In the initial days of YouTube, ads were non-intrusive, often lasting 5 seconds or less. However, as the platform evolved into the largest video-sharing platform with well over 2 billion monthly active users, the company implemented various tactics to increase revenue, including the addition of 2-3 unskippable 20-second ads before every video. Moreover, with YouTube’s ongoing war with ad blockers, the lure of its Premium plan is more than ever. Here is everything you need to know about YouTube Premium.
YouTube Premium Pricing
Before delving into the features and benefits of YouTube Premium, let’s discuss the pricing structure: the individual plan costs $13.99 per month when subscribing through the web or an Android phone, while the family plan costs $22.99 monthly, supporting up to 5 devices.
However, it is important to note that purchasing the subscription from an iOS device will cost $18.99 due to Apple’s 30% cut. Additionally, the company recently added an annual subscription at $139.99. Moreover, for students with a valid student ID, the premium tier only costs $7.99 per month.
Features of YouTube Premium
While ad-free videos are the primary selling point of YouTube Premium, it’s not all. This is because YouTube offers a plethora of features and perks for its premium users, such as background play, enabling users to continue watching videos while multitasking on their mobile devices.
Additionally, for users who stay off the grid for extended periods or are frequent flyers, offline viewing is a great addition since it allows them to download videos in full HD quality.
Moreover, the inclusion of YouTube Music Premium within the subscription expands its appeal, offering users access to a vast music library, offline listening, and an ad-free experience without additional charges.
Enhanced quality, video queuing, and more
In addition to the general features, YT Premium also adds a few quality-of-life features as well. Firstly, it introduces the ‘1080p premium’ video quality tier, offering improved playback bitrate. Secondly, the platform offers video queuing, which enables users to curate a video queue, add new ones, and rearrange existing ones at their convenience.
Moreover, the recently added “smart downloads” automatically download videos based on user recommendations over Wi-Fi.
Taking inspiration from other streaming services, YouTube has also introduced a new “Meet Live Sharing” feature, allowing users to watch videos with their loved ones simultaneously. It is important to note the feature works even if your watch partner does not have a premium subscription.
YouTube occasionally tests new features to determine their viability for the general public. One of these features is generative AI video summaries. Similar to the Bing AI chatbot, this feature summarizes YouTube videos, providing a brief overview of the content to help users make informed decisions about whether the video aligns with their interests or not. Additionally, the AI also summarizes YouTube comment sections, helping users gain knowledge about the video’s accuracy and people’s opinions.
The company is also testing games in the YouTube app. Although most of them are basic, including titles like Stack Bounce and 8 Ball Billiards, they could serve as a good pastime for users.
Is YouTube Premium worth it?
Given YouTube’s conflicts with ad blockers, users who want an ad-free experience have limited options. And although the subscription cost may concern some, the comprehensive suite of features offered by YouTube Premium makes it a compelling choice for everyday users.
Which plan to choose?
Based on the pricing, the family membership might be the best value for money. This is because if you have five people to share the subscription with, then each person would only have to pay $4.6 per month, thus significantly reducing the cost.