TECHNOLOGYtech

Is YouTube Premium Worth Paying for?

If you think there’s a time in your life you didn’t use YouTube for a day — you would be lying. YouTube has been a source of entertainment for people, playing music and the most outrageous videos. We can’t help clicking and tapping on the red play logo because YouTube has everything — YouTube is everything! And with YouTube Premium, you can maximize its potential to the fullest.

YouTube has been on the game for so long and has monopolized its position. No one else really does YouTube like YouTube. But with the recent technological innovations popping up every day, someone might give YouTube a run for its money. So, to keep up with the next big thing, YouTube has created YouTube Premium.

 

What Is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium Logo
Screenshot from YouTube

 

YouTube Premium was once known as YouTube Red back when it was first launched in 2014. Google gave the paid subscription service a complete rebranding in an effort to attract more subscribers and take over Spotify and Apple Music’s top spots in music streaming. This is also a move to introduce YouTube Originals to more viewers and compete with popular video streaming services like Netflix.

There’s a lot you can get from paying for YouTube Premium, but its biggest flex is probably the unlimited ad-free listening and watching experience you will get. Nowadays, on YouTube, you can’t get through a single video without one or two ads lined up, with some you can’t even skip. It does get annoying, right? It’s as if Google is doing it on purpose to get people to sign up for the Premium service. Hmm, I wonder.

 

What Does YouTube Premium Offer?

So, let’s say you’ve had enough and have conceded to that fourth ad for YouTube Premium. What features do you actually get? When you pay for Premium, you’ll be privy to exciting features and YouTube content such as:

 

YouTube Music Premium

When you pay for YouTube Premium, you’ll gain access to YouTube Music Premium, which is another streaming subsidiary of Google. YouTube Music Premium is the music counterpart of YouTube, though you can still play your music videos on the free platform and vice versa. But, on Premium, you can access a wide variety of playlists curated just for you and follow your favorite artist’s new music ad-free.

YouTube Music Premium works just like its competitors, Spotify and Apple Music. You can download that bop you’ve been playing on loop to pump you up in the mornings or the whole playlist with new songs you found on your Explore tab. YouTube Music Premium also allows you to make your own playlist and share it with your friends and family anywhere and anytime, and offline.

There’s a standalone app for YouTube Music you can download from different app stores. Log in to your YouTube account or Google account, and it will automatically sync your Music Premium app to your YouTube app.

 

Ad-Free Watching and Listening on YouTube

YouTube Premium Features
Screenshot from YouTube

 

We can’t stress this enough — YouTube has an ad plague. The number of ads playing before, during, and sometimes right after your video is too high! And to be honest, that might be the reason you’re considering getting YouTube Premium.

When you get YouTube Premium, the days of waiting for the painful five-second ad to end are gone. With Premium, you’ll finally have autonomy over your precious time and watch videos continuously without any interruptions.

 

YouTube Background Play

Today the world is composed of multitaskers, there’s just too much to do and so little time. And while working on a school paper, you want to have some music playing in the background to keep you in the zone. You open YouTube on your phone to play the video of your favorite singing frog, but it stops because you have to use your dictionary app. It’s frustrating, no?

Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore! When you pay for YouTube Premium, you can open other apps and still have YouTube playing your video. YouTube Premium enables you to do more with background play, giving you undisturbed access to ongoing content without the app incapacitating your mobile use.

 

Offline Download Playback

With YouTube Premium, you have the power to download countless videos you want to view later offline. You can choose from the vast video collection from all kinds of content creators on YouTube.

If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, getting YouTube Premium might be a good idea. If you’re on a plane, a train, or in a country where WiFi isn’t available, you can enjoy your downloaded videos from YouTube Premium and watch them anytime without any internet connection.

 

YouTube Originals

YouTube Originals Logo
Photo from YouTube

 

With YouTube Premium, Google has entered its horse in the race to beat top streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney Plus, and many more. If you opt to pay for your YouTube account, you’ll gain access to the exclusive YouTube Originals.

 

Cobra Kai
Screenshot from YouTube

 

YouTube Originals are original series, films, and events produced by YouTube, including smash-hit shows Cobra Kai, Liza Koshy’s Liza on Demand, Step Up: High Water, Origin, and so much more. Not only can you indulge in these shows, but also get special access to extra scenes and director’s cuts from YouTube Originals.

