A Quick Guide to YouTube Advertising Formats

Written by: 
Molly Niemczyk

There are many types of video advertising formats available on YouTube. Today, we’re breaking down their dimensions and differences in this quick guide. 



Here are some of Google’s recommended dimensions. In general, it’s best to have a 16:9 aspect ratio. The exact dimensions your ad will use will vary somewhat, as the YouTube video player automatically adapts to the size of each individual video.



Skippable In-stream Ads

Skippable In-stream video ads show before, during, or after a YouTube video. The video plays for five seconds, after which the user has the option to skip the remainder of the ad by clicking a button in the corner of the video. There is no limit on the length of skippable in-stream ads, though Google claims that videos that are less than 3 minutes long typically perform better. 

These are a good option for advertisers looking to drive anything from awareness to online sales. 


Nonskippable In-stream Ads

Nonskippable in-stream video ads also play before, during, or after a YouTube video. These videos must be 15 seconds or less (or 20 seconds, in some regions), and will play in their entirety. 

These are a good way to drive brand awareness and reach.


Bumper Ads

These short videos are very similar to nonskippable in-stream ads, with the main difference being their length. They, too, will play before, during, or after a YouTube video, and they also cannot be skipped by the user. However, they must be 6 seconds or less. 

Bumper ads are ideal for driving brand awareness.


In-feed Video Ads

Unlike the previous ad types, in-feed video ads show outside of the YouTube video player. You may see them in a list of YouTube search results, in the “Related videos” list, or on YouTube’s homepage. 

This ad type is ideal for increasing brand consideration or driving sales.


Overlay Ads

These image or text ads appear on the lower half of the video player on YouTube after the video begins. It is a desktop-only ad format. Users can close the ad at any time by clicking on the “x” in the corner of the ad, or click anywhere else on the ad to be led to your landing page. 

These are a good way to increase consideration and drive user action.


Masthead Ads

These ads appear on the YouTube Home feed and will play automatically for up to 30 seconds as soon as the page loads. The ads will run muted and with captions until the user unmutes the ad. Clicking on the video can take the user to any standard YouTube video.

This is an effective ad type to maximize brand exposure.

(As of the May 31, 2022, Masthead ads are only available on a reservation basis by speaking with a Google sales representative.)


Do you want to start advertising your B2B business on YouTube? Relevance Advisors has the expertise and know-how to help you succeed. Reach out today to learn more about the services we offer.

Ready to get started?

if you are interested to learn more about our company or services, we would love to hear from you.