Skippable in-stream ads

Skippable in-stream ads play before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and websites and apps on Google video partners. After 5 seconds, the viewer has the option to skip the ad and continue watching the video.

In this article, you’ll learn about the technical specs and reporting tools available for skippable in-stream ads.

Benefits

  • Drive conversions, influence consideration, and reach new users across multiple devices with your ads, including desktop computers, phones, and TVs.
  • Bid for what you care about. Depending on your campaign goal, you can pay based on overall impressions, or when viewers watch your ad completely or interact with the video (whichever comes first).
  • Add interactive features like call-to-action buttons, sitelink extensions, product feeds, and more to your ads to encourage people to interact with your brand or business more.

How skippable in-stream ads appear on YouTube

Desktop

Example ad displayed on the YouTube watch page for desktop computers

Mobile

Example ad displayed on a YouTube watch page on a mobile phone

TV screens

Example ad displayed on the YouTube watch page on a TV

Available assets

Asset Guidelines
YouTube video URL The link to your video. The URL can be any standard video uploaded to YouTube. The video must be public or unlisted and comply with our advertising policies and requirements.

Final URL

The URL that people reach after clicking your ad. It should match what your ad promotes. Learn more about final URLs
Display URL The website address that appears in your ad. It's typically the URL of the site or page you're advertising. The display URL must match the domain that people visit when they interact with your ad.
Call-to-action 10 characters max. The call-to-action appears with your headline and directs people to the website you specify as your final URL. The call-to-action text should accurately reflect the site or page that you’re directing people to (for example, “Shop now” for a product detail page).
Headline 15 characters max. Headline text should be concise and communicate key information and accurately reflect the content in the video.
Companion banner A companion banner is an image that appears next to your ad on desktop computers. You can choose to have an auto-generated companion banner (based on info from your YouTube channel) or upload a 300x60 JPEG, GIF, or PNG (150 KB maximum). Learn more about companion banners

Ad specifications

Your video must be uploaded to YouTube and set as public or unlisted to use in an ad. Learn more about YouTube video formatting specifications

Skippable in-stream ads accept videos at least 10 seconds long. For optimal results, it's recommended to use a video with a minimum of 12 seconds and maximum of less than 3 minutes.

Supported Google Ads goals

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

Available bidding strategies

Cost-per-view (CPV)

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.

CPV bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Product and brand consideration” goal.

Target cost-per-action (CPA)

With Target CPA bidding, you set an average cost you'd like to pay for each conversion. From the Target CPA you set, we'll optimize bids to help get as many conversions as possible. Some conversions may cost more or less than your target.

Target CPA bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Sales”, “Leads”, or “Website traffic” goal.

Maximize conversions

Maximize conversions bidding automatically sets bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. You can optionally set a Target CPA with Maximize conversions bidding to get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS).

Maximize conversions bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Sales”, “Leads”, or “Website traffic” goal.

Target cost-per-thousand impressions (tCPM)

With Target CPM bidding, you set the average amount you’re willing to pay for every thousand times your ad is shown. We'll then optimize bids to help get as much unique reach as possible. Some impressions may cost more or less than your target.

Target CPM bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Brand awareness and reach” or “Product and brand consideration” (only within the “Video ad sequence” subtype) goal.

Reporting

Metrics

All standard video metrics are available for skippable in-stream ads.

Third-party measurement

Third-party measurement is only available through Ads Data Hub. Learn more about the process for third-party measurement on YouTube

Policies

Skippable in-stream ads must follow Google Ads policies and YouTube policies.

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