What is YouTube Red

What is YouTube Premium - and for whom is it worth it?

By Martin Lewicki and Marlene Polywka | August 31, 2020, 4:30 p.m.

Many YouTube users are getting more and more annoying pop-up advertisements for a premium subscription. What is behind it and for whom is the service worthwhile? And why it's a cost trap for iPhone users. TECHBOOK explains.

If you like to click through YouTube videos extensively on your smartphone, you have probably only recently experienced it: Suddenly a message appears advertising YouTube Premium. You have the option of choosing either “No thanks” or “1 month free”. YouTube (a subsidiary of Google) seems to be fighting intensely over and over again for customers for the subscription model. But do you want an additional streaming subscription if you already have Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, for example?

You can find out everything about streaming at TECHBOOK!

What is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium has been offered in Germany since mid-2018. It's a whole package of additional services for (paying) YouTube customers. This includes the following points:

  • YouTube music app with millions of songs to stream
  • Offline mode to save music on your smartphone
  • Background playback: In contrast to the free YouTube app, music can also be played when other apps such as WhatsApp are used or the screen is switched off
  • Videos are played ad-free
  • Videos to download for offline mode
  • YouTube Originals (films and series produced by YouTube)
  • There is ad-free content especially for children on the additional YouTube Kids app
  • The YouTube gaming app is interesting for game fans, also without advertising

Surprising: The YouTube Premium subscription also includes the music streaming service Google Play Music at no extra charge.

Who is YouTube Premium for?

First and foremost, YouTube Premium is worthwhile for users who do not yet have a music streaming service or who would be willing to switch from other services such as Spotify or Amazon Music to YouTube Music (or Google Music). However, if you are explicitly only interested in a music streaming service, you can also take out a limited subscription exclusively for YouTube Music and in this case only pay 9.99 euros per month.

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Those who like to use YouTube a lot will of course also benefit from the absence of commercials before and during the video playback. If you also travel a lot and want to have your content available on your smartphone in order to save data volume, you also have an advantage with the subscription variant.

But YouTube Premium is most worthwhile for families and friends who live under one roof. Because up to six people can use the affordable family rate for 17.99 euros.

What does YouTube Premium cost?

After the one-month free period, the premium subscription costs 11.99 euros. The family subscription costs 17.99 euros, with up to six members receiving their own account and thus being able to access the services independently of one another. That makes around 3 euros per person when fully exhausted. Prerequisite: All members must have the same address and be at least 13 years old, but not necessarily related. The family tariff can also be worthwhile for a shared apartment.

There is also a special rate for students: those who are enrolled at a university only pay 6.99 euros per month.

Cost trap for iPhone users!

iPhone users should under no circumstances take out the subscription on their iPhone or via the Apple App Store. Because that's how you pay 15.99 euros per month. That's 4 euros more a month, or 48 euros a year. The reason for this is the 30 percent share that Apple requires for purchases via the App Store. The family membership is then 22.99 euros, whereby the difference is only 83 cents per month and person - but that is already 10 euros per year.

Our tip

If you want to take advantage of YouTube Premium, you should take out the subscription on an Android smartphone or computer (not iPhone or iPad) in order to save costs. You can make real savings with the family subscription if several people live in one household and share the costs.

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