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Is YouTube Premium Worth It? 3 Things to Know Before You Sign Up

If you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you may have noticed more ads on the platform lately. YouTube Premium removes those advertisements for a monthly fee, but is it worth it?

In this article and the video above, I share three things to know before you sign up.

1. How Much Does YouTube Premium Cost? 

  • Individual: $11.99 per month
  • Individual: $119.99 for 12 months
  • Family: $17.99 per month
  • Student: $6.99 per month

The price of YouTube Premium varies depending on the device that you use when signing up.

On the YouTube Premium website, the price for individuals is $11.99 per month after a free trial. The free trial period is typically one to three months.

But I noticed the price is higher from the YouTube app on an iPhone — $15.99 per month.

Here’s why: YouTube is passing along a charge from Apple when people use their iPhones and iPads to purchase the subscription through iTunes. 

To avoid the higher price, sign up for the service on YouTube Premium’s website from a computer.

In addition to YouTube Premium’s monthly plan, there’s a discount if you pay for a year in advance. The annual plan costs $119.99 through YouTube’s website.

Family and student plans are also available. Learn more here.

2. What Features Do You Get With YouTube Premium?

These are the main benefits of signing up for YouTube Premium:

  • Ad-free experience
  • Background play
  • Downloadable videos
  • YouTube Music Premium

Ad-Free Experience

YouTube Premium removes the ads from videos, even the ads that you can typically skip after a few seconds.

Some people choose to install ad blockers to avoid internet ads.

Premium is different. It eliminates the ads, but the service also ensures that the creators you watch still get paid for their work.

Here’s what YouTube says about that on its website:

“Currently, new revenue from YouTube Premium membership fees is distributed to video creators based on how much members watch your content. As with our advertising business, most of the revenue will go to creators.”

Background Play

With YouTube Premium, you can press play on a YouTube video from the mobile app, and it will continue to play as you navigate to other apps and even when the screen is turned off.

If you like to listen to longer YouTube videos as background noise, this feature will come in handy.

Downloadable Videos 

Premium members can download videos to watch offline.

This is helpful if you’re trying to limit cellular data usage, or if you know you’ll be traveling through an area with limited or no reception — like on an airplane.

After you’ve downloaded a video, navigate to the Library tab from a mobile device and click Downloads. 

You also have the option to turn on Smart Downloads.

When this feature is activated, YouTube will automatically download 20 recommended videos per week when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube Music Premium is another popular benefit included with your subscription.

This is a separate app from YouTube. The YouTube Music app has millions of songs and videos from your favorite artists.

They’re available to download for offline listening, plus you can use background play. 

3. How Do I Know If YouTube Premium Is Worth It? 

If you’re not sure whether YouTube Premium makes sense for you or your family, here are three things to consider:

  • Your usage
  • Your ad tolerance
  • Your overall streaming setup

Usage

The more time you spend on YouTube, the more likely a Premium subscription will be worth it.

YouTube provides usage stats to all users. Click your profile icon, then Time watched and you’ll see a summary of your watch time history.

This data is for YouTube only, not YouTube Music or YouTube TV. 

Ad Tolerance

The second thing to think about is how disruptive you find the ads, which is going to depend on the content that you watch on the platform. 

Personally, I appreciate that YouTube lets me skip a lot of the ads.

However, I finally signed up for YouTube Premium after noticing an ad from the same company being shown on a lot of videos.

The length of the ads didn’t bother me, but the repetitiveness did.

Overall Streaming Setup

The third thing to consider is how subscribing to the service would affect your overall streaming setup. 

Would you spend more time on YouTube without the ads? And would you take advantage of other Premium benefits, including the separate music app? 

If so, you may be able to cancel another subscription to offset the cost.

Final Thought

I’m still in my free trial period, but I like the YouTube Premium experience so far. My biggest hurdle is a mental one. 

I pay for YouTube TV for part of the year. So when you add up the cost of YouTube TV and YouTube Premium, it feels like an awful lot of money going to YouTube every month. 

What do you think about YouTube Premium? Add to my review down below in the comments!


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