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Types of YouTube Ads And Video Ad Specs: The Ultimate Guide

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Rishabh Pugalia

July 17, 2024

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YouTube is not just a platform for sharing and watching videos anymore. It is also a powerful marketing tool. The power lies in YouTube ads, which take advantage of the site’s extensive reach and user engagement.

  • Are you trying to increase your brand awareness?
  • Are you looking for effective ways to promote your product or service?
  • Are you curious about how they can benefit your business or brand?
  • Or, are you simply eager to learn about YouTube video advertising in detail?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this blog post is for you!

In this guide, we will explore various types of YouTube ads and provide information on YouTube ad specs. The knowledge of YouTube ad formats, along with the youtube video specs, it will be easier for you to decide on a suitable one. It can help you create more engaging content that captures your target audience’s attention.

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    Types of YouTube Ads

    The types of YouTube ads include –

    • Display ads
    • Skippable in-stream ads
    • Non-skippable in-stream ads
    • In-feed video ads
    • Bumper ads
    • Masthead ads
    • Outstream ads
    • Vertical-friendly video ads

    1. Display ads

    Display ads show up on the top right of the video screen, above the suggested videos on YouTube. It can be a static post or a video.

    To effectively use this YouTube ad format, your content should be relevant to the audience. You should also consider the quality of the ad and the YouTube video advertising strategy.

    These make your video ad more appealing to viewers and increase their chances of watching them. Including a strong call to action encourages viewers to click on your ad.

    Image Display Ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for Image Display Ads are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • 16:9 for horizontal
    • 1:1 for square

    Image dimensions:

    • Maximum: 300 x 250 pixels for the larger view
    • Minimum: 300 x 60 pixels for the smaller view

    Image formats:

    • GIF, JPG, PNG

    Maximum file size:

    • 150KB

    Placement:

    • Top right of the video screen, above the suggested videos

    Bidding Strategies:

    • tCPM bidding: An average amount based on every thousand impressions

    Video Display Ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for Video Display Ads are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • 16:9 for horizontal
    • 1:1 for square

    Video dimensions:

    • Recommended: 1080p (Full HD)
      • Recommended pixels (px) for HD:
        • 1920 x 1080 px (horizontal)
        • 1080 x 1080 px (square)
    • Accepted:
      • 720p (Standard HD) Minimum px:
        • 1280 x 720 px (horizontal)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)
      • Minimum px for SD:
        • 640 x 480 px (horizontal)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video formats:

    • Recommended: .MPG (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4)
    • Accepted: .WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .FLV .MPEG-1, .MP4, .MPEGPS, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, CineForm & HEVC (h265)

    Maximum file size:

    • ≤256 GB

    Placement:

    • Top right of the video screen, above the suggested videos

    Bidding Strategies:

    • tCPM bidding: average amount based on every thousand impressions

    2. Skippable in-stream ads

    YouTube often runs ads at various points during a video – at the start, somewhere in the middle, or at the end. The ads that let you skip ahead after 5 seconds are known as skippable in-stream ads. If you’re not interested in the ad, you can simply click the ‘skip ad’ button that appears at the bottom corner of the video.

    Skippable in-stream ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for Skippable in-stream ads are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • Recommended:
      • 16:9 for horizontal
      • 9:16 for vertical
      • 1:1 for square
    • Accepted:
      • 4:3 (SD) for horizontal
      • 2:3 (SD) for vertical

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video Dimensions:

    • Recommended: 1080p (Full HD)
      • Recommended pixels (px) for HD:
        • 1920 x 1080 px (horizontal)
        • 1080 x 1920 px (vertical)
        • 1080 x 1080 px (square)
    • Accepted:
      • 720p (Standard HD) Minimum px:
        • 1280 x 720 px (horizontal)
        • 720 x 1280 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)
      • Minimum px for SD:
        • 640 x 480 px (horizontal)
        • 480 x 640 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video formats:

    • Recommended: .MPG (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4)
    • Accepted: .WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .FLV .MPEG-1, .MP4, .MPEGPS, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, CineForm & HEVC (h265)

    Video length:

    • Recommended: Best practice by marketing objective
      • Awareness: :15-:20
      • Consideration: 2:00-3:00
      • Action: :15-:20
    • Accepted: Any length. No minimum or maximum

    Maximum file size:

