YouTube Masthead Ads: A crash course on CPM and CPH Buying Methods

YouTube Masthead Ads: A crash course on CPM and CPH Buying Methods
Cost-Per-Hour (CPH) YouTube Masthead Ads

Masthead YouTube ads are a premium advertising format offering prominent placement on the YouTube homepage. Essentially, the video ad takes the top spot, displayed across all devices for a specific timeframe. This guarantees maximum visibility and brand exposure, reaching millions of potential viewers.

There are two main ways to buy Masthead ads:

Cost-Per-Thousand Impression (CPM) Masthead

A Cost-Per-Thousand Impression (CPM) Masthead is a YouTube advertising option where you pay a set amount for every 1,000 times your ad is displayed on the YouTube homepage. Think of it like renting premium billboard space – your ad gets prime placement, but you don't have exclusive rights.


  • Flexibility: Offers more budget and campaign duration flexibility compared to the Cost-Per-Hour (CPH) Masthead.
  • Control: You can manage your budget by setting a specific cost per 1,000 impressions and adjust campaign duration to fit your needs.
  • Targeting Options: Offers basic targeting options like demographics and interests to reach relevant audiences.
  • Wide Reach: Still delivers significant impressions across diverse user groups due to the homepage placement.
  • Programmatically. It's bought via DV360 or Google Ads.


  • No Guaranteed Share of Voice: Unlike CPH, your ad shares the space with other advertisers, potentially diluting your message's impact.
  • Variability in Impressions: While you aim for a specific number of impressions, the actual delivery may vary slightly based on targeting and optimization.
  • Less Exclusivity: Compared to CPH, it creates a less unique and premium brand experience on the homepage.
  • Higher Cost per Impression: Can be costlier compared to other YouTube advertising formats.

Cost-Per-Hour (CPH) Masthead

This option offers 100% share of voice on the YouTube Masthead for a specific hour(s) you purchase. Essentially, your ad becomes the only one displayed during that timeframe.

YouTube Masthead Ads on a CTV screen
YouTube Masthead Ads on a CTV screen

It's only available through Google Representatives, and often requires larger budgets due to its premium nature.

  • Pros:
    • Maximum visibility and brand exposure with guaranteed impressions.
    • Ideal for short-term, high-impact campaigns around specific events or launches.
    • Creates a unique and premium brand experience.
  • Cons:
    • Limited availability and higher cost compared to CPM Masthead.
    • Pricing often requires negotiation with Google representatives.
    • Not ideal for long-term campaigns or those targeting specific demographics.

Overall, YouTube Masthead Ads are a good option for brands seeking:

  • Broad brand awareness campaigns
  • Flexibility in budget and duration
  • Basic targeting to reach relevant audiences

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