About reserved media placements on YouTube

As an advertiser or ad agency, you can buy placements on a reservation basis, instead of through the Google Ads auction, when you want to pay based on the number of impressions (also known as cost-per-thousand impressions). Reservation campaigns also let you buy impressions at a fixed rate.

Advertising on a reservation basis is best for promoting brand awareness, offering a new product or service, or re-branding a product or service.

About reservation campaigns

Unlike other campaign types available in Google Ads, you can only implement reservation campaigns through a Google sales representative. Google sales representatives can also provide you with a campaign performance report and help you with targeting changes for your campaign.

Keep in mind that reservation campaigns have minimum spend requirements. There are campaign line item minimums and media plan minimums that vary by country, so make sure to contact your Google sales representative for more details.

Note: If you’re booking Masthead ads, use the Masthead Preview Tool to draft and finalize the Masthead creative before submitting it to Google.

Benefits of advertising on a reservation basis

  • More control: You can buy impressions at a fixed rate.
  • High visibility: You can guarantee placement of your ad at the top of the YouTube Home feed.
  • Brand awareness: You can reach a wide audience. For example, if your client is changing its image or slogan, or targeting a different audience, you can launch a campaign to more people than you might reach via an auction-based campaign.

Buying reservation advertising

Advertisers and agencies can buy reservation advertising on a fixed, cost-per-thousand-impressions basis. You can work with the Google advertising team to get a rate estimate and campaign impression goals.

Keep in mind that a campaign has to be booked and creative assets need to be delivered for implementation at least 3 business days before the campaign start date.

Here are the ad formats you can buy:

  • Non-skippable in-stream ad: This is a non-skippable format that plays before, during, or after a video. It's ideal if you want to communicate a simple, powerful message and get visibility. It forces the impression and won't accrue views on the video. Standard video ads can be a maximum of 15 or 20 seconds. Video ads that are 20 seconds can only run on videos that are 10 minutes or more.
  • Skippable in-stream ad: This skippable ad appears when someone starts a video (pre-roll). It can be up to 6 minutes long, and it's skippable after 5 seconds. This format increments the view count on the YouTube video ad.
  • Masthead ad: This is a video ad that appears at the top of the YouTube homepage. The YouTube Home feed is a very important destination for viewers, and the Masthead ad allows you to be first and foremost in that home experience. Buying a Masthead ad means targeted reach across a campaign with budget and frequency controls. Masthead ads bought are available on YouTube across desktop, mobile apps, and the YouTube app for TV. 
  • Bumper ads: This is a non-skippable video ad that plays for 6 seconds. Learn more about video campaigns with bumper ads

Targeting ads

Here are the content and audience targeting options for reservation ads that you can buy:

  • YouTube Select: YouTube Select Lineups are reservation products for eligible clients to target among the top 5% of popular channels on YouTube with the most passionate audiences in a given market. Lineups include only channels. Learn more about YouTube Select
  • Topics: Advertisers can choose among YouTube video topics. For example, you can run reservation in-stream ads on family-oriented content. Topics targeting is not supported for Masthead ads.
  • Interests: Advertisers can target viewers interested in particular things, like sports and hobbies, as evidenced by their browsing patterns and watched content.
  • Affinity audiences: You can reach people who've demonstrated interest in subjects and who are likely to view related content again. This type of targeting also facilitates connection with audiences that are similar to those targeted by offline campaigns.
  • Demographics: You can reach customers who are likely to be within the demographic groups you choose. These groups include age and gender.
  • First position: This layer of targeting can be added to in-stream ads. It lets you reserve the first video ad someone sees in a session. This is similar to what happens in TV advertising, when an advertiser pays more to run the first ad of a commercial break.
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