Do YouTube Ads work?

YouTube Ads

How does the landscape of YouTube advertising look in 2021? Who is the audience of YouTube ads? Do they work? We are answering all these questions in this blog post!

There are more and more ads on YouTube. The platform is trying really hard to make everyone buy YouTube premium, and it follows Spotify on the path of nagging users to pay for a better, uninterrupted experience. Until recently ads were only run before (or in the middle) of videos published those creators, who belonged to the YouTube Partnership Program. To be in the program and to have the opportunity of making money on the ads that were shown with one’s video, a youtuber has to have at least 1000 followers and his or her videos have to be watched for 4000 hours.

The new rules, introduced last year, show ads with the videos of smaller channels too – but if they are too small to be in the partnership program, the video authors are not getting any money and all the cash goes to YouTube.

It seems like the video giant has a plan of squeezing more cash from the platform. The ads alone are expected to make 5.56 billion USD for YouTube.

YouTube Ads – what to choose?

But how does it work for advertisers? Introduction of YouTube premium means that some users will not see the ads – and they will likely be the more affluent users who want to pay for YT Premium. If paying for YouTube Premium gets popular, then the richer audiences may be more difficult to reach. Let’s have a look at what we can get when it comes to YouTube ads. Ads are divided into when and where they are being shown. In-stream ads are shown in the middle of a video

  • Skippable and Unskippable In-Stream Ads – they are played before, in the middle of or after a video. Some can be skipped, some have to be watched until the end. You pay for a view only if a user watches more than 30 seconds of 30+ sec ads, or a whole ad if it’s shorter than 30 seconds.
  • Bumper Ads – just like in-stream ads, bumper ads can be watched before, during or after a video. The difference is the length – bumper ads are no longer than 6 seconds. They are unskippable too.
  • Discovery Ads – they are those ads that look like regular videos everywhere where users are discovering new content – like on the right side of a video you are watching. They won’t be played unless a user clicks “play”.
  • Out-Stream Ads – this is how YouTube reaches mobile users outside of YouTube. This is an ad that will be played in an app or in any place other than YouTube – but only on mobile devices.
  • Masthead Banners – Those are the videos that are shown on the top of a page on YouTube. They are in a way similar to TV ads – you need to contact YouTube representative to book a banner, while all other ads can be set up via Google Ads.

Who will see my ads?

YouTube is the second biggest social network after Facebook and the second biggest search engine after Google, so the short answer is: potentially everybody. Younger generations are just slighlty more likely to use YouTube, but the difference is not big – 57% Americans over 56 watch YT regularly. Like other Google Ads, YouTube Ads allow advertisers to target users by demographics,  interest, or user location. You can also choose a particular channel where you’d like your ads to be played (like… your competitors’ channels), or you can use your ads for retargeting.

Does it really work?

Like everything – it does work if used wisely. Most of YouTube Ads are meant to work for the initial stages of the purchase funnel. Don’t expect high ROAS from these ads alone. Video ads, just like display ads are supposed to either attract new users or to retarget old ones in an engaging manner. Remember, that digital marketing is a little bit like football: you may have great strikers in your team, but strikers alone won’t win a match – and that’s why you need your midfielders, goalkeepers and defenders too.

The beauty of YouTube Ads lays in the fact that they are engaging and they give you a chance to show your product or brand in captivating way.  Combination of a beautiful video, right targeting and right budget may help your brand thrive and reach audiences who would not know about you otherwise. Wondering how to do it? Contact Marta from our sales team ( and let us help you!