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5 Reasons You Should Pay for YouTube Premium

Heard about YouTube Premium (formerly called YouTube Red), but wondering if the $11.99 per month subscription is worth it? Well, I'd argue that it gives you the best version of the streaming service. 

Image: Yeamake / Shutterstock.com

Image: Yeamake / Shutterstock.com

And while I'm sure somebody's asking "Hey! YouTube is already free, why should I pay?" I've got five solid reasons that will have you ready to sign up today.

Before you even think about the fee, realize this: Google offers a 1-month free trial for new users to kick the tires. So, let's dive into why you should sign up for YouTube Premium today.

Also, note that students don't pay full price (just like on Spotify and Apple Music). Currently, students pay $6.99 per month, a $5 discount.

Editors' Note: YouTube TV is a separate service for replacing cable, which starts at $50 per month. See how it compares to Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV and AT&T TV Now.

1. YouTube is so much better without the ads

If you're like me and the other billion-plus YouTube video watchers, you've come to rely on the service as a super-channel that provides an amazingly wide variety of content on your schedule. In my experience, it goes above and beyond that, offering incredibly well-targeted recommendations, a skill every other service tried, and failed, to impress me with.

But none of this works as well without YouTube Premium.

Image: A. Aleksandravicius / Shutterstock.com

Image: A. Aleksandravicius / Shutterstock.com

YouTube Premium, for those who missed the surprisingly small amount of promotion Google gave it, is a 11.99 per month subscription that includes exclusive content from major YouTubers. Google also throws in free upgrades to its music services (as detailed below).

Most importantly, though, YouTube Premium allows you to watch all the YouTube you want, without ever seeing a single damn ad. This means no ads across all YouTube apps, including the ones for your SmartTV, set-top box and smartphone.

I don't hate ads in a broad sense, but if there's an acceptable way to pay them away? I'll do that just to never have to see a boring and uninspired Geico ad again.

MORE: Your Guide to Cable TV Cord-Cutting

And without ads, YouTube sings with the strength of the greatest choir ever. You click on videos and they start. No pauses, no interruptions, no nothing. Just the videos you want. It should be that simple right?

Oh and with YouTube Premium, ad-free actually means ad-free. What do I mean? Try getting the $11.99 No Commercials package from Hulu and watching shows such as How to Get Away With Murder and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and you'll see ads every time. With YouTube Premium, you won't deal with any annoying asterisks due to contractual agreements or whatever Hulu's excuse is.

No matter where I watch YouTube, from my work computer to my Apple TV to my smartphone, I never see ads.  And I'd know if YouTube Red had any similar loopholes or exemptions, as I watch hours upon hours of content on it every week. It's the perfect network for me, always providing enough content, and never ruining it with ads.

2. You can save videos for offline

Anyone who doesn't have an unlimited data plan or uses a commute that sends them on paths without cell reception knows that Save For Offline is one of the best phrases in technology. With YouTube Premium, you get a download icon below every video that you can tap to save the clip for later.

Videos can be downloaded at up to 1080p resolution.

Image: DoublePHOTO studio / Shutterstock.com

Image: DoublePHOTO studio / Shutterstock.com

This way, you can keep a handful of your favorite music videos on hand for your next dance break, or do what I do, and save the video versions of your favorite podcasts at home so you're not limited to the audio only versions on the go.

3. You get YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music for free too

I didn't get YouTube Premium by subscribing to it, but instead through my existing subscription to Google Play Music, the least-buzzed-about Spotify competitor, which is just as good as the industry leader or Apple Music. That's right, all Google Play Music subscribers get YouTube Premium, and all YouTube Premium subscribers get Google Play Music -- and YouTube Music Premium.

Image: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

Image: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

The Google Play Music library offers just as many songs as Spotify, plus it includes a cloud locker service, so MP3 collectors can access their rarities anywhere, with up to 50,000 uploads. The service isn't limited to just songs, though, as Google Play Music's recently added podcasts, so you can pack all of your listening needs into a single app.

In fact, Google plans to bridge the gap between YouTube Premium and Google Play Music in the near future. During a panel session for the New Music Seminar conference in New York, YouTube's head of music Lyor Cohen told audiences that the company is looking into “combining YouTube Premium and Google Play Music, and having one offering," answering a question about the company's plans to boost YouTube Premium's popularity.

4. You can flip between apps without worry

When I'm using only my smartphone or my tablet, the odds always favor a notification popping up on my device that pulls me into my email, my Twitter mentions or my texts. Without YouTube Premium, videos stop playing whenever I switched into a different app.

MORE: How to Watch Live TV Online

Now that I use YouTube Premium, if I'm OK with just hearing the sound of a video, it will keep playing in the background as I compose a reply. This also comes in handy with mobile games with background music I'm not fond of, as I can mute the game and have sound from YouTube blasting instead.

If names like Lilly Singh and Rooster Teeth make you want to click Subscribe or Play as fast as you can, then I'm surprised you're not already a YouTube Premium member. These and more artists produce original content that is exclusive to the paid tier of YouTube, which means you're not getting all of the laughs, surprises and action from these creators as possible.

Image: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

Image: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

This part of YouTube Premium may be changing, though. A Hollywood Reporter story credits a source familiar with YouTube's plans with news that the company "is expected to scale back its scripted output beginning in 2020," in conjunction with a push for ad-supported content.

What are you waiting for?

