TV & Audio

YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

By Emily Sullivan
YouTube ad specs on tablet

With billions of monthly users, YouTube is both the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content consumption.

This makes it prime advertising real estate, but to succeed on the platform, advertisers need to use the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help ensure that your ad gets in front of more viewers, making you more likely to gain new customers and increase brand awareness.

What Ad Types Are Available on YouTube?

There are two broad categories of YouTube ads: display and video. Video ads play before, during, or after someone watches a YouTube video on a computer or mobile device. Display ads appear in a few spots throughout the platform, but usually use text and/or static images. Let’s take a quick glance at the ad types we’ll be expanding on in this post.

Video Ads:

Display Ads:

Companion Banners:

In-feed Ads:

Outstream Ads:

Masthead Ads:

Choosing the best ad type depends on your target audience, goals, and the most effective format for your specific needs. Next up, we’ll delve into more details about the ad specs for each type.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Below, we’ll cover the various YouTube ad options by type including their benefits and recommended specs. Let’s dive in.

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

Skippable video ads allow users to skip the ad after it plays for 5 seconds. These ads can be placed before, after, or during the main video. These ad types are separate from bumper ads, and the user may end up seeing two ads in a row (the skippable video ad and the bumper ad) before the main video begins. 

These ads boost conversions, garner video views, and engage with a broader audience on various devices, spanning desktops, phones, and TVs. With skippable ads you can tailor your bids to prioritize your objectives. So, depending on your campaign focus, you have the option to choose to pay for overall impressions or when viewers either watch your ad entirely or engage with the video first. With this ad type advertisers can also enhance user interaction by incorporating features such as call-to-action buttons, sitelink assets, product feeds, and more into your ads.

Example of Skippable In-stream video ads on YouTube

Skippable video ads should follow the following specs: 


Recommended size in pixels (px):

Aspect ratio


File size

Length (Best practice by marketing objective)


Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

Unlike its counterpart, non-skippable video ads must be watched in entirety before the main video can be viewed. They can be added before, after, or during the main video. This ad type is available on desktop and mobile devices, but not on game consoles. For non-skippable in-stream, your ad should be 15-seconds (or shorter).

Non-skippable in-stream ads on YouTube ensure high viewability and captivate audiences, allowing advertisers to convey complete and impactful messages. Effective for short, impactful content, these ads offer premium placement before popular videos, guaranteeing impressions and enhancing overall brand awareness. 

Note: 30-second non-skippable in-stream ads will be available in Google Ads in early 2024.

Non-skippable video ads should follow the following specs: 


Recommended size in pixels (px):

Aspect ratio


File size



Bumper Ads

Bumper ads on YouTube are ideal for reaching a broad audience with a concise and memorable message. These non-skippable ads, lasting 6 seconds or shorter, play before, during, or after other videos, ensuring viewers cannot skip them. Some bumper ads may also appear on YouTube TV. They are charged using Target CPM bidding, where payment is based on impressions. 

This ad format is best for campaigns with the goal of generating awareness and consideration. Bumper ads appear on YouTube videos as well as across websites and apps within Google’s video partner network, offering widespread visibility for short, impactful brand messaging.

Bumper ads should follow the following specs: 

Companion Banners

A YouTube Companion Banner is a type of ad that appears to the right of the YouTube video player on desktop devices. To utilize a Companion Banner, advertisers need to purchase one of the three main ad types on YouTube: In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads. 

The Companion Banner provides an additional visual and interactive component to enhance the overall ad experience. It’s designed to engage viewers and promote brand awareness by offering content that complements the main ad being displayed on the platform. Keep in mind that companion banners only show on desktop – they don’t appear on mobile devices. You have the option to either upload a personalized image for the banner or let Google Ads create an image using your YouTube channel banner.

Note: Companion banners must be purchased alongside an in-stream video ad.

Companion banners should follow the following specs: 



Maximum file size 

GIF frame rate


In-feed Ads

In-feed video ads strategically position your brand, product, or service alongside YouTube content tailored to attract your target audience. These ads seamlessly integrate into key locations, including YouTube search results, the watch next section, and the Home feed within the YouTube app. 

In-feed video ads contribute to building brand consideration by appearing when viewers explore related videos, scroll through the YouTube Home feed, or actively search for content. These ads effectively deliver information to engaged viewers and increase the likelihood of audience interaction with your brand, fostering subscriptions, sharing, and extended video consumption. 

The format of in-feed video ads on YouTube typically includes an image thumbnail, a headline, and up to 2 lines of text, with viewer interaction leading to redirection to the YouTube watch page for the ad. In specific contexts, hovering over the thumbnail triggers muted autoplay.

Example of in-feed video ads on YouTube

In-feed ads should follow the following specs: 


Recommended size in pixels (px):

Aspect ratio


File size



Display Ads

YouTube Display Ads are a type of visual advertising format that appears on the YouTube platform. Unlike video ads, display ads are static images or animated media that can be shown in various ad spaces on YouTube, such as next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the YouTube homepage. These ads are part of the Google Display Network (GDN), allowing advertisers to extend their reach beyond YouTube and display their ads on a network of partner websites and apps.

Standard display ads must meet the below specifications:

In addition to the specifications listed for all ad types above, YouTube display ads must follow Google’s image ad policies.

Outstream Ads

Outstream ads on YouTube are a strategic choice for advertisers aiming to extend the reach of their video ads on mobile devices, providing an effective means to connect with a broader audience. These ads initiate with sound off, ensuring a non-disruptive start, and viewers have the option to tap the ad to unmute the video for a more engaging experience. The primary objective of Outstream ads is to enhance video reach at a cost-efficient rate. 

Exclusive to mobile, these ads are visible on websites and apps within the Google video partner network but are not featured on YouTube itself. Outstream ads offer versatile mobile placements, appearing in banners for mobile web placements and in various formats, including banners, interstitials, in-feed, native, and both portrait and fullscreen modes for mobile apps. This flexibility allows advertisers to tailor their outreach strategy to different mobile environments.

Example of Outstream ads on YouTube

Outstream ads should follow the following specs for logos: 

Masthead Ads

A YouTube Masthead ad is a premium advertising format that appears prominently at the top of the YouTube homepage for desktop, mobile, and TV users. It is one of the most visible and impactful ad spaces on the platform. The Masthead ad is a large banner that spans the entire width of the YouTube homepage and can include a video or a static image.

It is designed to capture the attention of users as soon as they visit the YouTube homepage, providing advertisers with a high-visibility placement to showcase their brand, product, or service. It’s important to note that Masthead ads are only available on a reservation basis through a Google sales representative.

Example of Masthead ads on YouTube

Masthead ads should follow the following specs: 

Ready to Start Using YouTube Ads?

Venturing into the world of YouTube ads can be a game-changer for marketers looking to elevate their digital strategies in 2024 and beyond. With a diverse range of ad formats, YouTube provides a dynamic platform to reach audiences across devices. Whether you aim to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or reach a specific target demographic, YouTube’s reach and engagement potential make it a top choice. 

As with any advertising opportunities, make sure that you always follow Google’s advertising policies as well as the technical ad specs shared above. Looking to start YouTube ads this year? We can help. Contact us today to get started or take a look at our services to learn more.

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