Being a tech journalist involves having to sign up for a lot of different apps and digital services to keep tabs on them. I sometimes wonder, if I switched jobs, which subscriptions would I hang onto? One thing I’m clear on: YouTube Premium would be the last one I’d ditch.
It’s certainly not the cheapest subscription out there: Students pay US$7.99 a month, individuals pay US$13.99 a month, and families of up to five people can pay US$22.99 a month for everything that YouTube Premium offers. That’s a substantial amount, but for me it’s more than worth it.
I get why it seems like a waste of money to pay for YouTube when you can also use it for free, with ads, but those ads make a huge difference. The more you use YouTube, the bigger the difference it makes.
I now find watching YouTube when I’m signed out, or when someone else is showing me something, a painful experience. How can you bear it? Always having your video playlists interrupted, and always having to click or tap to skip ads. And that’s not to mention the ads that appear in the sidebar.
Your all-day chill-out mixes won’t be interrupted by ads. Credit: Lifehacker
With Premium, you can queue up playlists and go down YouTube rabbit holes without being interrupted, and if you’re watching a lot of videos, the time you’re saving quickly adds up. You could use all that extra time to … watch more videos.
We all have different tolerance levels when it comes to ads—it seems that plenty of people are happy to pay less for Netflix in return for seeing some ads—but for me, it’s well worth paying to get rid of them, permanently.
If getting rid of the ads doesn’t tempt you, perhaps being able to download videos will. Downloading videos means you can still use YouTube offline, so whether you’re about to get on an aeroplane, or you’re heading to a remote cabin, you can still catch up on your favourite channels.
This works on mobile and on the web, though it’s worth bearing in mind that the videos are locked inside your YouTube app or your web browser: You can’t download YouTube videos to MP4 files ready to give to someone else, for obvious reasons.
YouTube Premium can even pick videos for you to download. Credit: Lifehacker
If you’re not sure what you want to watch, YouTube can even download videos automatically for you, if you want it to. These downloads will be based on your recommendations and your subscriptions, so you’ll never be caught without something to watch offline.
YouTube Music Premium
Y YouTube Premium comes with YouTube Music Premium included. Cancel your Spotify subscription—currently US$10.99 a month for individuals—and you’ve pretty much paid for YouTube Premium already.
YouTube Music Premium doesn’t quite have the feature set or the polish of Spotify or Apple Music, but it’s pretty close, and all the key functionality is covered. There are downloads, there are radio stations, there are podcasts, there’s a yearly recap, and much more.
With YouTube Music Premium, you have access to all of YouTube—an almost endless selection of live performances, remixes, and rarities. Yes, the original cassette recording of the Mitch Easter version of R.E.M.’s first single is on there, for those who were wondering (sorry if you have to sit through an ad to listen to it).
There are other benefits, as well, including being able to carry on watching YouTube videos on your phone while you use other apps. Currently, you can try YouTube Premium free for one month.
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