That YouTube Premium subscription isn't going to start itself. If you're worried about spending money accidentally, set a reminder in your calendar app for one month from today. Have it say "is ad-free YouTube worth it?" Or "how great is it that I can keep YouTube videos for offline viewing?" By the time your month-long trial is up, you'll know the answers, and if you're as voracious a YouTube user as I am, you won't have any problem letting the subscription continue.

  • Colif
    Number one would be great on my phone but as I mostly watch YT on my PC, and use Ublock Origin, I never get ads anyway on YouTube videos. As it stands, its not worth the money.. can also get chrome add ons that let you save videos as well.. seems this is more aimed at mobile market.
    Reply
  • henrytcasey
    19037797 said:
    Number one would be great on my phone but as I mostly watch YT on my PC, and use Ublock Origin, I never get ads anyway on YouTube videos. As it stands, its not worth the money.. can also get chrome add ons that let you save videos as well.. seems this is more aimed at mobile market.

    So you could do those things. You could also ... pay to support artists and gain a service that works well everywhere, and doesn't require hacks that break and break and patch and patch.
    Reply
  • Kreemer
    Did I miss the one hundred twenty dollars per year every year? This thing of supporting artists is necessary however it much can be done by targeting some of the billions Google makes off consumer data and just not expect all the time to pass the buck to the consumer.

    $120 times 300plus million people in the US alone is obscene. If watching ads generates revenue enough to create business, create profit and look after the artists, that's alright.

    $120 a year is not small change for many.
    Reply
  • advhtg
    YouTube needs to be undermined on this issue.

    As of April 2017 none of Firefox, Safari & Chrome (on iPhone iOS 10.2) plays YouTube in background, no matter what tricks you pull. However, Dolphin browser still does.

    Imagine 200 million viewers cowed into paying Red $10/month. You're having a laugh right? It's time to abandon YouTube, maybe move over to SoundCloud...
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    I can't imagine this being worth it. I also don't believe Youtube makes anywhere close to $120 per year from me off ad revenue. As I never click on ads and watch maybe 10 minutes of Youtube per week. That's limited to how to videos or reviews of products. Which I click on as a last resort. If I can't find it written. I hate having to watch some needlessly long video, made by an amateur who doesn't understand brevity and editing. When I could have skimmed through an article to get the info I need in less than a minute.
    Reply
  • Tony Maggs
    Why on earth does this cost so much more in the UK? About $16/month for single membership or $25/month for a family membership. That is more than Netflix and a lot more than Amazon, maybe when they have the content to match I'll consider it.
    Reply
  • azerielhyuuga
    How much are they paying you for this?

    None of these reasons are compelling enough to justify the price they're asking. Hell, a Netflix's subscription price hike is actually a more acceptable news than this. I don't go to Youtube for its "Targeted Contents", I have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the new Disney streaming service next year.

    As far as I'm concerned, Youtube and Google just haven't proven enough beyond "ad-free" streaming to justify charging for it. Their definition of "premium" is as laughable as this article.
    Reply
  • henrytcasey
    21536612 said:
    How much are they paying you for this?

    None of these reasons are compelling enough to justify the price they're asking. Hell, a Netflix's subscription price hike is actually a more acceptable news than this. I don't go to Youtube for its "Targeted Contents", I have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the new Disney streaming service next year.

    As far as I'm concerned, Youtube and Google just haven't proven enough beyond "ad-free" streaming to justify charging for it. Their definition of "premium" is as laughable as this article.

    Hate to burst your bubble, but neither Google nor YouTube is paying me — it's the exact opposite. I pay for YouTube Premium because that's how much I value an ad-free YouTube, and one where I can save clips (LEGALLY) on my devices. Yes, that might not be enough for you, but it is for me.
    Reply
  • nutrynion
    It's either in your budget or it isn't. I for one, love it. Some weeks I'm on a lot, others not so much. Still, it's nice whenever I watch or like to show someone something else, it's immediately there and I do not have to worry at all about commercials and ads.

    This article pertains to more or less the adults in the world. Kids are gonna read it and then say yeah but!

    So yeah, ignore those comments.

    Anyway, what I want to know is if there is an annual option? I pay annual subscriptions for most everything else, even Google One Storage, but cannot find such an option for YouTube Premium.
    Reply
  • elchasai
    so youtube red is now youtube premium and costs 12.00 a month, a 2.00 increase even though it has all of the same features. the only supposed benefit to having a youtube premium account for the consumer is that there are no ads. However most people have an ad-blocker engaged in their browser extensions so it really adds no benefit to the majority of users. the content here is good but not enough to make me want to pay 12.00 a month, not when there is netflix, hulu, amazon etc. Youtube premium allows you to download, there are video converters that already allow for this through simple copy and paste maneuvers. Access to youtube premium music or google play music means absolutely nothing when you can just create playlists of music already. There is literally no benefit to youtube premium unless it is so you can see original content and literally most 'youtubers' offer nothing of value, Vsauce is an exception to that, but so much of his content on the regular tier is good I cannot justify paying for this series to myself not when I have more than enough of bills as it is. If this content is really good enough it will be found for free on another streaming site eventually.? In addition to all of this , having a premium account does not even offer you free access to the apparent library of movies and episodes that youtube is hoarding, when in fact you can actually find these for free most of the time on youtube itself anyway. The whole thing is a mess, ridiculous and a waste of time on youtube's part and money on anyone dumb enough to fall for it. This will eventually fail and fade away or rather should and one sincerely hopes it does.
    Reply