Manage mid-roll ad breaks in long videos

When you upload videos that are eight minutes or longer, you can enable ads during the middle of the video (known as 'mid-rolls') in addition to having them at the beginnings and ends of videos. 

By default, mid-roll ads are automatically placed at natural breaks in your videos to balance viewer experience and monetisation potential for you. If you don't have mid-roll ads turned on as the default for new uploads, you can turn them on for individual videos. 

Use the ad breaks tool to create, preview and edit automatically placed mid-roll ads, or to place ad breaks manually in videos. You can do this regardless of your channel-level upload default.

Using Mid-roll Ads in Long Videos

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

  • On desktop: Viewers will see a countdown five 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 appear.
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 revenue potential. YouTube's advanced machine learning technology looks over a large volume of videos and learns to detect the best places for mid-rolls. This is done 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?

Some viewers might find mid-roll ads annoying or interruptive. However, to improve viewer experience, we take care of predicting the best ad placement for minimal interruption. 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 monetisation 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 an ad being served. If mid-roll ad breaks are manually placed at disruptive points in a video, our ad system may serve fewer ads.

There are two ways to place mid-roll ads: 
  • Automated ad breaks: You can turn on automatically placed mid-roll ads, which means that we'll find the best ad placement and frequency, creating a more balanced experience for viewers.
  • Manual ad breaks: If you choose to manually place ad breaks, try to place them 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 that the ads are shown in the way that you want them to be.

Automatic 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 Monetisation.
  4. If you haven't already, enable monetisation for the video.
  5. Beneath 'Location of video ads', tick the box next to 'During video (mid-roll)'.

Manual placement

You can manually set mid-roll ad breaks if, for example, your video was already created to have mid-roll ad breaks appear in certain locations.

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Videos.
  3. Choose a video, then select Monetisation.
  4. If you haven't already, enable monetisation for the video.
  5. Beneath 'Location of video ads', tick the box next to 'During video (mid-roll)'.
  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 8 minutes or longer.
  3. On the 'Monetisation' tab, turn on monetisation.
  4. Beneath 'Ad settings', tick the box next to 'Manually select'.
  5. Beneath 'Location of video ads', tick the box next to 'During video (mid-roll)'.
  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 and adjust mid-roll ad placement

You can preview the placement of your mid-roll ad breaks and adjust them if needed.
  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Videos.
  3. Chose a video, then select Monetisation.
  4. Go to 'Location of video ads' and select MANAGE MID-ROLLS beneath 'During video (mid-roll)'.
  5. Select Play  on the video player.
  6. Drag the cursor to reach a specific part of the video.
Manage mid-roll ad breaks for a video
If you would like to turn mid-roll ad breaks on or off for an individual video, you can follow these steps. 
  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Videos.
  3. Choose a video, then select Monetisation.
  4. Beneath 'Location of video ads', toggle the box next to 'During video (mid-roll)' to turn mid-roll ad breaks on or off. When turned on, mid-rolls are automatically placed by default.
  5. Select SAVE.

Manage mid-roll ad breaks for multiple videos

If you would like to turn mid-roll ad breaks on or off for multiple videos, you can follow these steps.
  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Videos.
  3. Choose multiple videos, then select 'Ad settings' from the Edit menu.
  4. Toggle 'Turn on ads during video' to turn mid-roll ad breaks on or off. When turned on, mid-rolls are automatically placed by default.
  5. Select UPDATE VIDEOS and follow the steps displayed to confirm this change.
  6. Complete this change by selecting UPDATE VIDEOS.

Change the channel upload default for mid-roll ad breaks

You can change the upload default settings for your channel to feature mid-roll ad breaks or to disable them for future uploads.
  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Settings.
  3. Select Upload defaults, and go to Monetisation.
  4. Untick 'During video (mid-roll)' beneath the 'Location of video ads' section.
  5. Select SAVE.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?