With YouTube Premium, you’ll also gain access to the entire slate of documentaries and get an inside look into the lives of your favorite celebrities. All of which you can download on your device and enjoy later on, offline.

 

YouTube Premium vs Free YouTube

YouTube Premium
Photo from by Alexander Shatov from Unsplash

 

YouTube has always been free since the dawn of time on the world wide web. There’s not much changed in the way YouTube works whether you’re a viewer or a content creator. So, why do you need to pay for it exactly?

Well, it all depends on how you see it and how voracious of a YouTube user you are. If you’re a student who is on a tight schedule with only tutorials on YouTube as your saving grace or a bored house husband who’s looking to try new recipes for the family, then maybe you won’t mind the ads playing before your chosen video.

From the list above, you see there are a lot of perks with YouTube Premium, but the main difference between Premium and free YouTube is those pesky ads and the lack thereof. It is a different experience when you watch on YouTube and not get ads every time; it opens up a 100x enhanced viewing experience wherever you are.

 

How Much Does YouTube Premium Cost?

YouTube Subscription Plan
Screenshot from YouTube

 

YouTube Premium offers three types of subscription plans on their platform for an amplified watching and listening experience: Individual Plan, Family Plan, and Student Plan.

 

Individual Plan

The Individual Plan is the standard subscription YouTube Premium offers that costs $11.99 every month. You’ll gain access to all Premium features and a free trial in your first month. If you decide to continue your subscription, you’ll be automatically charged $11.99 on the billing date until you cancel your plan.

Do note that you can cancel anytime.

 

Family Plan

YouTube Premium also offers a Family Plan subscription for $17.99, where you can add up to five family members to your plan. This is a steal if you have five people in your household who are avid YouTuber users.

The plan does require family members to be at least 13 years old and have the same residential address as the principal family manager of the YouTube Premium account.

The Family Plan is available in most countries with YouTube. However, it is currently unavailable for South Korea, Belarus,  Israel, Iceland, Slovenia, or Venezuela.

 

Student Plan

Students who want to utilize an ad-free YouTube can do so at a discounted price. YouTube Premium offers a Student Plan that costs $6.99 every month.

To be eligible for the student discount, you must be attending a higher education institution, which SheerID will verify. Once you are verified, you will be eligible for the special pricing for four years. Keep in mind that you will be required to undergo verification every year.

 

How to Get a Free Trial

If you’re still unsure about paying for YouTube Premium, there’s no need to worry because YouTube does offer a free trial. You can check out and have a feel of what ad-free YouTube is like for a month for free.

Here are the steps you can follow to get a free trial:

  1. Go to youtube.com/premium on your smartphone or computer.
  2. Sign in on your Google account.
  3. Click or tap Try It Free.
  4. Select a payment method. You can add a credit or debit card or link your PayPal account.
  5. Click on Buy to finish your transaction.

You can also get a one-month free trial on YouTube Premium’s Family Plan. You and up to five family members can enjoy the Premium features together for free!

 

Family-Style Free Trial

Here are the steps you can follow to get a free trial family-style:

Using a web browser or if you are on your computer:

  1. Go to www.youtube.com/premium/family.
  2. Sign in on your Google account.
  3. Click or tap Try It Free.
  4. If you’re the family manager of a current Google family group, you’ll see a prompt confirming your family group. Select Continue to move forward and share your family plan with members of your existing family group. If this does not apply to you, skip to step 5.
  5. If you are a new family manager and don’t yet have a Google family group set up, follow the prompts to finish your transaction first.
  6. Follow the next prompts that will guide you through creating a family group and click Continue.

 

Using an iOs or an Android device

YouTube Logo
Photo by Christian Wiediger from Unsplash

 

For your mobile devices, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open the YouTube app and click on your profile photo.
  2. Tap on Paid memberships.
  3. You’ll see subscription options for YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium. Tap on Learn More under YouTube Premium.
  4. Tap “Or save money with a family membership.”
  5. Click Get Family Plan and click on “Try it Free.”
  6. If you’re the family manager of a current Google family group, you’ll see a prompt confirming your family group. Select Continue to move forward and share your family plan with members of your existing family group. If this does not apply to you, skip to step 5.
  7. If you are a new family manager and don’t yet have a Google family group set up, follow the prompts to finish your transaction first.
  8. Follow the next prompts that will guide you through creating a family group and click Continue.

You don’t have to worry about getting billed if you decide not to proceed with your YouTube Premium subscription because a team from YouTube will remind you seven days before your trial ends.

