YouTube Premium just got a sneaky price hike — see if you’re affected

YouTube open on an Android phone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

YouTube Premium may seem like the forgotten streaming service at times, but it’s actually a great choice for YouTube power users. But if you haven’t signed up for it already, I have some bad news for you.

As spotted by 9to5Google, Google sneakily raised the price of YouTube Premium subscriptions from $11.99 a month to $13.99 a month. And when we say sneakily, we mean that this announcement first hit on the sign-up page, without any other formal word. On the following day, current subscribers (including one of our own) just got an email alerting them to the price hike.

It appears that annual plans are also getting a bump from $119.99 to $139.99 a year and even Student plans are going up by $1. Only Family plans, which already got a price hike, appear to be safe. So far we can only confirm that U.S. prices have increased, but we expect these price changes will eventually affect most if not all regions globally.

This now means that YouTube Premium pricing breaks down as follows:

  • Individual Monthly Subscription: was $11.99 now $13.99
  • Individual Annual Subscription: was $119.99 now $139.99
  • Family Monthly Subscription: still $22.99
  • Student Monthly Subscription: was $6.99 now $7.99

In a response to the original report, a YouTube spokesperson did admit to the price hike. “We’re updating the price for YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers in the US to continue delivering great service and features. We believe this new price reflects the value of YouTube Premium which allows subscribers to enjoy ad-free YouTube with background and offline play and uninterrupted access to over 100M songs with the YouTube Music app.” 

YouTube Music Premium also getting a price hike

YouTube Music, a key feature of YouTube Premium, home screens are seen here.

(Image credit: YouTube)

Yes, you read that right. YouTube Music Premium is also getting a price hike. The music streaming service will be getting a smaller price hike to $10.99 a month from $9.99 a month. This puts it in line with other music streaming services like Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, but $1 more than Spotify Premium.

This now means that YouTube Music Premium pricing breaks down as follows:

  • Individual Monthly Subscription: was $9.99 now $10.99
  • Individual Annual Subscription: was $99.99 now $109.99
  • Family Monthly Subscription: was $14.99 now $16.99
  • Student Monthly Subscription: was $4.99 now $5.49

Here’s the good news though — you can get YouTube Music for free if you subscribe to YouTube Premium. And for just $3 more a month, it's an upgrade well worth the money. 

What if I’m an existing subscriber? 

According to the original report, “Existing subscribers will start to see the new pricing with their next billing cycle. An upcoming email will explain the changes. Those who were grandfathered in five years ago (with Google Play Music and/or YouTube Red) will get three additional months at their current rate.”

Except that one of TG's staffers is getting an even longer window before the new pricing kicks in, per the official email he just received. Here is what that email looks like:

An email from YouTube Premium explains that pricing is going up to $13.99 per month, effective December 2023.

(Image credit: Future)

So that means that in the next few (or so), everyone will be on the newly increased monthly rate. However, even with a price increase, there are still a ton of reasons why YouTube Premium is worth it. And at still just $14 a month for no ads on videos and a premium music streaming service bundled with it, you may still find the price worth it. 

More from Tom's Guide

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.