    • ≤256 GB

    Placement:

    • Before, during, and after a video plays on YouTube

    Headline/Description:

    • ≤15 characters

    Note: If you have a CTA, ≤10 characters

    Bidding Strategies:

    • CPV bidding: pay for 30+ seconds of views
    • CPA bidding: based on each conversion
    • tCPM bidding: average amount based on every thousand impressions

    3. Non-skippable in-stream ads

    YouTube often runs ads at various points during a video – at the start, somewhere in the middle, or at the end. The ads that let you skip ahead after 5 seconds are known as skippable in-stream ads. If you’re not interested in the ad, you can simply click the ‘skip ad’ button that appears at the bottom corner of the video.

    Non-skippable in-stream ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for Non-skippable in-stream ads are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • Recommended:
      • 16:9 for horizontal
      • 9:16 for vertical
      • 1:1 for square
    • Accepted:
      • 4:3 (SD) for horizontal
      • 2:3 (SD) for vertical

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video Dimensions:

    • Recommended: 1080p (Full HD)
      • Recommended pixels (px) for HD:
        • 1920 x 1080 px (horizontal)
        • 1080 x 1920 px (vertical)
        • 1080 x 1080 px (square)
    • Accepted:
      • 720p (Standard HD) Minimum px:
        • 1280 x 720 px (horizontal)
        • 720 x 1280 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)
      • Minimum px for SD:
        • 640 x 480 px (horizontal)
        • 480 x 640 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video formats:

    • Recommended: .MPG (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4)
    • Accepted: .WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .FLV .MPEG-1, .MP4, .MPEGPS, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, CineForm & HEVC (h265)

    Video length:

    • Recommended: 15 seconds (20 seconds in certain markets)
    • Accepted: ≤15 seconds (≤20 seconds in certain markets)

    Maximum file size:

    • ≤256 GB

    Placement:

    • Before, during, and after a video plays on YouTube

    Headline/Description:

    • ≤15 characters

    Note: If you have a CTA, ≤10 characters

    Bidding Strategies:

    • tCPM bidding: average amount based on every thousand impressions

    Ad extension: you can add website links, lead forms, or product/service listings to the ad campaign

    4. In-feed video ads

    In-feed video ads pop up when you’re looking for something new to watch on YouTube. They can appear in the search results, next to similar videos, or on the mobile homepage. Each video ad features a thumbnail image from the video and some descriptive text.

    They’re designed to match the look and feel of the videos around them. It makes them less intrusive and more engaging for viewers. They might vary in size and appearance based on where they show up.

    Above relevant search results on desktop, mobile, and TV

    On a video’s watch page on desktop and mobile

    In the YouTube app on mobile and TV

    In-feed video ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for In-feed video ads are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • Recommended:
      • 16:9 for horizontal
      • 1:1 for square
    • Accepted:
      • 4:3 (SD) for horizontal
      • 9:16 for vertical
      • 2:3 (SD) for vertical

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video Dimensions:

    • Recommended: 1080p (Full HD)
      • Recommended pixels (px) for HD:
        • 1920 x 1080 px (horizontal)
        • 1080 x 1920 px (vertical)
        • 1080 x 1080 px (square)
    • Accepted:
      • 720p (Standard HD) Minimum px:
        • 1280 x 720 px (horizontal)
        • 720 x 1280 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)
      • Minimum px for SD:
        • 640 x 480 px (horizontal)
        • 480 x 640 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video formats:

    • Recommended: .MPG (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4)
    • Accepted: .WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .FLV .MPEG-1, .MP4, .MPEGPS, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, CineForm & HEVC (h265)

    Video length:

    • Recommended: Best practice by marketing objective
      • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
      • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Accepted: Any length. No minimum or maximum

    Maximum file size:

    • ≤256 GB

    Placement:

    • In the search results, next to similar videos, or on the mobile homepage

    Headline/Description:

    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

    Note:

    • Headline: >25 characters may be shortened on some devices
    • All headlines are excluded from desktop and TV watch pages and may not show up on mobile
    • Description: Doesn’t appear on the desktop watch page or on the TV

    Bidding Strategies:

    • CPV bidding: based on video thumbnail interaction or views

    Ad extension:

    • you can add website links, lead forms, or product/service listings to the ad campaign

    5. Bumper ads

    Bumper ads are quick YouTube ads that play before, during, or after videos. They last only 6 seconds or less. The catch is, you can’t skip them. They’re perfect for delivering a mini message.

