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, get video views, 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 assets, 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

An illustration that provides an example of a skippable in-stream ad.
This image shows Skippable in-stream ads with QR code.

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 about final URLs and tracking templates.
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.
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 how to Create a companion banner for a video ad.

Ad specifications

Your video must be uploaded to YouTube and set as public or unlisted to use in an ad.

  Recommended Accepted Callouts

Resolution

1080p (Full HD)

Recommended pixels (px) for HD:

  • 1920 x 1080px (horizontal)
  • 1080 x 1920px (vertical)
  • 1080 x 1080px (square)

720p (Standard HD)

Minimum px:

  • 1280 x 720px (horizontal)
  • 720 x 1280px (vertical)
  • 480 x 480px (square)

Minimum px for SD:

  • 640 x 480px (horizontal)
  • 480 x 640px (vertical)
  • 480 x 480px (square)

For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

Aspect ratio

  • 16:9 for horizontal
  • 9:16 for vertical
  • 1:1 for square
  • 4:3 (SD) for horizontal
  • 2:3 (SD) for vertical

For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

Format

.MPG (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4)

.WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .FLV .MPEG-1, .MP4, .MPEGPS, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, CineForm & HEVC (h265)

Can’t accept audio files, for example, MP3, WAV, or PCM files on YouTube

File size

≤256 GB

   

Length

Best practice by marketing objective

  • Awareness: :15-:20
  • Consideration: 2:00-3:00
  • Action: :15-:20

Any length. No minimum or maximum.

  • Views will only count towards your YouTube view count if your video is >:10
  • Consideration: We recommend using this format to help tell your story. Ads :60-3:00 drive more consideration lift than shorter versions

Headline/Description

≤15 characters

 

If you have a CTA, ≤10 characters

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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