2022 YouTube Ad Specs

With more than 2 billion monthly users, YouTube can help businesses reach a huge audience. To use the platform as an efficient marketing tool, you’ll need to stay current on the latest YouTube ad specs.

Wondering how you should format your ads? In this post, we’ll explore the requirements for YouTube advertisements by covering the following.

What are YouTube Ads?
The Types of YouTube Ads
How to Make the Most Out of YouTube Ads

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

Before you create your first ad, you’ll need to create an account (if you don’t already have one). Then, you’ll choose which type of advertisement you want.

YouTube ads have a variety of different formatting requirements. Ad formats are determined by the advertiser and may vary based on which delivery option is selected. After selecting your delivery option, you need to create the right creative.

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

Types of YouTube Ads

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

Video ads
Non-video ads

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

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

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Both video and non-video ads can be helpful marketing tools. To choose which format you should use, you need to know:

Who you are trying to reach.
Your main goals for the specific advertising campaign.
Which format aligns best with the qualities that you want to showcase in your ad.

Now, let’s explore how video and non-video ads work and what options each one offers.

YouTube In-Stream Ads

Most YouTube videos have ads 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 known as in-stream ads.

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What we love: In-Stream Ads are great for encouraging viewers to check out your content, and they’re also great at breaking up the monotony of watching long videos on repeat.

You can also 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
Maximum 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
The skippable video length max is 6 minutes (skippable after 5 seconds)
Non-skippable video length max is 15 or 20 seconds (30 seconds in some regions)
Mid-roll video length minimum is 30 seconds

In-feed YouTube Ads

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

In-feed YouTube Ads often appear on a viewer’s recommended and home pages. Their main goal tends to be featuring different products in order to directly generate sales, but they can also be used for different lead generation or brand awareness campaigns.

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Discovery ads offer another form of in-stream ads. These ads appear in the viewer’s YouTube Home feed, Watch feed, and Search feed. For example, you may search “cooking tutorial” only to find a sponsored recipe at the top of the list.

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With these ads, you can place your content in front of those already searching for similar videos.


Video requirements: you need a link to which public or unlisted YouTube video you want to promote
Image requirements: when creating this ad, the platform allows you to pick from one of four video thumbnails
Text requirements: your video headline should be 100 characters maximum
Description requirements: No more than to 2 lines with 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 shorter, playing before, during, or after another video.

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

Remember: A 300 x 60 image will run 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
Maximum 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 runs across the top of your screen while you’re watching a video on YouTube. These images may include text and links that allow viewers to click through to take an action such as visiting an advertiser’s website or signing up for their newsletter.

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Maximum image dimensions: 300 x 250 pixels for the larger view
Minimum image dimensions: 300 x 60 px for the smaller 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 some of the most common types of ad space on YouTube. They appear over the video’s leading content and can be either horizontal or vertical in format.

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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 part of YouTube’s service for anyone who wants to use them. That means these ads are often used as a way to promote products or services, and they’re great for increasing brand awareness.


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

Make the Most Out of YouTube Ads

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

First, consider your target audience. Are they millennials? What do they like? How are they looking for what they want to find on the internet? Knowing this will help you determine which type of ad will best resonate and which ones to avoid.

Next, decide how much money you want to spend on each campaign. You’ll need to carefully consider how much money you have available — and your desired return on investment — before making any decisions.

Then, your team can start gathering the right creative materials. To learn more about how YouTube ads are changing marketing strategies, see our list of must-know YouTube statistics.

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

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