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Non-skippable Ads on YouTube: A Comprehensive Guide for Newbie

From the moment we click play on our favorite YouTube videos, we’ve all sometimes encountered those unskippable ads. Non-skippable ads on YouTube must be between 6 and 15 seconds. In this article, we’ll unfold all the things you need to understand about these YouTube Ads types, from its impact to best strategies for your business.

What is non-skippable in-stream ads?

Non-skippable in-stream ads on YouTube are a type of Google Ads Video campaign that viewers cannot skip after a specific duration. These ads typically appear before, during, or after the main video content on platforms like YouTube, and can last for 6-15 seconds, or sometimes longer.

Non-skippable ads on YouTube require viewers to watch the entire ad before they can continue watching their intended video content. 

non-skippable youtube ads example

These ads are designed to capture the audience’s attention and deliver the advertiser’s message effectively within a brief period.

Benefits and limitations of Non-skippable ad campaigns


High viewability

Non-skippable in-stream ads ensure high viewability as viewers are compelled to watch the entire ad, increasing the likelihood of message retention and brand recall. This is especially effective for delivering concise and impactful brand messaging.

Increased engagement

By capturing the full attention of viewers, non-skippable in-stream ads promote higher engagement levels. With a captive audience, advertisers can effectively convey their brand message, promote products, or drive specific actions, fostering a deeper connection with potential customers.

Enhanced brand awareness

These ads provide an excellent opportunity for advertisers to strengthen brand awareness. With guaranteed visibility, non-skippable in-stream ads allow businesses to create memorable brand experiences and increase recognition among their target audience, leading to improved brand recall and trust.

Effective for short messages

Non-skippable ads on YouTube are particularly useful for delivering concise and impactful messages within a brief duration. Advertisers can leverage this format to communicate key brand value propositions, product benefits, or call-to-action messages, ensuring that the core message is delivered effectively without any distractions or interruptions.


There are also several drawbacks of using non-skippable YouTube ads for your campaign. Despite being effective in capturing viewers’ attention, they can be perceived as disruptive to the user experience, particularly if they are not relevant to the main video content or the target audience. Additionally, their effectiveness can be hindered if viewers find the ads irrelevant. 

Non-skippable YouTube ads specs

The specifications for non-skippable YouTube ads typically follow specific guidelines to guarantee optimal visibility and effectiveness. Here are some typical specifications for non-skippable YouTube ads:

  • Format: MP4 or MOV.
  • Resolution: 480p (minimum) to 4K (maximum).
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3.
  • File size: 1 GB (maximum).
  • Video length: Typically 6 or 15 seconds in length. On TVs only, maybe up to 30 seconds.
  • Sound: Clear and high quality.
  • Text: Important information should be within the safe zone to ensure visibility on all devices.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): A clear and compelling CTA should be included.
  • Compliance: Must comply with YouTube’s advertising policies and guidelines, including content and technical requirements.

How to set up your non-skippable YouTube ads?

Step 1: Set up a new campaign

  • First, head straight to your Google Ads account and choose “Create campaign”.
  • Choose “Brand awareness and reach” as your campaign objective.
set up your non-skippable YouTube ads 1
  • Next, select “Video” for your campaign type.
set up your non-skippable YouTube ads 2
  • For your campaign subtype, you should select “Non-skippable in-stream”.
set up your non-skippable YouTube ads 3

Step 2: Select your campaign settings 

First, give your YouTube in-stream campaign a name.

set up your non-skippable YouTube ads 4

Next, if your campaign aim allows, select a bid strategy. We recommend you select Maximum CPV (Cost per View), the most frequent method for Google Ads Video campaigns, in which you select the maximum amount you’re ready to spend each view of your video ad. 

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Next, you should set your budget, choose a start date, and select target languages and locations for your campaign.

You can also set up content exclusions to avoid wasting money on the wrong audiences. Your advertising will display Standard Inventory by default, offering digital materials suitable for most businesses. However, if your company adopts a more flexible content approach, you can opt for Expanded Inventory or Limited Inventory accordingly. You can further enhance brand safety by excluding specific content labels and categories.

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Step 3: Create your non-skippable YouTube ads

Once you’ve agreed on campaign and ad group criteria, it’s time to create your ad. To link your video to your ad, you can either find it on YouTube or simply copy and paste the URL. After that, input the other essential components of your ad and proceed with the process to create as many advertisements as you want.

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Step 4: Review and launch

After reviewing your ad to confirm that it appears as intended, begin launching your campaign.

Non-skippable YouTube ads best practices

To help advertisers implement more effective advertising strategies with non-skippable YouTube ads, here are the recommended best practices suggested by the advertising experts at Mega Digital.

Focus on the first 5 seconds

Although your non-skippable ads on YouTube can last up to 15 seconds long, the first 5 seconds of your ad are crucial to capture viewers’ attention and make them stay with your ads till the end. Grab the viewer’s attention by delivering the key value or message early in the ad. This approach ensures that even if viewers don’t watch the entire ad, they still grasp the core message, leaving a lasting impression about your brand or product.

Optimize for mobile devices

With the significant rise in mobile users, it’s crucial to optimize your non-skippable ads for mobile viewing. Ensure that the ad’s visuals, text, and overall format are easily accessible and engaging, even on smaller screens.

Implement clear call-to-action (CTA)

Include a concise and engaging call-to-action that directs viewers toward the next actions. Whether it’s encouraging them to visit your website, explore a new product line, or make a purchase, a strong CTA motivates viewers to take action, thus increasing the overall effectiveness of your ad campaign.

Non-skippable in-stream ads vs. Skippable in-stream ads: What’s the difference?

Skippable in-stream ads and non-skippable in-stream ads are 2 types of video advertisements on YouTube. There are some key differences between these 2 campaign types that affect viewer experience and advertising effectiveness, illustrated in the table below.

AspectNon-skippable In-stream AdsSkippable In-stream Ads
Ad lengthUsually shorter (around 6-15 seconds)Typically longer (12 seconds to 3 minutes)
Exposure durationTypically shorterOften longer
View completionHigher ad completion ratesGreater risk of incomplete views
EffectivenessMore guaranteed exposureOffers more flexibility for viewers

Learn More: YouTube In-stream Ads Breakdown: Everything You Need to Know

Frequently asked questions

What campaign goal is appropriate for non-skippable YouTube ads?

When deciding on marketing goals for your non-skippable YouTube ads campaign, choose Brand Awareness and Reach. Non-skippable in-stream ads are ideal for raising brand awareness and increasing brand identification.

How long do non-skippable ads last on YouTube?

Non-skippable ads on YouTube typically have a duration of 6 to a maximum of 15 seconds.

How much do non-skippable YouTube ads cost?

Non-skippable in-stream ads employ Target CPM bidding, which ensures you just pay for every 1000 impressions (CPM) of these advertisements. Non-skippable ads cost typically range from $6 to $10 per CPM on average.

Final words

In essence, leveraging non-skippable ads on YouTube can significantly boost brand engagement and visibility. By following the recommended best practices, advertisers can deliver impactful brand messages and engage with their target audience more effectively.

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