    Bumper ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for Bumper ads are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • Recommended:
      • 16:9 for horizontal
      • 9:16 for vertical
      • 1:1 for square
    • Accepted:
      • 4:3 (SD) for horizontal
      • 2:3 (SD) for vertical

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video Dimensions:

    • Recommended: 1080p (Full HD)
      • Recommended pixels (px) for HD:
        • 1920 x 1080 px (horizontal)
        • 1080 x 1920 px (vertical)
        • 1080 x 1080 px (square)
    • Accepted:
      • 720p (Standard HD) Minimum px:
        • 1280 x 720 px (horizontal)
        • 720 x 1280 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)
      • Minimum px for SD:
        • 640 x 480 px (horizontal)
        • 480 x 640 px (vertical)
        • 480 x 480 px (square)

    Note: For optimal quality, we don’t recommend using SD

    Video formats:

    • Recommended: .MPG (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4)
    • Accepted: .WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .FLV .MPEG-1, .MP4, .MPEGPS, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, CineForm & HEVC (h265)

    Video length:

    • Recommended: 6 seconds
    • Accepted: ≤6 seconds

    Max file size:

    • ≤256 GB

    Placement:

    • Before, during, and after a video plays on YouTube

    Headline/Description:

    • ≤15 characters

    Note: If you have a CTA, ≤10 characters

    Bidding Strategies:

    • tCPM bidding: average amount based on every thousand impressions

    6. Masthead ads

    With YouTube Masthead, you can promote your business, product, or service in a video ad. It is featured on the YouTube home feed across all devices. It’s a great way for drawing attention to a new product or reaching a large audience quickly.

    1. Desktop

    A selected video silently auto-plays for up to 30 seconds at the top of YouTube’s homepage. Viewers can click on the mute icon to enable sound.

    The ad can be in a widescreen or 16:9 aspect ratio. It also has a side panel that features details from your YouTube channel. Optionally, you can include up to 2 more videos in this panel.

    After autoplay, the main video turns into its thumbnail. Clicking on the video or thumbnail takes viewers to the video’s YouTube watch page.

    2. Mobile (App or Site)

    A selected video silently auto-plays for its full duration at the top of the home page. The ad includes

    • a video thumbnail,
    • a headline that you can modify,
    • descriptive texts, and
    • a call-to-action button

    It also features the advertiser’s channel name and icon. Clicking on the ad takes users to the YouTube watch page for that video.

    3. TV screens

    A selected video silently auto-plays for its full length at the top of the screen. Users can interact with it using their TV remote.

    The ad is displayed in a widescreen or 16:9 format. After playing, the video changes back to its thumbnail.

    Clicking the video or thumbnail will take viewers to a full-screen viewing page. However, you can’t add a call-to-action to these TV screen Masthead ads.

    4. Tablet

    Masthead ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for Masthead ads are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • Widescreen
    • 16:9

    Video Dimensions:

    • at least 1920 x 1080

    Headline:

    • Up to 26 characters

    Description:

    • Up to 62 character

    CTA:

    • Up to 10 character

    Bidding Strategies:

    • CPM bidding: the amount of impressions is predetermined and reserved for the campaign
    • CPH bidding: your ad gets complete Share-of-Voice (SOV) of eligible impressions during the hours you’ve booked.

    7. Outstream ads

    Outstream ads are mobile-only video ads. These types of YouTube ads don’t actually appear on YouTube.

    You can find them on websites and apps running on Google video partners. They can appear as banners, pop-ups, in your feeds, as portrait or full-screen.

    Outstream ads - YouTube Ad Specs

    The YouTube Ad specs for Outstream ads are –

    Placement:

    Only on mobiles:

    • Mobile web: in banners
    • Mobile app: in banners, interstitials, in-feed, native, and in both portrait and fullscreen modes

    Bidding Strategies:

    • vCPM bidding: pay for 2+ seconds views

    8. Vertical-friendly video ads

    Vertical videos can significantly improve your mobile engagement for your YouTube ad campaigns. They work great across all YouTube ad types. They can potentially increase your conversions by 10-20%.

    You can reach more audiences by opting for Google’s video partners as vertical video content is high in demand.

