YouTube Masthead

With YouTube Masthead, you can showcase your brand, product, or service in a native video-based ad format that appears in the YouTube Home feed across all devices. YouTube Masthead is ideal for people who want to:

In this article, you’ll learn about YouTube Masthead types, assets, technical specs, and reporting tools.


YouTube Masthead types

There are 2 available YouTube Masthead types that you can buy:

  • Cost-Per-Impression (CPM) Masthead: This type provides a reserved and fixed volume of impressions that are delivered over the course of your campaign.
  • Cost-Per-Hour (CPH) Masthead: This type provides 100% Share-of-Voice (SOV) of eligible impressions of YouTube’s Masthead unit during the reserved hours you buy.

Note: You can buy both Masthead types on a reservation basis through a Google sales representative. The CPM Masthead is also available within the Display and Video 360 (DV360) Instant Reserve.


How Masthead appears on YouTube

Desktop

Youtube Masthead Desktop view

Mobile

Youtube Masthead Mobile view

TV screens

Youtube Masthead TV Screens view

Available assets

You can use these assets in a Masthead. To preview your assets, use the YouTube Masthead Preview Tool. The YouTube Masthead Preview Tool shows what your Masthead will look like on YouTube across desktop, mobile, and TV screens.

Some assets may not be supported or have limited support in the Masthead format:

Asset Supported device(s) Guidelines
YouTube video URL

Desktop

Mobile

TV screen

The link to your video. The URL can be any standard video uploaded to YouTube. The video must be "Public" or "Unlisted" to be eligible to serve.

(Recommended) Provide a 16:9 video for optimal performance. The resolution should be 1920 x 1080 or higher.

Headline

Desktop

Mobile

TV screen

The text that appears next to, on, or under the Masthead. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview Tool for recommendations on text lengths.

Call-to-action button text

Desktop

Mobile

The text in the call-to-action button. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview Tool for recommendations on text lengths.

Call-to-action click-through URL

Desktop

Mobile

The destination URL for the call-to-action button. The destination URL can go to other pages on YouTube or go directly to another website. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview Tool for recommendations on text lengths.

All creatives within a Masthead must have the same destination URL. For example, if you have a creative that goes to https://play.google.com, all other creatives for the Masthead must go to the same URL.

Supporting description text

Mobile

TV screen

An optional description that accompanies the Masthead. Use the YouTube Masthead Preview Tool for recommendations on text lengths.

Primary video layout

Desktop

TV screen

The way the Masthead appears on a compatible device. You can select either "Widescreen" or "Standard video size".

Autoplay timing

Desktop

The video start time and duration. For desktop, the Masthead video will autoplay for up to 30 seconds. You can specify the exact start point in the video when autoplay should begin, and the amount of time it should run, up to 30 seconds.

Captions may be automatically added to videos when the video is muted. You can turn off automatically generated captions for your videos in Video Manager. Learn how to Edit and remove captions.

Companion videos Desktop

Videos that appear next to the Masthead ad on desktop. Up to 2 unique YouTube videos can be added as companion videos. The companion videos don’t need to be from the same channel.

If you select "Companion videos" in the YouTube Masthead Preview Tool, but don’t provide any video IDs, videos set to "Public" in your channel are added as companion videos.

Note: Enter the IDs of the videos you want to accompany your Masthead ad. YouTube playlist URLs are no longer required to add companion videos.

Channel art Desktop

A background or banner that appears at the top of a YouTube page. Channel art is automatically pulled from the YouTube Channel and accompanies the Masthead.

You can choose to enable channel art if you select "Standard video size". You can also enable it for "Widescreen", but only if "Companion videos" are disabled.

You should finalize channel art at least 2 days before you run a Masthead ad.

Channel icon

Desktop

Mobile

An icon that represents the YouTube channel. The channel icon is automatically pulled from the YouTube channel and accompanies the Masthead.

You should finalize the channel icon at least 2 to 3 days before you run a Masthead ad.


Reporting tools

Metrics

The Masthead format supports these metrics in reporting. Availability of some metrics depends on the buying model and the device where the Masthead appears.

  • Impressions
  • Impressions (co-viewed)
  • Clicks to video
  • Video viewership ("Video played to: 25% / 50% / 75% / 100%")
  • Clicks to your website (optional)
  • Clicks to YouTube channel
  • Clicks on companion videos
Note: For Masthead on TV screens, metrics are limited to ad impressions, clicks to video, video viewership, and clicks to a YouTube channel. The "Impressions (co-viewed)" metric is inclusive of co-viewing, which occurs when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices.

Third-party measurement

  • Allowed: Ad impressions (1x1 pixel URL) and clicks to your website (redirect URL).
  • Not allowed: Pixels intended to collect data on audience composition and JavaScript pixels aren't allowed. Third-party viewability isn’t allowed on YouTube homepage formats.

Notes:


Remarketing

  • Impressions: Remarketing tags aren't accepted for impressions.
  • Views: Remarketing lists can be created based on YouTube Audience lists and video views.
  • Clicks (to play): Floodlight remarketing tags are accepted (only for Masthead on desktop).

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