop Videos (up to 2) that appear next to the Masthead ad on desktop. Companion videos can be added using a YouTube playlist URL. The first 2 videos in the playlist will be featured. Videos don’t need to come from the same channel.

If you select "Companion videos" in the YouTube Masthead Preview tool, but don’t provide a playlist URL, videos set to "Public" in your channel will be added as companion videos.

If you select "Companion videos" in the YouTube Masthead Preview tool and provide a playlist URL, videos set to "Public" or "Unlisted" in your playlist will be added as companion videos.
Channel art Desktop

A background or banner that appears at the top of a YouTube page. Channel art is automatically pulled from the YouTube Channel and accompanies the Masthead. 

You can choose to enable channel art if you select "Standard video size". You can also enable it for "Widescreen", but only if "Companion videos" are disabled.

You should finalize channel art at least 2 days before you run a Masthead ad.

Channel icon

Desktop

Mobile

An icon that represents the YouTube channel. The channel icon is automatically pulled from the YouTube channel and accompanies the Masthead.

You should finalize the channel icon at least 2 to 3 days before you run a Masthead ad.

Creative approval

Make sure to submit your creative to your Google sales representative at least 48 business hours in advance of your campaign. If you don’t submit your creative 48 business hours in advance, your campaign may be delayed.

Available buying models

Cost-per-day (CPD)

Use this buying model when you want to reach as many people as possible for the day on the YouTube Home feed. CPD serves across 100% of impressions on a single day on mobile and desktop.

  • Applies to: Masthead campaigns on desktop and mobile.

Cost-per-impression (CPM)

Use this buying model when you want to reach as many people as possible with advanced targeting options on the YouTube Home feed.

  • Applies to: Masthead campaigns on desktop, mobile, and TV screens.

Reporting tools

Metrics

The Masthead format supports these metrics in reporting. Availability of some metrics depends on the buying model and the device where the Masthead appears.

  • Ad impressions
  • Clicks to video
  • Video viewership ("Video played to: 25% / 50% / 75% / 100%")
  • Clicks to your website (optional)
  • Clicks to YouTube channel
  • Clicks on companion videos
Note: For Masthead on TV screens, metrics are limited to ad impressions, clicks to video, video viewership, and clicks to a YouTube channel.

Third-party measurement

  • Allowed: Ad impressions (1x1 pixel URL) and clicks to your website (redirect URL).
  • Not allowed: Pixels intended to collect data on audience composition and JavaScript pixels aren't allowed. Third-party viewability isn’t allowed on YouTube homepage formats.

Notes

Remarketing

  • Impressions: Remarketing tags are not accepted for impressions.
  • Views: Remarketing lists can be created based on YouTube Audience lists and video views.
  • Clicks (to play): Floodlight remarketing tags are accepted (only for Masthead on desktop).

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