Manage ad breaks in long videos

Today, only videos longer than 10 minutes are eligible for mid-roll ads. Starting in late July, videos longer than 8 minutes will be eligible for mid-roll ads. As part of this change, mid-roll ads will be turned on for all eligible existing videos and future video uploads, including those videos where you may have previously opted out of mid-roll ads. Videos that already have mid-roll ads turned on will not be impacted. If mid-roll ads are not a good fit for your videos, you can indicate this preference in YouTube Studio by July 27, 2020.

Mid-roll ads will be automatically placed at natural breaks in your videos to balance viewer experience and monetization potential for you. After these changes, you will still be able to turn mid-rolls off or adjust the placement in each video manually.

You can enable advertisements at the beginning of videos that you upload to your channel. When you upload longform videos (videos that are 10 minutes or longer), you can also enable ads during the middle of the video ("mid-roll"), not just at the beginning.

Use the ad breaks tool to create, preview, and edit automatically-generated or manually-set mid-roll ad breaks.

Using Mid-roll Ads in Long Videos

The ad experience for viewers may be slightly different depending on the type of device they're using.

  • On desktop: Viewers will get a countdown 5 seconds before a mid-roll advertisement appears.
  • On other platforms: Viewers will see yellow markers in the video progress bar to indicate when an ad may show up.
Frequently asked questions

How do I know whether I should use mid-roll ads?

While YouTube can automatically find the best placement for mid-roll ads, you may want to turn off mid-roll ads if not appropriate. For example, meditation videos may not be suitable for mid-roll ads. If you do choose to use them, we recommend automatically placed mid-roll ads to find natural breaks in your content to avoid an interruptive viewer experience.

How do automatically placed mid-roll ads work?

Automatically placed mid-roll ads aim to balance the viewer experience and creator monetization potential. YouTube’s advanced machine learning technology looks over a large volume of videos and learns to detect the best places for mid-rolls by evaluating factors like natural visual or audio breaks. User studies indicate that automatically placed mid-roll ads are two times less interruptive than manually placed mid-roll ads.

Aren’t mid-roll ads annoying for viewers?

While some viewers might find mid-roll ads annoying or interruptive, we take care of predicting the best ad placement for minimal interruption to viewer experience. We aim to balance the needs of viewers, advertisers, and creators on our platform.

Can I still adjust automatically placed mid-roll breaks?

Yes. When automatically placed mid-rolls are turned on, you can navigate to the monetization settings for any video and adjust the ad break placements manually.

Manage ad breaks in YouTube Studio

mid-roll ad placement can affect the viewing experience and the likelihood of ad serving. If mid-roll ad breaks are placed at disruptive points in your video, our ad system may serve fewer ads.

There are 2 ways to place mid-roll ads: 
  • Automated ad breaks: You can turn on automatically placed mid-roll ads, which means we’ll do the work of finding the best placements. This means a better experience for viewers. We recommend this option.
  • Manual ad breaks: If you choose to manually place ad breaks, try to place at natural breaks for best results. Avoid placing mid-roll breaks at disruptive points, such as mid-sentence or mid-action. If you’ve created your content to build in natural ad breaks, you may turn on manual ad break placement to ensure the ads show the way you want them to.

Auto-generated placement

You can automatically set mid-roll breaks for one video.​

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Videos.
  3. Choose a video, then select Monetization.
  4. If you haven’t already, enable monetization for the video.
  5. Beneath “Location of video ads”, check the box next to “During video (mid-roll)”.

Manual placement

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Videos.
  3. Choose a video, then select Monetization.
  4. If you haven’t already, enable monetization for the video.
  5. Beneath “Location of video ads”, check the box next to “During video”.
  6. Select MANAGE MID-ROLLS.
    • Add an ad break: Click + ADD BREAK. Enter the start time of the ad, or drag the vertical bar to the desired time.
    • Delete an ad break: Click Delete  next to the ad break .
  7. In the top-right, click Continue and then Save.

Place ad breaks when uploading a new video

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. Upload a video that’s 10 minutes or longer.
  3. On the “Monetization” tab, turn on monetization.
  4. Beneath “Ad settings”, check the box next to “Manually select”.
  5. Beneath “Location of video ads”, check the box next to “During video”.
  6. Select PLACE MANUALLY.
    • Add an ad break: Click + ADD BREAK. Enter the start time of the ad, or drag the vertical bar to the desired time.
    • Delete an ad break: Click Delete  next to the ad break .
  7. In the top-right, click Continue.
  8. Complete the upload flow.

Preview & adjust ad placement

You can preview the placement of your ad breaks in the Studio editor: 

  1. Open your video in YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Editor.
  3. Select Play  on the video player.
  4. Drag the cursor to reach a specific part of the video.
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