In the vast digital cosmos of video streaming, YouTube remains a supernova, attracting billions of video aficionados each month.
However, even the most ardent fans can find their patience tested by the relentless barrage of ads that punctuate their favorite content. That's where YouTube Premium enters the scene.
As Google's answer to an uninterrupted, enhanced viewing experience, it promises a lot. But does it deliver?
In this review, we'll take a deep dive into the features, costs, and overall value proposition of YouTube Premium, helping you decide whether it's the right choice for your viewing needs.
YouTube Premium Review Summary
Unlocking the Value of YouTube Premium: An In-depth Review $13.99/month
Name: YouTube Premium
Description: YouTube Premium is a subscription-based service from Google that enhances the user experience on YouTube. The service, which was initially launched as "Music Key" in 2014, has since been rebranded and expanded. The benefits of YouTube Premium include ad-free video viewing across the platform, including its mobile apps and website.
Offer price: Starting from $13.99 per month
Application Category: Streaming, Video
YouTube Premium continues to offer value with its unique features. Notably, the service is available in many countries/regions, making it accessible to a wide audience.
What is included in YouTube Premium?
YouTube Premium is a paid membership service that greatly enhances the user experience on YouTube and other YouTube apps.
Here are the key features and benefits that come with a YouTube Premium subscription:
- Ad-Free Viewing: One of the primary attractions of YouTube Premium is its ad-free experience. This means you can enjoy your favorite videos without any interruptions from banner ads or video ads.
- Offline Viewing: YouTube Premium allows users to download videos for offline viewing, a feature that comes in handy when you're traveling or in areas with limited internet connectivity.
- Background Play: With this feature, you can continue to listen to your videos even when your screen is turned off or when you're using other apps. This is particularly useful for music videos, podcasts, or talks that you want to listen to on the go.
- Access to YouTube Originals: Subscribers get exclusive access to YouTube Originals – original series and movies from some of YouTube's biggest creators.
- YouTube Music Access: Your YouTube Premium subscription also includes an ad-free YouTube Music experience, which is a welcome addition for music lovers.
How much is YouTube Premium? Pricing plans
The Individual Annual plan offers a discounted price when you buy 12 months upfront and doesn't automatically renew.
The Family plan allows up to 5 additional family members (6 total) in the same household to use the service.
Can I pay YouTube Premium annually?
Yes, you can pay for YouTube Premium annually. An annual subscription of YouTube Premium is available for $139.99 for 12 months. This plan does not automatically renew at the end of the year, giving you the flexibility to decide whether you want to continue or not. The annual subscription allows you to watch and listen ad-free, offline, and in the background all year long.
However, it's important to note that currently, there isn't an option to upgrade or change an individual annual plan to a Family plan based on YouTube's policies. Once you've opted for an annual plan, you would need to wait for one year before making changes.
Is YouTube Premium worth it?
Whether YouTube Premium is worth it or not largely depends on how you use YouTube and what you expect from the service. Here are some factors to consider:
- Ad-free experience: If you watch a lot of YouTube and dislike ads, YouTube Premium can improve your viewing experience significantly by eliminating all ads.
- Offline viewing and Background Play: These features are beneficial if you often find yourself in areas with poor or no Internet connectivity or if you want to listen to videos while using other apps or with your screen off.
- YouTube Originals: If you're interested in exclusive content from top creators, YouTube Premium gives you access to YouTube Originals. However, if you're not particularly interested in these, this feature might not add much value for you.
- YouTube Music Access: If you're also a music streaming service user, the inclusion of YouTube Music with ad-free listening could make the subscription worth it.
- Usage: The more time you spend on YouTube, the more likely a Premium subscription will be worth it.
So if you're looking for a wide variety of non-YouTube original content, this might not be the best option for you.
What's the difference between YouTube and YouTube Premium?
YouTube is a free video-sharing platform where users can watch, like, share, comment, and upload their own videos. It includes ads that play before and during videos, which helps to keep the service free for all users.
YouTube Premium, on the other hand, is a paid membership that offers several enhancements over the regular YouTube experience:
|Features||YouTube (Free)||YouTube Premium|
|Cost||Free||Paid ($13.99/month in the U.S.)|
|Access to YouTube Music||No||Yes|
|Access to YouTube Originals||Limited||Yes|
Do YouTubers benefit from YouTube Premium?
Yes, YouTubers do benefit from YouTube Premium.
Creators are compensated for their work through ad revenue sharing and also receive a share of the YouTube Premium subscription fees. The portion they receive from these fees is based on how much watch time their content receives from Premium subscribers.
In fact, YouTube Premium can be seen as an additional source of revenue for creators because Premium users watch content without ads, and the creators still receive a share of the subscription revenue.
Furthermore, some creators have found that the subscription model of YouTube Premium can provide a more stable source of income compared to ad revenue, which can fluctuate due to factors like seasonal advertising budgets and changes in viewing habits.
So, overall, YouTube Premium does provide benefits to YouTubers.
