YouTube TrueView Ad Specs

by | | Digital 101

What TrueView Ads Are & How They Work


TrueView ads are video ads run on YouTube that give viewers the ability to interact with and control the ads they see (most commonly a “Skip Ad >” button).

Advertisers only pay for completed views (a least 30 seconds watched) or if the viewer clicks the ad. You don’t pay if the viewer skips your TrueView ad.

They’re usually in-stream video ads (with optional companion ads) run on YouTube videos or on a collection of sites and apps in the Google Display Network. They may also run on YouTube videos that are embedded on other sites or apps.

Companion ads compliment a TrueView in-stream ad via a clickable thumbnail image and/or banner overlay. On a YouTube page, the thumbnail appears next to the ad in the top right corner. A companion banner provides continued brand presence after a video ends, and the viewer can click on it anytime.

Besides in-stream, TrueView ads can also be video discovery ads, which appear as thumbnails in search results.


Video Ad Specs

Minimum Video Length: 15 seconds

Maximum Video Length: Less than 3 minutes recommended

File Format: AVI, ASF, Quicktime, Windows Media, MP4, or MPEG

Resolution: 640x360 (16:9) or 480x360 (4:3) recommended

Frame Rate: 30 FPS

Maximum File Size: 1 GB


Companion Ad Specs

Resolution: 300x60

Maximum File Size: 150 KB



  • YouTube TrueView only charges the advertiser when one of three criteria are met:

1. The user watches the ad in its entirety without skipping.

2. The user watches at least 30 seconds of the ad before skipping.

3. The user clicks through the ad onto the landing page.

If none of these criteria are met, the advertiser is not charged for the impression.


  • TrueView only allows volume to be bought on a CPV basis, with a $0.01 minimum per view. Charging clients per completed views significantly increases CPM over other video platforms.


  • TrueView allows for targeting of specific YouTube videos and channels. This is highly recommended if there are influencers that are relevant and/or popular in a specific brand niche.


  • Six-second bumper ads are YouTube ads that are not technically considered TrueView. The difference is that they are too short (six seconds) to be skipped. Six-second bumper ads are charged off CPM.


  • Six seconds isn’t very long, so only use this inventory if your campaign is built around this time limit. That said, this time limit leads to very impactful awareness ads if your message is unique, engaging and to the point.
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