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Author: Alise Zaiceva 5 minute read
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What are Interstitial Ads and How to Use Them Right?

Interstitial ads are one of the most popular mobile advertising formats. However, many publishers still mix them with pop-up ads–leaving publishers with lower ad revenue and ad engagement.

This article explains what interstitial ads are, how they’re different from other ad formats, and whether should you use them for your website.

What are Interstitial Ads?

Interstitial ads are noticeable ad formats that cover the interface of the site. These ads either fill the screen on a mobile device or float over a webpage on a desktop. 

Interstitial ads appear when a user makes an action, for example, clicks on another article, unlike pop-up ads that appear immediately. Interstitial ads also have a built-in frequency capping of one interstitial ad per user in an hour, whereas pop-ups don’t have this feature.

Another example of when an interstitial ad can appear is between game levels in the mobile app. Users can easily close the ad and continue exploring your webpage or app. 

Pop-up, Banner, and Interstitial Ad Example 

interstitial ad example

Interstitials were more common in mobile and app environments (both iOS and Android). However, as of November 2020, interstitial ad format is also used for desktops. After implementing this ad format, our client saw a 42% ad revenue increase

How much do interstitial ads pay?

Interstitial ads have one of the highest CPM prices compared to other ad formats like banner ads. For example, in 2021, mobile interstitial ads in the U.S. generated the highest eCPM rates for publishers–$9.64 on iOS and $10.11 on Android. 

interstitial ads ecpm
Source: Appodeal

Interstitial Ads Example

interstitial ads example

Interstitial ad units can include several types of ads: 

Interstitial ad units that don’t include video should have an immediate option to close the ad. Interstitial video ads may have up to a 5-second delay before a user can close the ad.

Interstitial App Example 

interstitial app example

Interstitial Video Example

How Do Interstitial Ads Work?

Firstly, a user lands on your website or app, and a request for an interstitial ad is sent to the publisher’s ad exchange (for example, Google AdX). Interstitial ad size will depend on the creative chosen during the real-time bidding auction as well as the size of the device. 

An ad exchange will detect the device’s screen size and send the ad request with these dimensions to the advertisers. The advertisers can respond with any size creative as long as it fits within 50% of the screen width and 40% of the screen height. 

The highest bidder’s creative will be returned, and the interstitial ad will get displayed on your website. 

Why Use Interstitials?

  • Ad Diversity: By integrating interstitial ads, publishers can increase their overall websites’ ad diversity, thus minimizing “banner blindness.”
  • Better Ad Engagement: Thanks to their large size, interactiveness, and animated content, interstitial ads are ideal for creating an engaging ad experience for users. 
  • High Demand: Interstitial ads are one of the most popular ad formats in the programmatic advertising industry, with demand from all major DSPs like Xandr and Google Display & Video 360 and ad platforms like Google Ads and AdMob. 

What is the best frequency capping for interstitial ads?

As mentioned, Google sets frequency capping of 1 interstitial ad displayed in an hour for 1 unique user by default. 

This is done to preserve the user experience and limit the number of times an interstitial ad will appear in front of the same user.

5 Interstitial Ads Best Practices

  • Don’t overcrowd your website with too many ads–it can lead to a negative user experience, which in turn will affect your traffic and increase bounce rate. 
  • Make sure interstitials have a close button from the start. The close button should appear either immediately or after 5 seconds for video interstitials. 
  • Avoid working with multiple Google accounts because there is a possibility that interstitials will be displayed more than allowed.
  • Avoid custom templates–you shouldn’t change the frequency capping set by Google.
  • When implementing interstitial ads, consider the natural flow of user engagement. Interstitial ads shouldn’t obstruct your mobile site or app usage. 


Setupad provides interstitial ad formats along with many others. We suggest using interstitial ads for your mobile site and website because they enable high-value impression delivery and help to increase your ad revenue. Follow the tips mentioned above, and you will achieve the best result with this ad format.

If you want to try interstitials on your site, click the button below or email at [email protected], and we’ll get in touch with you! 

About Alise Zaiceva
Alise is a content marketing manager at Setupad. She’s passionate about content and helping publishers scale their businesses through powerful digital marketing strategies. In her free time, she expands her knowledge of tech.

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