Video campaigns

Best practices for connected TV in Display & Video 360

The following are some best practices for buying connected TV (CTV) inventory through Display & Video 360.

Connected TV includes all devices that fit into the following descriptions:

  • Streaming devices: devices that connect to a TV screen to display video streams (Roku, Apple TV, etc.)
  • Smart TV: TVs with integrated internet connections (Samsung Smart TV, etc.)
  • Gaming consoles: internet-connected gaming consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, etc.)
  • Set top boxes: devices delivering traditional cable and video-on-demand (VOD) content.

Connected TV devices can show different types of content, including:

  • Over-the-top: TV-like video content delivered by a video provider over the internet.
  • Linear / live TV: Traditional television watched as scheduled, delivered through streaming TV apps over the internet rather than traditional broadcast networks.
  • Video on demand (VOD): Television programs that stream on demand at the request of the viewer. This is also referred to as "non-linear" or "time-shifted" viewing.

Creative guidelines

Connected TV devices have a large screen size and support high-definition video creative formats. The following specifications are recommended:

  • VAST: Display & Video 360 supports the VAST 2.0, VAST 3.0, and VAST 4.0 specifications. Note that VPAID and MRAID are not supported on most connected TV devices.

  • File format: .mp4

  • Duration and skippability: 15- or 30-second non-skippable ads.

  • Dimensions: 1920 × 1080

Buying and targeting best practices

The following options are recommended for connected TV inventory:

  • Inventory packages for premium CTV inventory: The majority of premium connected TV inventory is currently transacted through deals. You can negotiate direct deals with publishers or discover inventory through the Marketplace, including curated recommendations for CTV inventory packages. Use Audience list filters against third-party audiences in Marketplace to find inventory packages that fit your targeting needs. Learn more

  • Use the Connected TV and OTT streaming insertion order with over-the-top or YouTube & partners on connected TV line items: The Connected TV and OTT streaming insertion order offers a streamlined workflow tailored to buying digital TV inventory across screens. This workflow only features options that are relevant for TV ads, with appropriate configurations selected by default. OTT streaming line items provide access to premium TV inventory. YouTube & partners on connected TV line items serve across YouTube and other high-quality video inventory. Learn more about YouTube & partners

  • If you're using a video line item to buy connected TV inventory:

    • App targeting for video line items: Include the connected TV apps you'd like to target. Each app is specific to device type and app store. Learn more

    • Device type targeting for video line items: Include connected TV inventory as well as individual makes and models in your video line items through device targeting. Learn more

    • Channel targeting for video line items: Use channels to create a group of connected TV publishers that you can easily target. Learn more

  • Connected TV bid multiplier for YouTube & partners line items: Use the connected TV bid multiplier to create YouTube & partners line items that will bid only on connected TV inventory by setting the other available multipliers to -100%. Learn more

  • Custom bidding: Custom bidding algorithms are available as a bidding mechanism for connected TV line items so you can optimize toward your own KPIs. Scripts intended to be used with CTV campaigns don't support scoring based on domain. Learn more

  • Viewability targeting exemption: By default, connected TVs are excluded from viewability targeting settings you apply to a video line item to ensure that your line items bid on the majority of devices. Learn more

  • Audience targeting: Use first- and third-party audience lists, select affinity and in-market audiences, and Google demographic targeting to reach users within your desired audience (U.S. with limited global availability). For Connected TV and OTT streaming insertion orders and Over-the-top line items, third-party audience suggestions are provided based on your demographics targeting selections to further expand your audience reach.

  • DMA or country-level geography targeting: Granular geography targeting is available for most connected TV inventory through DMA or country options. Learn more

  • Category and genre targeting:

    • Category: Uses app or site level signals determined by context within the site or context of the app overall to serve ads to relevant audiences.

    • Genre: Uses content level signal of the video being consumed within the site or app to serve ads where you find most relevance.

  • Operating system targeting is available within Device targeting to tailor your ads to specifically reach top operating systems. Operating system targeting is available for Connected TV insertion orders and Connected TV line items. Learn more

Reporting availability

You can break out reporting across all standard reports and the Inventory Availability Report for connected TVs by using the Device Type dimension.

For connected devices and set top boxes, the App/URL dimension shows identifiers for individual apps. For the top 9 connected TV app stores (Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox, Playstation, Samsung, LG, and Vizio), Display & Video 360 uses standardized app store identifiers to make it easy to identify where your ads served.

For these top stores, you’ll see values in the App/URL dimension formatted like [Name of App - Store (#)], representing the name of the individual app, the store name, and the app ID.

You can learn more about industry-wide connected TV app identifier guidelines in the IAB's OTT/CTV Store Assigned App Identification Guidelines

YouTube & partners on connected TV line items use the same reporting options as regular YouTube & partners line items. Learn more

Co-viewing metrics

Unique reach metrics account for co-viewing, when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices. When multiple people view your ad together, this could lead to more impressions and reach for your campaign. Learn more about Google’s co-viewing methodology

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