How TrueView in-stream ads work
TrueView in-stream ads run on videos served on YouTube or within Google Display Network videos, games and apps. These ads may also run on YouTube videos that are embedded on other sites. They can also appear on Android and iOS YouTube apps, as well as m.youtube.com (on iPad and Android)
Viewers can choose to skip the video ad after 5 seconds. If they choose not to skip the video ad, the YouTube video view count will be incremented when the viewer engages with the video ad or watches 30 seconds of the video ad (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds), or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Video interactions include clicks on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, and companion banners. If view counts are a major concern, it is recommended to make videos at least 12 seconds long.
TrueView in-stream ads can be created using AdWords.
VPAID is not allowed on YouTube.
|Where ads appear
Display Network videos, games, and apps
|YouTube video URL
|The video must be uploaded to YouTube
|Optional, YouTube only
|300×60 JPG, GIF, or SWF
See the full specs.
300×250 video wall will show on YouTube if no companion ad is provided.
|Required by AdWords UI but won’t show on the live video
|The destination can be your website or YouTube video or channel.
YouTube video settings
|Must be uploaded to YouTube (send video URL)
|Must allow embedding
|Must be public or unlisted
|True streaming is not allowed.
|Minimum video length:
|12 seconds recommended
|Maximum video length:
|Less than 3 minutes recommended
Resizing your video based on YouTube’s best practices recommendations before uploading it will help your videos look better on YouTube.
Reporting metrics and third-party tracking
Tracking within YouTube video content
Including third-party tracking pixels is optional. However, if you include them, they must meet requirements for third-party ad serving. They must also follow these requirements:
- Impressions: 1×1 tracking pixel accepted
- All tracking pixels and any fourth-party calls made within the pixels from daisy-chaining must be SSL-compliant.
- 1×1 image pixels are allowed on the impression, view, and skip events, but not midpoint and complete events.
Call-to-action (CTA) overlays
CTA overlays are provided for TrueView in-stream ads and in-stream ads bought on reserve in Google AdWords.
- Headline text: 1 line of 25 characters maximum
- Display URL: The URL displayed to the users on the overlay
- Destination URL: The URL to which the overlay links. Can be a redirect and/or link to an external site.
- Thumbnails must be hosted on YouTube.
- JPG or GIF only
- 74×74 pixels
How CTA overlays work
The CTA overlay appears as soon as the video starts playing, and then collapses to show just the thumbnail image after 15 seconds. On desktop browsers, viewers can hover to expand the CTA. On mobile browsers, viewers can click the thumbnail image or arrow to expand it.
Learn more about CTA overlays.