 

Pros of YouTube Premium

You Can Still Support Your YouTube Content Creators.

If you’re worried about how you can show your support to your favorite YouTubers if you’re not watching the ads on their videos, don’t fret. YouTube Premium makes sure they are compensated well for the content they put out. A portion of your monthly subscription is allocated to the content creators you subscribe to. The more you watch from them using your YouTube Premium, the more money they make.

 

YouTube Premium Gives You a Video Streaming Platform and a Music Platform for the Price of One.

YouTube Music Mobile
Screenshot from YouTube

 

For the price of $11.99, you get access to two platforms or two apps — YouTube Premium and Youtube Music! This is one of the unique perks you get from subscribing to Premium, you don’t have the hassle to have two separate accounts for your viewing and listening pleasure. This is a great way to enjoy many of the YouTube podcasts available.

YouTube Premium is connected to your YouTube Music so, whatever you search for on the video platform can be used to tweak your music recommendations. Which gives you a more personalized and curated playlist.

 

You Have Access to YouTube Online and Offline.

With YouTube Premium, you get the low-down anywhere anytime, and the best thing is you still can even if you are offline! You are not limited to your internet connection because you can download music and videos to your device and watch them later.

If you feel like watching something, just open your YouTube app and search through the platform’s extensive selection. If you don’t have the internet at the moment, open your YouTube app and browse through your downloads library and watch away.

 

Time Is in Your Hands.

YouTube Premium gives you back control over your time on the YouTube platform. No more 15-second unskippable ads, no more interruptions, and no more unexpected pauses because you opened another app.

Watch and listen on your own terms with Premium’s background play and absolute ad-free videos and music. You can play, stop, fast forward, modify the speed of the video, replay, and loop any video in any way you want. With YouTube Premium, you are the great timekeeper — a great flex for those viewers still stuck on their fifth ad.

 

Cons of YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium Has Limited Availability.

Unlike most streaming services, YouTube Premium is only available to a little over 65 countries. However, the list of countries is ever-growing, the people who want to experience an ad-free YouTube now simply can’t if they’re not yet part of the list of available locations. 

It Does Not Have an Annual Subscription.

Photo by Ryan Snaadt from Unsplash

 

One of the ways many users save on money is subscribing to an annual plan for a discounted price, which is a good idea for those planning on staying on the subscription long-term. However, YouTube Premium, unfortunately, doesn’t offer any annual subscription or discounts to its subscribers.

What you pay monthly or once a year in YouTube Premium stays the same, which may seem a bit indifferent to its loyal customers.

 

iOs Users Pay More.

Yes, you read that right, there is a disparity in fees for iOS users. If you go to YouTube or search anywhere, the plan only costs $11.99, but if you purchase your Premium account via the Apple App Store, it is going to cost you $15.99 — that’s a $4 difference!

The price difference is due to the fact Apple charges a fee for every purchase made on the App Store. So, in order to square things out, Google has hiked its prices on the app store. If you think there’s nothing more Android and iOS users can fight over, then think again as Google added one more point to score.

 

It May Be Unnecessary.

There is a free version of YouTube so, paying for one might not be an economical decision if you’re not always on the app or site. Ads on YouTube are something an average internet user can handle. After all, aren’t we already surrounded by ads all the time? The three ads before and during your YouTube video should be a piece of cake.

If you’re someone who collects different streaming service subscriptions, then by all means add YouTube Premium! But if you only open YouTube to double-check your go-to carrot cake recipe you bake twice a year, then Premium might be an unnecessary expense.

 

The Verdict: Is YouTube Worth Paying For?

learn how youtube works to start a youtube channel
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

 

With all the pros and cons weighed, it is evident that the features and benefits surpass the cons. However, if you can still stomach the endless ads YouTube throws at you before your video starts, then you can keep your $11.99. But if you use YouTube Music and want to get the most out of your YouTube experience, then go subscribe to Premium. The ad-free feature is just a bonus when you already use the two platforms. Plus background play and exclusive premium content don’t hurt too.

YouTube, at its core, is still a business that relies on these ads. You can’t help but understand why ads are overwhelming the platform because competition is fierce nowadays. Everywhere you look, there’s a new streaming service offering something new. The platform is created to compete with other streaming platforms but also strives to be a haven for users who have had enough of ads on their screens.

Pia

Pia

I write about upcoming gadgets and tech news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *