How Do YouTube Ads Work?

How Do Youtube Ads Work

YouTube has over 2.5 billion monthly active users making its marketing capacity huge. Ads are YouTube’s main income generator and, consequently, YouTuber’s primary income source.

If you’re an aspiring content creator, learning how ads work on YouTube is crucial. This information will help you understand how to optimize your videos, target the right audience and eventually monetize them through ads.

You will also learn about various ads on the platform and the average income each type generates.

Quick Answer

When you qualify to join YouTube Partner Program as a content creator, you can choose to let YouTube display ads in your videos. Creators earn 55% of the money generated from the ads. The average pay is $0.018 per ad view, which translates to $18 for 1000 views. YouTube has different types of ads: skippable, non-skippable, and bumper ads.

This post explains how YouTube ads work and how creators can choose the best ad settings for their videos.

Overview of YouTube Ads

As mentioned earlier, ads are YouTube’s main income generator. Advertisers pay YouTube to place ads in creators’ videos to allow organizations to market services and products to their target audience.

YouTube has refined its marketing strategy and algorithm to enable advertisers to target people recently searching for a specific item. This is just one of the few ways ads benefit thousands of organizations globally.

While YouTube places ads in various places on its platform, its primary advertising method is placing ads in the beginning or the mid of videos.

This is where content creators come in. If you wish to earn from your YouTube videos, you must allow YouTube to place ads in your videos.

Remember, you must qualify for the YouTube Partners Program to earn from ads. The prerequisites for earning from videos through ads include the following.

  • Attain 3000 watch hours and over 500 subscribers over 12 months.
  • Have 3 public video uploads or 3 million YouTube Shorts views in 90 days.

Next, we’ll cover the types of YouTube ads and how they work.

Types of YouTube Ads

As we’ve established, ads appear on videos when creators enable monetization of their content. There are various types of YouTube ads.

  • Skippable video ads are ads you can skip after five seconds. They appear at the beginning or in the middle of a video.
  • Non-skippable ads are ads the viewer has to watch before streaming the video. They are typically 15-20 seconds long. They can appear at the beginning or within the video.
  • Bumper ads are short unskippable videos of up to 6 seconds that appear at the beginning of videos. Bumper ads appear after enabling skippable and non-skippable ads.

YouTube allows creators to set default ad formats so they don’t have to adjust settings with every upload. You can also choose which type of ads you want on your videos.

YouTube recommends allowing all kinds of ad formats to allow maximum income. Remember, your viewers have to watch ads for you to earn from them.

The average income from ads varies between $0.10 and $0.30, depending on the region. The more viewers click and watch ads, the more income you generate. This is why consistently building a brand and gaining an audience is vital to earning a steady income from YouTube ads.

YouTube uses AdSense software to track ads and compute total income. You can allow YouTube to place the ads automatically or pre-determine the type of ads you want on your channel.

Note that advertisers can decline to have their ads run on your videos if they feel their brand and needs don’t align with your audience. Remember, advertisers pay different amounts for different ads meaning the income generated from ads isn’t standard.

Some of the ways YouTube determines the target audience for ads include:

  • Their watch history
  • Apps installed in the viewer’s device and their usage
  • Frequently visited websites
  • Anonymous identifiers linked to the user’s device
  • Other interactions with Google ads
  • Geographic location
  • Age
  • Gender


Learning how YouTube ads work is an essential consideration for any aspiring YouTuber. Before qualifying to run ads on your YouTube videos, you have to join the YouTube partner program.

Next, you’ll create an AdSense account to track and place ads on your videos. YouTube has various ad types, including skippable and non-skippable ads.

The average income from YouTube ads varies between $0.10 and $0.30, depending on the region.

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