Video discovery ads

Video discovery ads (also known as "TrueView discovery ads") place your brand, product, or service alongside YouTube content that is likely to be viewed by your target audience. Video discovery ads appear in YouTube search results, YouTube watch next, and the YouTube app Home feed.

In this article, you’ll learn about video discovery ad assets, technical specs, and reporting tools.

Benefits

  • Build brand consideration by showing your ads when users browse related videos, scroll through the YouTube Home feed in the app, or search for content
  • Deliver information to viewers actively consuming relevant content
  • Make viewers more likely to subscribe, share, and watch additional videos from your brand

How video discovery ads appear on YouTube

Video discovery ads consist of an image thumbnail, a headline, and up to 2 lines of text (depending on where the ad appears). When a user interacts with the thumbnail, they’re taken to the YouTube watch page for the ad.

In the YouTube app, the video may automatically play (with the sound off and captions enabled) in the ad if the user turns on "Muted playback in feeds". Autoplay doesn't count towards video views for the ad, and Google doesn’t charge you until the user visits the YouTube watch page for the ad.

Video discovery ads can appear in the following locations on YouTube:

YouTube search results

An illustration of a video discovery ad appearing in YouTube search results on desktop
An illustration of a video discovery ad appearing in YouTube search results in the app
Your ad appears above relevant search results on YouTube on desktop and in the YouTube app.

YouTube watch next

An illustration of a video discovery ad appearing in the watch next feed on YouTube on desktop
An illustration of a video discovery ad appearing in the watch next feed in the YouTube app
Your ad appears at the top or in between related videos that appear on a video’s watch page.
  • On desktop, your ad appears with related videos adjacent to the main video.
  • On mobile, your ad appears with related videos below the main video.

YouTube Home feed

An illustration of a video discovery ad appearing in the YouTube app Home feed
Your ad appears in the Home feed in the YouTube app, either at the top of the feed (when a Masthead ad isn’t being served to users) or between videos in the feed. Keep in mind that using keyword, topic, or placement targeting in the campaign prevents the ad from appearing in the YouTube Home feed.

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.
Channel name The name of your channel.
Thumbnail

A small preview of your video that gives users an idea of the video’s content. When you create the ad, you can choose from 4 thumbnails from the video.

To create custom thumbnails, use YouTube Studio. When creating custom thumbnails, follow our best practices.

Headline 100 characters max (text longer than 25 characters may be shortened on some devices). Headline text should be concise and communicate key information, accurately reflect the content in the video, and entice viewers with a clear call-to-action (for example, "Watch now").
Description

Up to 2 lines. 35 characters max for each line.

The description doesn’t appear when the ad runs on the YouTube watch page (desktop).

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

Supported Google Ads goal

  • Product and brand consideration

Available bidding strategy

Cost-per-view (CPV)

With CPV bidding, you pay for video views when a person interacts with a video thumbnail to watch your video ad. You’re charged when the video loads successfully in a user’s browser or in the YouTube app.

Note: For the YouTube app, views aren’t counted for videos that automatically play in the ad when the user turns on "Muted playback in feeds".

Reporting

Metrics

All standard video metrics are available for video discovery 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

Video discovery ads must follow Google Ads policies and YouTube policies.

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