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Companion Banners on YouTube | #AdWordsAnswers


Hello AdWords Community,


I’m Gagan from the AdWords team and today I would like to talk about an important yet often forgotten element of YouTube in-stream ads: companion banners.


Companion banners are banner ads that accompany your in-stream ads when they’re serving. The banner shows on the right side of the video player, above the “Up next” and “Related Videos” thumbnails.


Let’s jump right in and get into the details of what companion banners look like and how to create them.


How do you create companion banners?


You can create companion banners within the in-stream ad creation flow. Right after you enter your video URL, Final URL, and Display URL, you’ll spot the companion banner option.


Here, you’re presented with two choices:

  1. Use auto-generated images from videos on your channel
    With this option, the system automatically generates banners in compliant dimensions from your channel videos. This is an easy, one-step process that doesn’t require any extra time or resources on your part. Let the system do the work for you!

  2. Upload your own image
    If you’re creating a video ad for a specific campaign and need a specific companion banner to go with it, with a customised call-to-action, then you can use this option to upload your own companion banner to go with the video.


Here’s what the creation process looks like:




Why are companion banners important?


Companion banners show as your in-stream ads are playing and are an effective tool for guiding users to take action. You’ll find that they’re a great way to grab the user's attention, drive action, and get users landing on your site.


Make sure your companion banners:

  1. Comply with AdWords Policies

  2. Have a strong call-to-action (what do you want that viewer to do next after seeing your ad?)

  3. Are relevant to your in-stream ad


Things to remember:

1. If you don’t provide a companion banner, no other advertiser's ad will appear next to your in-stream ad.


2. If you decide to upload your own image, your image needs to have dimensions of 300x60 pixels and a maximum file size of 150KB.

3. When comparing video impressions with companion banner impressions, remember that companion banner ads are not served on all YouTube pages where in-stream ads are served.

4. Companion banners won't show for in-stream ads shown to users watching videos on YouTube Leanback, whether on GoogleTV or in their browser.

I hope this helped you better understand companion banners. If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we will be glad to help. If you’re stuck, remember that the AdWords Support Team is just a phone call/chat/email away.


Have a lovely day ahead.



Emmelyn A
August 2016

Hello Gagan,


I have 2 follow-up questions:

1. Does Companion banner stays on the side even after True View in stream finishes?

2. And if a user clicks on companion banner after the video is finished, how is that reported and billed?



Mark F

Hi Gagan -

Thanks for the detailed info.   Question....

I've been trying to upload a companion banner via adwords and everytime I get a message saying the "format" is not correct, and then the file is rejected.  I've read the specs as you note them above, and adhered to them....I can't figure our why my file isn't being accepted.  Any help would be appreciated.

Mark F

Attah E A

Thanks Gagan for this tips about companion banners. Are the system generated baners also 360x60 pixels? 

Healthy F


I'd like to know what happens when a user clicks on a compagnon banner.

It opens the video? Or the landing page?

How does it looks like?