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Common Video Ad Dimensions and Aspect Ratios Used Today

Written by Roy
Jan 3, 2023 • 4 min read
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The dimensions of a video refer to the width and height in pixels of the video container. Together, they are an importact factor with regard to the quality and aspect ratio of the video ad.

Common Aspect Ratios

The video dimensions and aspect ratio used for an ad varies depending on the target audience and platform on which the ad is shown. Some common aspect ratios that are used in video ads today are:

  • 16:9. An aspect ratio used throughout the industry for widescreen video. It has a width of 16 units and a height of 9 units. Common video dimensions that are used in video ads are 1920x1080, 1280x720 and 854x480.
  • 1:1. A square aspect ratio commonly used in social media videos. Both the width and height are equal in size. Common video dimensions that are used in video ads are 1080x1080, 720x720 and 480x480.
  • 9:16. A vertical aspect ratio used for mobile video ads. It's the reverse of the standard widescreen aspect ratio, and has 9 units in width and 16 in height. Common video dimensions that are used in video ads are 1080x1920, 720x1280 and 480x854.
  • 4:3. For the sake of completion - this is an older aspect ratio used for standard-definition video. It has a width of 4 units and a height of 3 units. Common video dimensions that are used in video ads are 640x480, 480x360 and 320x240.

Which aspect ratio converts the best?

It's obviously difficult to determine which aspect ratio of video ads converts the best. It all depends on the ad placement, platform on which the ad is shown, the target audience and the type of content in the video.

That having said, here are a few things to consider when choosing the aspect ratio of the video;

  1. Device. Consider on which platform the video ad will be displayed. If it's a mobile device, you may want to go for a vertical aspect ratio in order to fill the complete screen. If the ads are displayed on desktops, it may be better to have a horizontal aspect ratio due to the size of most screens.
  2. Video Content. The type of content in the ad may play a role in determining the aspect ratio. Imagine you have a video for a product demo, then you may want to use a horizontal aspect ratio. For video ads with people, vertical aspect ratios may be a better choice for the simple reason people stand upright.
  3. Testing. It's always a good idea to do some A/B tests with different aspect ratios to see which one converts the best for your specific ad. It's common practice to test different video sizes tailored to your target audience and see which performs better than the others.

How to detect the video dimensions and aspect ratio?

Here are the 3 ways to detect the video dimensions:

  1. Manual verification. Right-click the video in Windows or on MacOS, and choose Properties. The video's dimensions will be listed here. If it remains blank, you probably don't have the right video condec installed.
  2. Video ad validator. Upload the video to this free online Video Dimension Detector. It will not only show the dimensions of the ad, but also indicates the aspect ratio.
  3. Video ad validator
  4. Ad validation API. Use this ad validation API to automatically detect the dimensions and aspect ratio of thousands of video ads, and reject the ad in your further logic if it doesn't meet your requirements. This API is great for large publishers, ad networks and video professionals. It comes at a price, but allows you to automate the whole ad validation process without spending another single dollar on manual QA.

Improving quality: higher dimensions + lower file size

Higher dimensions generally result in a higher quality video. Compression levels and different video codecs like H.264, H.265 and AV1 play a role here too.

As with images, it may be desirable to have videos in a higher resolution than the size of the video player, but with a higher compression ratio (i.e. lower bit rate). This may give the best results in terms of quality, as the compression artifacts can be minimized due to downscaling of the video by the player.

To give you an idea, I use an example with images here. These results apply to videos too.

700x394 pixels — 93.7 KB
350x197 pixels — 103 KB

The image on the left has a high resolution, and is compressed more aggresively. The image on the right has a lower compression while keeping the original dimensions.

The clear winner is the one on the left: a lower file size and higher quality to the eye.

Conclusion

Common aspect ratios used today are 16:9, 1:1 and 9:16, with dimensions 1920x1080, 1080x1080 and 1080x1920 respectively. The aspect ratio that converts the best depends on the device, the video content and the target audience.

Overall video quality can be improved by using videos in high dimensions with a lower bit rate.


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