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Tell Me More: Non-Skippable Ads
Channel Factory Insights

Tell Me More: Non-Skippable Ads

Our Tell Me More series is designed to break down ad formats and products into bitesize chunks. There’s a growing universe of strategies and tactics and it’s our goal to make that universe a little more comprehensible.

We’re going to take a look at one of YouTube’s most popular advertising format, Non-Skippable Ads.


A non-skippable ad is a video ad format that appears before, during, or after a YouTube video. The distinguishable trait of non-skippable ads (which you may have already guessed) is that viewers can’t skip it and have to watch your entire ad before their selected video plays.

Non-skippable video ads can run on the following creative lengths:

  • :06s bumper ads
  • As of January 2018, non-skippable ads can be up to 15-20 seconds long (depending on the viewer’s location)

For the rest of this article we’ll be referring to the 15-20 second long non-skippable ads.


Non-skippable ads are for every brand looking to advertise on YouTube! More specifically, non-skippable ads are for brands with the following campaign goals:

  • Drive high impressions and view rates
  • Target desktop and mobile users
  • Boost ad recall with a high view completion rate
  • Buy on a CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions) basis

Since non-skippable ads are bought on a CPM basis, these ads are only available via reservation buying. This means that you have to buy on a fixed rate based on number of impressions instead of bidding via the auction.

Buying reserved media has a few benefits, including:

  • More control over your spend due to buying at a fixed rate
  • Reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness with the ability to spread your brand message across a larger scale of viewers

If you are a brand that wants more control over your spend with CPM bidding, reach a wider audience, and get your full brand message in front of audiences, then non-skippable YouTube ads are perfect.


Non-skippable YouTube ads can benefit your brand by:

  • Increasing ad recall and brand presence
  • Boosting campaign performance for view rate KPIs
  • Getting your full brand message in front of your audience
  • Utilizing longer creative length to tell your brand story

Non-skippable ads are great for brand exposure. However, you have to be careful with how your ad is presented. Most viewers have little patience for ads they can’t skip, which is why they install ad blocker software.

To make sure your non-skippable ad has a positive impact, you should:

  • Contextually target your non-skippable ad to viewers that find your video relevant and beneficial.
  • Remarket your longer non-skippable ad with a 6-second bumper so your viewers aren’t repeatedly seeing the same long ad.


So, how do non-skippable ads actually work? It’s simple as clicking on a YouTube video. No, really. It’s that easy.

When a viewer clicks on a video they want to watch, your ad will play either before, during, or after the video plays. Since your ad is non-skippable, the viewer will watch your entire 15-20 second video.

That’s it! With non-skippable ads you can rest easy at night knowing that you will wake up to high impressions, view rates, and the relief of knowing that your entire brand message is viewed by YouTube users.


Yes! As mentioned before, non-skippable ads can be irritating to viewers who just want to watch their video. The best way to create a positive feeling towards your ad is to contextually target your video to an audience that finds your ad relevant.

Here at Channel Factory, we use our award-winning ad tech platform to contextually target video ads to your exact audience. Contact us today to learn more!