CTV Video Ad Specs & Formats: Complete Guide for 2024

Last Updated: June 11, 202411.1 min readCategories: Connected TV (CTV), Marketing

As we step into 2024, the landscape of Connected TV (CTV) advertising continues to expand, offering unparalleled opportunities for marketers to reach their audience directly in their living rooms. With the number of CTV users rising dramatically—reaching an impressive 84.9% of Americans—it’s essential for advertisers to understand the specific CTV ad specs and formats required across various platforms.

In this complete guide, we’ll navigate the crucial connected TV video ad specs, ensuring your campaigns are perfectly tailored for CTV platforms like Hulu, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Hulu

Hulu remains a cornerstone in the streaming service landscape, boasting over 49.7 million paid subscribers and offering an extensive range of advertising opportunities. As one of the original platforms in the streaming revolution, Hulu advertising provides access to a diverse and highly engaged audience that regularly consumes content from major network shows to original series. This makes it an essential platform for advertisers aiming to make a significant impact.

Hulu Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: All files must be in 16:9
  • Max file size: 10 GB
  • Video length: 15 seconds – 30 seconds
  • Frame rate: 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 fps
  • Bitrate: 10 Mbps – 40 Mbps
  • File type: QuickTime, MOV, or MPEG-4

Hulu Advertising Best Practices

Effective advertising on Hulu not only captures attention but also connects viewers deeply with your brand. Here are three best practices specifically tailored for Hulu’s advertising environment:

  • Start with Strong Branding: Kick off your ad with your brand name or logo to establish brand recognition. Research indicates that top-performing campaigns on Hulu feature branding within the first few seconds, significantly enhancing viewer recall.
  • Optimize for Short Formats: Make the most of the 15-second ad format by packing a punch in the initial seconds. Engaging hooks that utilize dynamic motion graphics or compelling value propositions can increase engagement dramatically.
  • Sync Audio and Visual Elements: Enhance message retention by aligning on-screen text with spoken words. This dual sensory presentation helps reinforce your message and increases the likelihood of viewer action.

Netflix

Netflix, a global SVOD powerhouse in streaming, has ventured into the ad-supported space after being ad-free for 15 years. With over 200 million subscribers worldwide and a rich catalog of original and licensed content, the platform offers unprecedented access to a massive, diverse audience. For brands, Netflix advertising presents a golden opportunity to reach engaged viewers through high-quality, impactful campaigns.

Netflix Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Video length: 15 or 30 seconds (or 20 seconds in Spain)
  • Frame rate: 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
  • Bitrate: For H.264, greater than 8 Mbps for 720p & 12 Mbps for 1080p. For MOV, greater than 42 Mbps for 720p & 80 Mbps for 1080p.
  • File type: .mov, .mp4

Netflix Advertising Best Practices

To maximize success on Netflix, it’s crucial to ensure your ads meet the platform’s high standards. Follow these best practices:

  • Focus on Quality: Given Netflix’s reputation for quality control, invest in high-quality video production values that reflect your brand’s professionalism and align with the platform’s standards.
  • Craft for a Global Audience: Tailor content to resonate with Netflix’s global audience, ensuring messages translate well across different cultures and regions.
  • Emphasize Brand Storytelling: Tell a compelling story that captures the attention of Netflix’s discerning audience and leaves a lasting impression.

Paramount+

Paramount+ is a versatile streaming platform that caters to over 30 million subscribers with a blend of live sports, news, and a vast library of CBS content. Offering both budget-friendly ad-supported and premium tiers, advertisers can reach a diverse audience seeking nostalgic classics and original series through targeted streaming ads. For marketers aiming to target viewers across multiple generations, Paramount+ presents an ideal venue.

Paramount+ Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (1280 x 720)
  • Max file size: 10GB
  • Video length: 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds
  • Frame rate: 23.98, 29.97 FPS
  • Bitrate: 10-40 Mbps (constant)
  • File type: .mov, .mp4 (preferred)

Paramount+ Advertising Best Practices

Advertisers should consider these unique strategies for successful campaigns on Paramount+:

  • Implement a Clear CTA: Guide viewers towards a defined next step by incorporating a straightforward call-to-action that stands out.
  • Keep Logo and URL Visible: Feature your logo and URL consistently throughout the ad, ensuring it’s memorable and encourages direct responses from multitasking viewers.
  • Tailor to the Platform’s Live and On-Demand Mix: Create ads that appeal to both live and on-demand viewers, emphasizing messages that align with Paramount+’s unique blend of content.