    YouTube Thumbnails and companion banners

    1. YouTube Ad Specs: Thumbnails

    The YouTube Ad specs for Thumbnails are –

    Aspect ratio:

    • 16:9

    Dimensions:

    • Recommended: 1280 x 720 px
    • Accepted: 1280 x 640 px (minimum)

    Format:

    • .JPG, .GIF or .PNG

    Maximum File Size:

    • <2MB for videos;
    • <10MB for podcasts

    2. YouTube Ad Specs: Companion Banners (for desktop only)

    The YouTube Ad specs for Companion Banners (for desktop only) are –

    Dimensions:

    • 300 x 60

    Format:

    • .JPG, .GIF or .PNG

    Maximum File Size:

    • 150kb

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    Conclusion

    Understanding the various types of YouTube ads and their specifications can significantly enhance your marketing strategy. YouTube is a effective tool to showcase your brand, introduce new products, or simply tell your story.

    The different types of YouTube ads serve a distinct purpose. They offer unique ways to capture your target audience’s attention. By using the right youtube ad specs, you can optimize your ads to engage viewers more effectively.

    Always keep in mind –

    Adhering to these will ensure that your content is professional, polished, and aligned with your brand image.

    To conclude, mastering the types of YouTube ads can maximize your reach and improve engagement rate and conversions. So, dive in, experiment with different youtube ad formats, and discover the potential of YouTube advertising.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    The different types of YouTube Ads are –

    Display ads

    • Skippable in-stream ads
    • Non-skippable in-stream ads
    • In-feed video ads
    • Bumper ads
    • Masthead ads
    • Outstream ads
    • Vertical-friendly video ads

    YouTube video ad specifications, also known as specs, are the guidelines of creating YouTube ads. These specs can change depending on the specific type of YouTube ad you’re creating.

    Here are some basic specs you should know:

    • Aspect ratio
    • Video Dimensions
    • Video formats
    • Video length
    • Maximum file size
    • Placement
    • Bidding Strategies

    The length of a YouTube video ad can vary depending on the type of ad:

    • Skippable in-stream ads: Any length is accepted.
    • Non-skippable in-stream ads: ≤15 seconds (≤20 seconds in certain markets)
    • In-feed video ads: Any length is accepted.
    • Bumper ads: ≤6 seconds
    • Outstream ads: Any length is accepted
    • Vertical-friendly video ads

    YouTube offers various ad formats for advertisers, such as –

    • Display ads
    • Skippable in-stream ads
    • Non-skippable in-stream ads
    • In-feed video ads
    • Bumper ads
    • Masthead ads
    • Outstream ads
    • Vertical-friendly video ads

    Google Display Ad specs for YouTube include the following:

    • Aspect ratio:
      • Landscape/horizontal: 16:9 or 4:3
      • Portrait/vertical: 9:16 or 3:4
    • Dimensions:
      • Landscape/horizontal: 1280 × 720, 1920 × 1080, or 1440×1080
      • Portrait/vertical: 720 × 1280, 1080 × 1920, or 1080 × 1440
      • Square: 720 × 720, 1080 × 1080, 1920 × 1920
    • Supported file formats: .avi, .mov, .mp4, .m4v, .mpeg, .mpg, .webm, .wmv
    • Length: 15 or 30 seconds
    • File size: Up to 1GB
    • Codec: H.264
    • Frame Rate: 23.98 or 29.97
    • Bitrate: At least 20 Mbps

    Yes, you can. If you are not a part of the program already, there are 2 ways –

    • 1,000 new subscribers and 10 million public Shorts views in the last 90 days.
    • 1,000 new subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours on your long-form videos.

    YouTube shorts are in vertical orientation. The aspect ratio is 9:16 and the dimension is 1080 x 1920 px

    Branding guidelines for YouTube ads generally refer to the rules that advertisers must follow when creating content that will be shown on YouTube. These guidelines include:

    • Respect YouTube’s Community Guidelines: All ad content must comply with YouTube’s Community Guidelines. It includes restrictions on violent content, hate speech, and misleading or harmful content.
    • Consistency: Ensure your branding is consistent across all your ads. Maintaining a similar tone, style, and messaging in all your videos.
    • Use of Logos and Trademarks: You can use logos and trademarks in your ads, but they must be used appropriately.

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