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Where Does A YouTube Masthead Ad Unit Run?
September 19th, 2023 by Terri Pinyerd

YouTube Masthead ads are YouTube ads that appear in the YouTube Home feed. They are native video-based ads that can be purchased by contacting a Google sales representative.


What Type Of Masthead Ads Can I Buy?


There are currently two types of masthead ads:


  1. Cost-Per-Impression (CPM) Masthead: With this type, you reserve a fixed volume of impressions which are delivered over the course of your campaign.


  1. Cost-Per-Hour (CPH) Masthead: With this type, you reserve a number of hours and will receive impressions within that time period.


Where Does A Masthead Ad Unit Run?


Masthead ads appear at the top of YouTube's homepage, but depending on the type of device you're using there can be some variations on how exactly they appear.




youtube masthead desktop




youtube masthead mobile


TV Screens


youtube masthead tv




youtube masthead tablet



Pros & Cons of Video Masthead Ads


Like any other form of YouTube advertising, masthead ads have their pros and cons. Let's take a closer look...




  • Large exposure size

  • Greater chance for brand awareness

  • Enhanced user engagement due to interactivity




  • Typically the most expensive ad format

  • Broader and less specific targeting

  • Less creative range - must be engaging and adhere to YouTube's guidelines


Overall, if you have the budget for a YouTube masthead ad unit, it's a great way to gain wide exposure and increase awareness for your brand, service, or product.



Other Types Of YouTube Ads


There are a variety of ad types that appear in different locations across YouTube. Unlike YouTube Masthead ads, these ad formats are targeted based on a variety of demographics.


These ad types include:


  • Overlay Ads

  • TrueView Ads

  • Pre-Roll Ads

  • Display Advertising


Overlay Ads


Overlay ads appear across the bottom of a video . These ads take up about 20% of the screen, allowing viewers to continue watching content unobstructed, and can be closed by clicking the X on the top right corner.


Advertisers get paid for these ads when a user clicks the ad to view the full content.


youtube overlay ad


TrueView Ads


TrueView ads appear in several locations across YouTube.


Advertisers only pay a fee for these ads when a certain level of engagement is reached.


Types of TrueView video ads include:


  • skippable ads

  • non skippable ads

  • bumper ads

  • sponsored cards


Pre-roll Ads


Pre-roll ads play before the YouTube video content begins. They range in length from 15, 30, and 60 seconds long.


Once approximately 5 seconds have passed, many pre-roll ads can be skipped by the user, though others must be watched in their entirety.


Display Advertising


Display ads appear to the right of a YouTube video, and often correspond to the pre-roll ad content that appeared before the video, allowing users additional time to engage with the advertisement.


youtube display ad


Depending on your needs as an advertiser, there are a variety of YouTube ad types to choose from. While YouTube masthead ads offer high levels of exposure, they're also less targeted and much more expensive. Conversely, TrueView ads offer more flexibility depending on your budget, along with audience targeting.

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