Peacock

Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, continues to rise in popularity, reaching 31 million users through its diverse catalog of live sports, nostalgic classics, and new NBC shows. Offering both free and premium tiers, advertisers can access a wide spectrum of viewers with varying content preferences. With Peacock’s dynamic and engaged user base, it’s a crucial platform for brands seeking to connect with audiences interested in sports, news, and entertainment.

Peacock Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Max file size: 10GB
  • Video length: 6, 15, 30, 45, or 60 seconds
  • Frame rate: 23.98, 25, or 29.97 (based on native frame rate)
  • Bitrate: Greater than 15 Mbps
  • File type: Video Ad-ID required (.mov and .mp4 also accepted)

Peacock Advertising Best Practices

To maximize the effectiveness of Peacock advertising, follow these key practices:

  • Register for an Ad-ID: Before airing on Peacock, ensure you have an Ad-ID and submit your creative assets at least five days in advance to meet the platform’s technical requirements.
  • Rotate Ads to Combat Fatigue: Regularly rotate different ad creatives to keep your audience engaged and avoid viewer fatigue from repeated exposure.
  • Avoid Stitched Ads: Craft unique, high-quality ads that are seamless, not pieced together, ensuring a smooth and consistent viewing experience that aligns with Peacock’s high standards.

Tubi

Tubi has firmly established itself as a significant player in the CTV advertising ecosystem, boasting over 74 million monthly active users who consume its expansive catalog of over 50,000 movies and TV shows. Its free, ad-supported model, coupled with highly personalized content recommendations, offers advertisers a powerful platform to reach a vast and engaged audience. By strategically placing ads on Tubi, brands can effectively engage viewers through compelling storytelling and clear calls to action.

Tubi Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Minimum resolution: 1920 x 1080 is recommended
  • Max file size: 135 MB
  • Video length: 6, 15, or 30 seconds (45- and 60-second spots by approval only)
  • Frame rate: 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97p, 50i, 59.94i fps.
  • Bitrate: 25 mbps
  • File type: .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .mxf

Tubi Advertising Best Practices

Advertising on Tubi is an opportunity to connect with viewers through engaging storytelling. Here are three unique practices to help make your ads successful:

  • Craft a Narrative: Weave a compelling story that captivates viewers within the first few seconds and maintains a clear, cohesive message throughout, even within the shorter ad formats.
  • Complement the Narrative with Audio: Pair your visuals with sound effects, dialogue, or a strong voiceover to enrich the storytelling and create a more immersive viewing experience.
  • Align with Viewer Preferences: Tailor your content to resonate with Tubi’s recommendation system, leveraging its personalization features to reach viewers with messages that match their preferences.

Roku

Roku is a global leader in the OTT advertising landscape, with over 80 million active users in the U.S. alone. Its robust advertising tools and vast reach provide brands with unparalleled opportunities to connect with their target audiences through personalized and measurable campaigns. With viewers spanning various demographics, Roku advertising is essential for brands aiming to reach a broad yet targeted audience.

Roku Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 4:3 (400 x 300, 1920 x 1080)
  • File size: 25-100 MB
  • Video length: 15, 30, or 60 seconds
  • File type: .mp4

Roku Advertising Best Practices

Advertising on Roku requires a strategy that resonates with the platform’s unique audience while adhering to its specific guidelines. Here are three best practices for effective campaigns:

  • Incorporate Native Branding: Align with Roku’s guidelines by including The Roku Channel logo and using the approved color palette. This reinforces the platform’s trusted environment and boosts brand visibility.
  • Focus on Early Brand Mentions: Mention your brand name within the first three seconds to ensure immediate recognition and establish relevance, maximizing viewer engagement.
  • Use Clear Calls to Action: Emphasize a clear CTA throughout the ad creative, guiding viewers toward the desired action while maintaining their attention.

Sling

Sling TV, a rising star in the vMVPD space, is a hybrid of traditional live TV and streaming that serves over 2 million subscribers, giving them the flexibility to tune into local broadcasts and binge-watch their favorite shows. Its dynamic mix of live sports, news, and on-demand streaming provides advertisers access to viewers seeking versatile entertainment options. As more people co-watch Sling together, brands have a valuable opportunity to deliver tailored messages to a broader audience.

Sling Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (1920 x 1080)
  • Max file size: 300 MB
  • Video length: 15, 30, or 60 seconds
  • Minimum bit rate: 20 Mbps
  • Frame rate: 23.98, 29.97 (same as source)

Sling Advertising Best Practices

Maximize your campaign’s impact on Sling with these best practices:

  • Feature Core Values: Showcase your brand’s values and key products in a way that appeals to all viewers, recognizing the commonality of co-viewing in households.
  • Diversify Creative Approaches: Differentiate your Sling ads from other marketing channels by using creative approaches that introduce new audiences to your brand’s unique offerings.
  • Appeal to Family Dynamics: Craft ads that resonate with family dynamics to ensure they appeal to both your target audience and other household members who might be watching together.

