YouTube Premium originally released in 2015 under the name “YouTube RED”, bringing ad-free video watching, exclusive shows, and mountains of controversy. It has since received a full feature revamp and many tweaks, leading to a decent amount of people picking it up as a service. I was on the fence for a long time with this myself, so let me help you decide whether YouTube Premium is worth the subscription.
The most obvious big feature of a YouTube Premium subscription is the bliss of watching videos ad-free on all devices. These days you can find ad-blockers on all platforms to provide the same service, which is a big counter which turns a lot of people off.
At this point, whether the ad-free experience has any worth to you will come down to knowing that, with Premium, every monetized video you watch will still earn money for the uploader as if you had watched the ad. This doesn’t help yourself personally, but it does help support creators while keeping you free of all that pesky commercialism.
A subscription with your subscription
Along with this, you are also given a free YouTube channel subscription every month, much like with Amazon’s Twitch Prime. Usually, these act as a way for users to more directly support a creator with a monthly donation in return for exclusive and early-access content, and having one of your choices for free each month can be very rewarding.
Your premium subscription will also allow you to watch all the premium content produced for and by YouTube, including all the YouTube RED shows. Though largely not my kind of thing, some of these premium shows have some impressive levels of production. The show Kobra Kai was originally a Premium show, so there is certainly promise in the future for this service, but not a huge amount to report on at the moment.
These features are largely going to be useful if you mainly use YouTube on a phone or tablet but are extremely useful if you do! YouTube Premium allows you to save videos to play on your phone while you’re out and about without wifi and allows you to play videos in the background, while using other apps or even with the phone locked!
These features aren’t for everyone, but for those who travel a lot or simply enjoy many different types of content on YouTube, these can be a lifesaver. They will help in saving battery and help you use your phone on the move without using any mobile data, which can be a great saving for some.
One of the main draws for me is the inclusion of a YouTube Music Premium subscription. Built on the now-defunct Google Music, YouTube Music, and its premium offering function much like Spotify but without the extensive social features, Spotify is known for.
To counter this, YouTube music includes an option to play any music videos associated with any track right in the player and includes thousands of songs Spotify will never add to their library, as any video on YouTube that is registered as a piece of music is available as a song through the app. YouTube Music also, of course, uses Google’s almighty algorithm to help recommend songs to you based on your viewing habits – a job it is terrifyingly good at.
The question of whether a subscription is worth it can never be answered objectively, as everyone’s idea of worth is completely unique to them. I hope I have, however, provided some useful information to help you decide if it is worth your $11.99 or your regional equivalent. And while you’re buffing up your YouTube presence, you can get targeted youtube views here and work on having YouTube pay the subscription for you!