Should I get YouTube Premium? Important points to consider
Here are some factors to consider:
|Ad-Free Viewing Experience||If you watch a lot of videos on YouTube and find ads disruptive, YouTube Premium could be a good investment. It offers an ad-free viewing experience, which means you won't have any interruptions before and during videos, improving your overall viewing experience.|
|Offline Playback and Background Play||If you often find yourself in areas with limited or no internet connection, or if you like to listen to music or podcasts on YouTube while doing other things on your phone, two features of YouTube Premium—offline playback and background play—could be particularly beneficial. Offline playback allows you to download videos and watch them later, while background play lets you keep videos or music playing even when you're using other apps or when your screen is locked.|
|Access to YouTube Music Premium||If you're a music enthusiast, the fact that YouTube Premium includes access to YouTube Music Premium could sway your decision. This gives you access to a vast music catalog that you can listen to ad-free, offline, and in the background. It's a great feature for those who enjoy discovering new music.|
|Exclusive Content||YouTube Premium provides access to YouTube Originals, which are exclusive shows and movies produced by YouTube. If these types of content interest you, then subscribing to YouTube Premium might be worth it.|
However, it's important to weigh these benefits against the cost of the subscription. If you're a casual YouTube user who doesn't mind ads and doesn't need the extra features, the regular free version of YouTube might suffice for you. Also, consider other subscriptions you might have. If you're already subscribed to other streaming platforms or music services, think about whether adding another subscription is worth it.
Whether or not you should get YouTube Premium largely depends on how much you use YouTube and what you want from your viewing experience. It's recommended to take advantage of the free trial period to see if the benefits are worth the cost for you.
Is YouTube Premium or Netflix better?
The choice between YouTube Premium and Netflix largely depends on your viewing habits and preferences. Here's a breakdown of their main features:
|Content Variety||Offers a wide range of user-generated content, music videos, and YouTube Originals||Renowned for its vast library of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and Netflix Originals|
|Ad-Free Viewing||Provides an ad-free experience across all YouTube videos||Offers an ad-free viewing experience, but only on its platform|
|Pricing||Costs $13.99/month for an individual subscription and $22.99/month for a family plan||Pricing starts at $6.99/month, with various plans available depending on the streaming quality and number of screens|
|Music Streaming||Includes access to YouTube Music Premium||Does not include a music streaming service|
|Original Content||Produces originals often featuring popular YouTube creators||Known for high-quality original shows and movies|
Content Variety: YouTube Premium offers a wide range of user-generated content, music videos, and YouTube Originals, while Netflix is renowned for its vast library of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and Netflix Originals. If you enjoy creator content and music videos, YouTube Premium might be a better fit. However, if you prefer professionally produced movies and series, Netflix might be more appealing.
Ad-Free Viewing: Both services offer an ad-free viewing experience. However, YouTube Premium also removes ads from all other YouTube videos, not just premium content.
Pricing: YouTube Premium costs $13.99/month for an individual subscription. Netflix's pricing starts at $6.99/month.
Can you share YouTube Premium?
Yes, you can share YouTube Premium with others through the Family Plan. The YouTube Premium Family Plan costs $22.99 per month and allows you to add up to five other account holders in your household.
Everyone on the plan must live at the same address and be 13 or older. Each person gets their own unique Premium membership and can enjoy all the benefits of YouTube Premium on their own accounts.
However, the person who set up the Family Plan (the family manager) is responsible for all payments.
Please note that availability and features may vary by location and device.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are people against YouTube Premium?
People have expressed opposition to YouTube Premium for a few reasons.
Some long-time users of YouTube are resistant to the idea of paying for a service that was previously free, viewing the introduction of YouTube Premium as an unwelcome change.
Others argue that YouTube is gatekeeping basic app functionalities behind a paywall and that people primarily subscribe to avoid ads rather than to access exclusive content.
There's also criticism about the challenges of accessing content, with some users resorting to piracy.
Moreover, some users feel that the cost of YouTube Premium is not justified if they aren't utilizing all its features, such as YouTube Music Premium.
2. How to cancel my YouTube Premium subscription plan?
To cancel your YouTube Premium subscription, you need to follow these steps:
- Log into your YouTube account.
- Tap your profile picture and then select ‘Paid memberships'.
- Tap on the membership you want to cancel.
- Tap ‘Continue to cancel', then select your reason for cancelling and tap ‘Next'.
- You'll be taken to a page to confirm the cancellation of your membership. Once confirmed, your membership will continue until the end of your current billing cycle.
Please note that if you subscribed to YouTube Premium through Apple's App Store, you'll need to manage your subscription through the Apple settings. These steps can also be found on the YouTube Help page.
3. How to sign up for YouTube Premium for students?
To sign up for YouTube Premium as a student, follow these steps:
- Go to the YouTube Premium Student Membership page.
- Click on ‘Try it Free' or ‘Get Student Membership'.
- You'll be asked to verify your student status. This is usually done through a third-party service like SheerID. You'll need to provide details such as your school name, your name, and your school email address.
- Once your student status is verified, choose your payment plan.
- Enjoy ad-free YouTube and YouTube Music.
Remember that this discounted student membership is only available to full-time students at higher education institutions in select countries, and the discount is valid for a maximum of four years.
After the first year, you'll need to confirm that you're still a student.
If you already have a YouTube Premium account and want to switch to a student account, you can cancel your current membership and then sign up for a student membership.