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV is a dominant player in the CTV space, with over 200 million devices in circulation, providing access to hundreds of apps and streaming platforms. As more brands and advertisers leverage Fire TV to reach their target demographics, Amazon’s own streaming services, Prime Video and Freevee, continue to grow in popularity. With its blend of TV advertising options and innovative ad formats, Amazon Fire TV offers a powerful platform for brands aiming to tap into a diverse audience both domestically and internationally.

Amazon Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Max file size: 500MB
  • Video length: 15 or 30 seconds
  • Frame rate: 23.976 (recommended), 24, 25, or 29.97
  • Bitrate: 8 MBps recommended
  • File type: Video: H.264, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4

Amazon Advertising Best Practices

Effective advertising on Amazon Fire TV requires understanding the platform’s unique opportunities and audience behaviors. Consider these three best practices:

  • Tailor Content to Personas: Emphasize scripts and storylines that resonate with specific customer personas, making each ad feel personalized and relevant to different segments.
  • Cast Relatable Talent: Choose on-screen talent that reflects the target audience’s preferences, helping to establish a personal connection and increase engagement.
  • Highlight Unique Value Propositions: Make sure your ad clearly differentiates your brand by focusing on value propositions that stand out and communicate why your brand matters to the audience.

YouTube

YouTube, known primarily as a social media platform, has expanded its offerings to include ad-supported streaming of hundreds of free movies and TV shows. With over 2 billion monthly users globally, it offers a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach an expansive, engaged audience. YouTube provides precise control over ad placements, allowing marketers to strategically place their content and maximize impact.

YouTube Ad Formats and Video Specs for CTV

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (best CTV quality, but 4:3 also supported)
  • Video length: Skippable ads should run for a minimum of 12 seconds with no upper time limit. Non-skippable ads are restricted to either 15 or 20 seconds, varying by regional guidelines.
  • Frame rate: 60fps
  • File type: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .avi, or .asf

YouTube Advertising Best Practices

To craft successful YouTube CTV campaigns, marketers should focus on these strategies:

  • Highlight Branding Early: Show your brand or product logo within the first few seconds to maximize visibility and boost recognition.
  • Utilize On-Screen Talent: Use on-screen talent for brand mentions, as this drives higher viewer engagement compared to off-screen mentions.
  • Keep Ads Brief and Engaging: Make the most of skippable ads by delivering concise, captivating messages that hold attention and encourage viewers to watch to completion.

Performance TV

Performance TV, a term coined by MNTN–a leading CTV advertising platform–merges the vast reach of streaming television with the precision of digital marketing. By focusing on performance marketing, and with access to 150+ trusted TV networks, MNTN enables advertisers to achieve tangible results and track their campaigns’ impact. As more brands seek to leverage streaming TV’s audience targeting and measurement capabilities, Performance TV stands out as a pivotal solution for maximizing return on ad spend (ROAS).

Performance TV Ad Formats and Video Specs

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (1920 x 1080)
  • Max file size: 4GB
  • Video length: 30 seconds max (15- and 30-second slots)
  • Frame rate: 23.98, 25, 29.97 FPS (must be constant and based on native frame rate)
  • File type: .mp4 or .mov

Performance TV Advertising Best Practices

To ensure successful campaigns on Performance TV, consider these tailored strategies:

  • Clearly Define Campaign Objectives: Establish specific goals, such as boosting website traffic, generating leads, or increasing conversions. Knowing your objectives guides creative development and optimizes your campaign as data is collected.
  • Segment and Target Audiences Precisely: Use first-party data and third-party data sources to create highly targeted segments that align with different audience personas, ensuring your messaging resonates.
  • Optimize Creative Content: Tailor ad content to address the needs and pain points of each audience segment, while keeping your brand’s messaging consistent. Refresh creative regularly to prevent viewer fatigue and improve engagement.

Connected TV Video Ad Specs: Final Thoughts

With the rapid evolution of Connected TV advertising, staying current on CTV ad specs and formats is crucial for maximizing your campaigns’ reach and impact. By understanding the unique ad requirements and best practices of platforms like Hulu, Roku, and Performance TV, marketers can deliver compelling, brand-aligned messages that resonate with their target audiences.

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