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: TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads and bumper ads.

While video ad content must be hosted on YouTube, video ads can appear on YouTube and on video partner sites and apps across the Google Display Network, including on tablets and mobile devices (depending on your format and 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.

TrueView video ads

With TrueView ads, you don't pay for random impressions or maybe-they-saw-its. You’re only charged when viewers watch or interact with elements of your video. There are two types of TrueView ad: in-stream and video discovery.


It's a win-win: Viewers see videos they're curious about, and you get more views from an audience you know is interested. Because you choose what you want to pay for a view, you get the right audience at the right price. Unlike cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing, you won't need to pay every time that your ad is shown.

Freedom to customise: You can also run videos longer than 30 seconds, so you can experiment with different formats. You can try longer product demos, customer testimonials or a how-to video demonstrating your product in action.

Broad reach: TrueView ads can appear on both YouTube and other publisher sites in the Display Ads for desktop computers and high-end mobile devices. Note that video content for TrueView ads must be hosted on YouTube.

TrueView in-stream ads:

When should I use them?

Use this format when you have video content you'd like to promote before other videos on YouTube and across the Display Network.

How does it work?

Your video ad plays before, during, or after other videos. After five seconds, the viewer has the option to skip the ad.

Where can the Display Network ads appear?

TrueView in-stream video ads can appear on YouTube watch pages, on videos on partner sites, and apps in the Display Network.

​How will I be charged?

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

Which campaign goals allow in-stream ads?

  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Brand awareness and reach
  • Product and brand consideration (all)
  • Campaign created without a goal

TrueView video discovery ads:

This format is formerly known as “TrueView in-display ads”. 

When should I use it?

Use this format to promote a video in places of discovery, including next to related YouTube videos, as part of a YouTube search result or on the YouTube mobile home page.

How does it work?

Your ad consists 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 page.

Where can the ads appear?

  • On YouTube search results
  • Alongside related YouTube videos
  • On the YouTube mobile home page

How will I be charged?

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

Which campaign goals allow video discovery ads?

  • Product and brand consideration
  • Campaign created without a goal

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are a short video ad format designed to allow you to reach more customers and increase awareness about your brand.

When should I use them?

Use this format when you'd like to reach viewers broadly with a short, memorable message.

How does it work?

Your bumper video ad is of six seconds duration or less and plays before, during or after another video. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad.

Where can the ads appear?

Bumper ads can appear on YouTube videos, or on videos on partner sites and apps on the Google Display Network.

​How will I be charged?

You pay based on impressions. Bumper ads use CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding, so you pay each time that your ad has been shown 1,000 times.

Which campaign goals use bumper ads?

  • Brand awareness and reach
  • Campaign created without a goal

Outstream ads

Outstream ads are mobile-only (phones and tablet devices) video ads that play on partner websites and within apps.

When should I use them?

Outstream ads are a way of expanding the reach of your video ads on mobile, helping you reach more customers.

How does it work?

Outstream ads begin playing with the sound off. Users tap the ad to unmute. Advertisers are only charged when more than half of the ad screen space is shown for two seconds or more. The format is designed to increase your video reach at an efficient cost.

Where can the ads appear?

One video template can run across a variety of different mobile placements. For mobile web placements outstream ads appear in banners, while for mobile app placements they'll appear in banners, interstitials, in-feed, native, as well as in both portrait and fullscreen modes.

Outstream videos are mobile-only ads that appear on partner sites and apps on the Google Display Network. This ad format isn’t available on YouTube yet.

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 longer.

Which campaign goals use outstream ads?

  • Brand awareness and reach
  • Campaign created without a goal


Regardless of the video ad type you choose, it's recommended to add square and vertical videos to engage mobile customers.

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