The benefits outweigh YouTube Premium's costs, at least if you ask me. I personally pay for YouTube Premium — which can feel like one of the best streaming services — and never even think about unsubscribing.
One of the best reasons to get YouTube Premium is that it gets rid of ads, but the service also offers features and perks for those who love to multitask. You also get the ability to download videos and YouTube Music, among other things. Plus, some users are getting a higher-quality 1080p Premium video option.
All of these perks don't come for free, though. However, YouTube Premium has an array of prices and plans, including those for students and families. Below, we'll break down how much YouTube Premium costs, and what you get for your subscription.
YouTube Premium cost and price
YouTube Premium costs $13.99 per month after a price hike in July 2023. Currently, it costs £11.99 / CAD $11.99 / AU $14.99 rates in the UK, Canada and Australia, however, these rates could also change alongside the U.S. prices. We will update once we know for sure.
Annual pricing provides a discount, though it too got a price hike. The U.S. pricing is $119.99 a year, while Canadian pricing remains CAD $119.99 for now. Despite the price hike, the annual rate still knocks around 2 months off. We cannot find annual pricing for UK and Australia, but they're probably offering similar savings.
YouTube Premium family plan
If your whole family loves YouTube, you can sign up for the YouTube Premium family plan to share access across the household. In the U.S. this costs $22.99 per month, and it lets you add up to five other users (for six total) to your YouTube Premium account.
Family plans are available internationally, at £19.99 / CAD $22.99 / AUD $22.99 per month.
There are requirements, though, to be in a YouTube Premium Family plan. YouTube says Family members need to "Live at the same residential address as the family manager," (the person running the account). This is much like how the Netflix password-sharing crackdown works. Members cannot be part of another family group, or have switched family groups in the last 12 months.
YouTube Premium student discounts
As long as you can verify you're a college student, you can get YouTube Premium for $7.99 per month. It's also available internationally, at £6.99 / CAD $6.99 / AUD $8.99 per month, though the July 2023 price hike could raise these prices.
YouTube Premium free trials
As is the case with the best streaming services, YouTube Premium free trials are harder to find than ever. In fact, only one group can get a YouTube Premium trial anymore.
Those are students, but don't think you can just claim you're a student and get this free trial. You'll need to use the SheerID service to verify you're a student.
YouTube Premium benefits and features
Higher video quality: After an initial iOS exclusivity, YouTube Premium's 1080p Premium video quality is now available to all subscribers on the web, Chromecasts and video game consoles. This offers an enhanced bitrate version, which will make it easier to see highly detailed and fast-paced videos clearly.
An ad-free experience: One of the biggest perks of YouTube Premium is the ability to watch anything you want without ads interrupting your YouTube experience. Ads often appear at the start and middle of videos, and can feel quite annoying when you just want to see the latest video your favorite YouTuber published online.
This is supported on mobile, desktop, smart TVs and the best streaming devices. It's also the primary reason why I pay for YouTube Premium.
Background play: On mobile devices, YouTube videos often automatically stop when you switch apps. With Youtube Premium, you can continue to watch video in a smaller window when you move to a different app. Previously, picture-in-picture was restricted to just YouTube Premium and Android users, but iPhone users gained that functionality in the summer of 2022.
Download videos for offline: Going on a plane with weak Wi-Fi? Often ride underground transit or go off the grid on hikes? YouTube Premium lets you save videos for offline — just look for the "Download" button on a video. This option is just for YouTube Premium because it's ad-free, and therefore doesn't need to be online to insert commercials in videos.
YouTube Music Premium: Sure, YouTube's own music service doesn't have the cache of Spotify, but it's a whole (and competitive) music streaming service that normally costs $10.99 per month. And it comes free with YouTube Premium.
Higher video quality, mobile queues and more: YouTube announced that YouTube Premium users will see "an enhanced bitrate version of 1080p HD video quality." The only catch is that it's "starting on iOS," with no Android offering in the timeline. YouTube is also adding mobile queueing for Premium members, and support for FaceTime's SharePlay functionality for shared watching.