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Lesson 4, Topic 6
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Skippable in-stream ads

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Skippable in-stream ads play before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and websites and apps on Google video partners. After 5 seconds, the viewer has the option to skip the ad and continue watching the video.


  • Drive conversions, influence consideration, and reach new users across multiple devices with your ads, including desktop computers, phones, and TVs.
  • Bid for what you care about. Depending on your campaign goal, you can pay based on overall impressions, or when viewers watch your ad completely or interact with the video (whichever comes first).
  • Add interactive features like call-to-action buttons, sitelink extensions, product feeds, and more to your ads to encourage people to interact with your brand or business more.

Available assets

Supported Google Ads goals

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Product and brand consideration
  • Brand awareness and reach

Available bidding strategies:

Cost-per-view (CPV)

With CPV bidding, you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the full duration of the video if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with your video, whichever comes first.

CPV bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Product and brand consideration” goal.


Target cost-per-action (CPA)

With Target CPA bidding, you set an average cost you’d like to pay for each conversion. From the Target CPA you set, we’ll optimize bids to help get as many conversions as possible. Some conversions may cost more or less than your target.

Target CPA bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Sales”, “Leads”, or “Website traffic” goal.


Maximize conversions

Maximize conversions bidding automatically sets bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. You can optionally set a Target CPA with Maximize conversions bidding to get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS).

Maximize conversions bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Sales”, “Leads”, or “Website traffic” goal.

Target cost-per-thousand impressions (tCPM)

With Target CPM bidding, you set the average amount you’re willing to pay for every thousand times your ad is shown. We’ll then optimize bids to help get as much unique reach as possible. Some impressions may cost more or less than your target.

Target CPM bidding is available when you create a Video campaign with the “Brand awareness and reach” or “Product and brand consideration” (only within the “Video ad sequence” subtype) goal.

Be unskippable in a skippable universe. Tips on skippable ads.

Traditional ‘problem-solution-pay-off’ story arcs of the past no longer work for viewers who are now in control. As a result, emerging story arcs have evolved that engage viewers immediately and retain interest the whole way through.

Think of skippable in-stream in three parts

  • Beginning. Pique interest in the first five seconds, before the skip button appears.
  • Middle. Retain interest throughout with moments of engagement or ‘pulses’.
  • End. Finish the story with a great ending, with clear directions on what to do next.

Some things to consider:

  • 1, 2, 3, Jump! Jump viewers into the story, before the skip button appears.
  • Get pulses racing. Include moments of engagement throughout to keep viewers interested.
  • Emotion runs deep. YouTube is an intimate viewing experience, use this to your advantage.
  • Does it have to look like an ad? If not, great. Be the content people want to see.
  • Know your audience. Watch what they watch, to generate ideas.
  • Borrow from creators. Be human, talk directly to your audience, mimic their tactics.
  • Experiment with everything. Play with openings, length, genres, versions, and more.
  • Frame for mobile. Keep smartphones and tablets in mind when you’re shooting

Related resources:

Skippable in-stream: How to survive the skip button and make engaging creative work

Skippable in-stream ads