About video ad formats

In Google Ads, you can create compelling video campaigns with a range of video ad formats to engage customers in different ways on YouTube and across video partner sites. Available video ad formats include:

While video ad content must be hosted on YouTube, video ads can appear on YouTube and Google video partners (depending on your ad format and campaign settings).

This article describes the benefits of video ads and compares the different video ad formats available. Explore the formats in detail below. You can also learn more about our policies and requirements.

Image of all video ad formats

Skippable in-stream ads

Image of skippable in-stream ad

When should I use this ad format?

Use skippable in-stream ads when you have video content you'd like to promote before, during or after other videos on YouTube and Google video partners.

How does the ad format work?

Skippable in-stream ads play before, during or after other videos. After 5 seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad.

Where does the ad format appear?

Skippable in-stream ads appear on YouTube watch pages and Google video partners.

How will I be charged?

With CPV bidding, you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the full duration of the video if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with your video, whichever comes first.

With Target CPM, Target CPA and Maximise conversions bidding, you pay based on impressions.

Which campaign goal(s) do I need to select to use this ad format?

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Brand awareness and reach
  • Product and brand consideration

Note: You can also use this ad format when you choose "Create a campaign without a goal's guidance" in Google Ads.

Non-skippable in-stream ads

Image of non-skippable in-stream ad

When should I use this ad format?

Use non-skippable in-stream ads when you have video content that you'd like to promote before, during or after other videos on YouTube and across websites and apps running on Google video partners and you want viewers to see the entire message without skipping your video.

How does the ad format work?

Non-skippable in-stream ads are 15 seconds (or shorter) and play before, during or after other videos. Viewers don't have the option to skip the ad.

Where does the ad format appear?

Non-skippable in-stream ads appear on YouTube videos and Google video partners.

How will I be charged?

You pay based on impressions. Non-skippable in-stream ads use Target CPM bidding, so you pay each time your ad is shown.

Which campaign goal(s) do I need to select to use this ad format?

  • Brand awareness and reach

Note: You can also use this ad format when you choose "Create a campaign without a goal's guidance" in Google Ads.

Video discovery ads

Image of video discovery ad

When should I use this ad format?

Use video discovery ads to promote video content in places of discovery, including next to related YouTube videos, as part of a YouTube search result, or on the YouTube mobile homepage.

How does the ad format work?

Video discovery ads consist of a thumbnail image from your video with some text. While the exact size and appearance of the ad may vary depending on where it appears, video discovery ads always invite people to click to watch the video. The video then plays on the YouTube watch or channel page. 

Where does the ad format appear?

Video discovery ads appear:

  • On YouTube search results
  • Alongside related YouTube videos
  • On the YouTube mobile homepage

How will I be charged?

You’ll be charged only when viewers choose to watch your ad by clicking the thumbnail.

Which campaign goal(s) do I need to select to use this ad format?

  • Product and brand consideration

Note: You can also use this ad format when you choose "Create a campaign without a goal's guidance" in Google Ads.

Bumper ads

Image of bumper ad

When should I use this ad format?

Use bumper ads when you want to reach viewers broadly with a short, memorable message.

How does the ad format work?

Bumper ads are 6 seconds (or shorter) and play before, during or after another video. Viewers don't have the option to skip the ad.

Where does the ad format appear?

Bumper ads appear on YouTube videos and Google video partners.

How will I be charged?

You pay based on impressions. Bumper ads use Target CPM bidding, so you pay each time your ad is shown.

Which campaign goal(s) do I need to select to use this ad format?

  • Brand awareness and reach

Note: You can also use this ad format when you choose "Create a campaign without a goal's guidance" in Google Ads.

Outstream ads

Image of outstream ad

When should I use this ad format?

Use outstream ads when you want to expand the reach of your video ads on mobile, helping you reach more customers.

How does the ad format work?

Outstream ads begin playing with the sound off. Viewers can tap the ad to unmute the video. Outstream ads are designed to increase your video reach at an efficient cost.

Where does the ad format appear?

Outstream ads are mobile-only ads and only appear on Google video partners. Outstream ads aren't available on YouTube.

Outstream ads can run across a variety of different mobile placements. For mobile web placements, outstream ads appear in banners. In mobile apps, outstream ads appear in banners, interstitials, in-feed, native, as well as in both portrait and fullscreen modes.

How will I be charged?

You’re charged for outstream ads based on viewable cost-per-thousand-impressions (vCPM), so you’ll only be charged when someone sees your video play for two seconds or more.

Which campaign goal(s) do I need to select to use this ad format?

  • Brand awareness and reach

Note: You can also use this ad format when you choose "Create a campaign without a goal's guidance" in Google Ads.

Masthead ads

Image of Masthead ad

When should I use this ad format?

Use this format when you want to drive awareness for a new product or service launch, or reach a massive audience in a short period of time (for example, a sales event).

Masthead ads are only available on a reservation basis through a Google sales representative. To learn more, see About reserved media placements on YouTube.

How does the ad format work?

Desktop

  • A featured video in a Masthead ad autoplays without the sound for up to 30 seconds at the top of the YouTube Home feed. The Masthead ad can appear in a widescreen or 16:9 aspect ratio format and includes an information panel to the right that automatically uses assets from your channel. You can optionally include up to 2 companion videos in this panel. People can click the mute icon if they want to hear sound from the video.
  • After autoplay, the main video defaults to the video thumbnail. When people click on the video or click on the thumbnail, they’re taken to the YouTube Watch page for the video.

Mobile

  • A featured video in a Masthead ad autoplays without the sound for the full duration of the video at the top of the YouTube app or m.youtube.com Home feed.
  • The mobile video Masthead ad features a video thumbnail, customizable headline, description texts as well as an external call-to-action (CTA). The mobile video Masthead ad also automatically pulls in the channel name and icon from the advertiser’s channel. When a user clicks on the mobile video Masthead ad, it will exit to the YouTube watch page for the featured video.

TV screens

  • A featured video in a Masthead ad autoplays (where supported) without the sound for the full duration of the video at the top of the YouTube app for TVs. The Masthead ad can appear in a widescreen or 16:9 aspect ratio format. People can use their TV remote to interact with the Masthead ad. After autoplay, the main video defaults to the video thumbnail.  When people click on the video or thumbnail, they're taken to the watch page for the video to watch full-screen.
  • You can’t add a CTA to a Masthead ad on TV screens.

How will I be charged?

Because Masthead ads are only available on a reservation basis, you’re charged on a fixed cost-per-day (CPD) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis. You can work with the Google advertising team to get a rate estimate and campaign impression goals.

Note: Masthead ads on TV screens can only be booked on a CPM basis. All targeting and ad serving options are the same as other Masthead campaigns booked on a CPM basis.

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