2022 YouTube ad specifications

with over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube can help businesses reach a large audience. To use the platform as an efficient marketing tool, you’ll need to stay up to date on the latest YouTube advertising specifications.

YouTuber takes a video with specific YouTube ad specifications

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Wondering how you should format your ads? In this post, we will explore the requirements of YouTube ads by covering the following.

Youtube is the second most active social media platform in the world, according to global social media statistics from DataReportal. Creating ads specifically for this platform can help you meet your current marketing goals.

before you Create your first ad, you will need to create an account (if you do not already have one). Then, you’ll choose what type of ad you want.

YouTube ads have different formatting requirements. Ad formats are determined by the advertiser and may vary depending on the delivery option chosen. After you’ve chosen your distribution option, you’ll need to create the right creative.

So what are your options for advertising on YouTube? Take a look at the categories of ads and their requirements below.

Types of YouTube Ads

Even though YouTube is a video-oriented platform, there are two types of ads that you can use to reach your audience.

  1. video ads
  2. non-video ads

video ads what would you expect They are pre-roll ads that play before the video plays on your computer or mobile device. You can also see them in the sidebar of the Youtube app.

Youtube Advertising Specs, Video Advertising

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non-video ads There are text-based ads that appear on the right side of the screen after you’ve watched a video and it’s waiting for another video to load.

Youtube ad specification, non-video ads

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Video and non-video ads can be helpful marketing tools. Here’s what you need to know to choose which format you should use:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • Your main goals for the specific advertising campaign.
  • Which format best matches the qualities you want to display in your ad?

Let’s now take a look at how video and non-video ads work and what options each ad offers.

YouTube in-stream ads

Most YouTube videos contain advertisements either at the beginning of the video (these can be skippable or non-skippable) or in the middle of the video. These are called pre-roll and mid-roll ads, but they are also called in-stream ads.

Youtube ads specification, in-stream ads

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What We Love: In-stream ads are great for encouraging viewers to watch your content, and they’re also great at breaking up the monotony of watching long videos over and over again.

You can even customize these ads with your own branding and messaging, which makes them a great option if you have multiple products or services to promote.


  • Recommended video dimensions: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p), 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 ( 2160p)
  • Minimum Dimensions: 426 x 240
  • Max Dimensions: 3840 x 2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Maximum file size: 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is less
  • Accepted Video Formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, 3GPP, and WebM
  • Skippable video length max 6 minutes (skippable after 5 seconds)
  • Maximum length of non-skippable videos is 15 or 20 seconds (30 seconds in some regions)
  • Mid-roll video length minimum 30 seconds

In-feed YouTube ads

In-feed YouTube ads keep your brand in front of your audience’s eyes. How? They identify what your audience is looking for and strategically place your ad in their feed so they can find you without noticing.

In-feed YouTube ads often appear on viewers’ recommended and home pages. Their main goal is to showcase various products to generate direct sales, but they can also be used for various lead generation or brand awareness campaigns.

youtube ad specs, in-feed ads

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Discovery ads offer another type of in-stream advertising. These ads appear in viewers’ YouTube home feed, watch feed and search feed. For example, you can search for “cooking tutorial” only to find a sponsored recipe at the top of the list.

Youtube Ads Specifications, Search Ads

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With these ads, you can put your content in front of people who are already searching for similar videos.


  • Video requirement: You need a link to the public or unlisted YouTube video you want to promote
  • Image Requirements: When creating this ad, the platform allows you to choose one of four video thumbnails
  • Text requirements: Your video title must be up to 100 characters long
  • Description Requirements: No more than 2 lines of 35 characters each

youtube bumper ads

With Bumper Ads, you can target specific audiences based on their interests and demographics. These ads are six seconds or less in length and play before, during or after other videos.

As an advertiser, you can choose when these videos appear. Plus, viewers don’t have the option to skip ads.

remember: A 300 x 60 image will play with your video ad. Make sure your creative team delivers both your video and image assets.


  • Accepted Video Formats: File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG
  • Maximum file size: 1GB
  • Max Length: 6 seconds
  • Recommended Video Dimensions: 640 x 360 or 480 x 360
  • Companion Image Dimensions: 300 x 60 .jpg, .gif, or .png

youtube display ads

Display ads consist of an image that plays at the top of your screen when you watch a video on YouTube. These images may include text and links that allow viewers to click on them to take an action such as visiting the advertiser’s website or signing up for their newsletter.

,YouTube ad specifications, display ads

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  • Maximum image dimensions: 300 x 250 pixels for large view
  • Minimum Image Dimensions: 300 x 60px for small view
  • Recommended video dimensions: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p), 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 ( 2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Maximum file size: 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is less
  • Accepted video formats include: .MOV, .MPEG4, .MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, and WebM

overlay ads

Overlay ads are the most common type of ad placement on YouTube. They appear over the main content of the video and can be either horizontal or vertical in format.

YouTube ad specifications, banner ads

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Why are overlay ads important? Well, one of their main advantages is that they are free.

That’s right, you don’t have to pay anything extra for these ads. It’s all part of YouTube’s service to anyone who wants to use them. This means that these ads are often used to promote products or services, and they are great for increasing brand awareness.


  • Landscape Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Vertical aspect ratio: 9:16 or square 1:1 or both.
  • Keep within the recommended YouTube banner size of 2560 x 1440 px

Get the most out of YouTube ads

70% of users report purchasing a product after seeing a YouTube ad, so knowing how to effectively use this resource can completely change your marketing game. Now that you know what types of ads are available, here are some tips to help you navigate these different options.

First, consider your target audience. Are they millennials? What do they like? How are they finding what they want to find on the Internet? Knowing this will help you determine what type of advertising will resonate best and which should be avoided.

Next, decide how much money you want to spend on each campaign. Before making any decision, you need to carefully consider how much money you have available – and your desired return on investment.

Then, your team can start gathering the right creative content. To learn more about how YouTube ads are changing marketing strategies, check out our list of YouTube essential statistics.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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