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YouTube Premium: Price, content and features

The most popular streaming platform on the planet has a premium service. Should you upgrade?

YouTube has long been one of the most popular websites on the internet, letting users share their own videos as well as watch content from other creators around the globe. It's currently facing tough competition from apps like TikTok, but it remains a sought-after destination for users of all ages. Back in 2015, YouTube launched a Premium version of the service, which comes with enticing perks that may be worth your while. Additionally, it comes bundled with YouTube Music, giving subscribers more bang for their buck.

What is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium is the platform's paid subscription service. It's just like regular YouTube, only with extra features like no ads, offline viewing and background play.

The platform used to also provide access to original and exclusive content back in the day. However, a lot of YouTube Originals are currently available for no extra fee, so YouTube Premium is mostly about enjoying a more seamless streaming experience overall.

How much does YouTube Premium cost?

A YouTube Premium subscription costs $14.99 a month. There's also a Family Plan available at $22.99 a month for up to 6 family members (yourself included). And a Student Plan which costs $8.99 a month.

First-time users get a generous 1-month free trial. Just remember that you'll be automatically charged if you don't cancel your subscription before your trial period ends, so keep an eye on the date if you're not loving the service.

What features does YouTube Premium offer?

Historically, YouTube has been an ad-supported platform that is free to use. In order to entice people to pay a regular monthly fee, it needed to offer more than just an ad-free experience.

Fortunately, YouTube added a whole heap of features to YouTube Premium to make it a much more exciting proposition. Here's what you get for your $14.99 each month:

What content is on YouTube Premium?

Let's get the basic out of the way first: everything that you can watch on YouTube you can watch on YouTube Premium. Just without ads.

When it first launched, the Premium version of YouTube used to offer users access to original and exclusive productions like standalone TV series or movies/documentaries/shows from popular YouTube creators. The company's biggest original was Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai, which eventually moved to Netflix. Users could also watch what felt like YouTube content with a slightly bigger budget.

You still get access to this back catalogue of content with a Premium subscription, but YouTube no longer puts emphasis on YouTube Originals as it wound up its originals content group in early 2022. Additionally, a lot of them are now available for free.

If scripted TV shows and movies are what you're after, you might be better off with a streaming service like Disney Plus, Netflix, Prime Video and so on. With YouTube Premium, you're mostly paying for the features.

Which devices does YouTube Premium support?

YouTube Premium works on a large number of YouTube-compatible devices. To put it simply, you can watch YouTube videos without ads across all devices and platforms where you can sign in with your YouTube account, including on compatible smart TVs/gaming consoles and the YouTube, YouTube Music and YouTube Kids mobile apps.

Some of the most popular YouTube-compatible devices are:

  • Apple and Android mobile devices
  • Chromecast
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Set-top boxes (Foxtel, Fetch)
  • PlayStation consoles (PS3, PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5)
  • Switch
  • Wii U
  • Xbox consoles (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox One, Xbox 360)
  • Most smart TVs models
  • Telstra TV

Verdict: Is YouTube Premium worth it?

There's only one big question you need to ask yourself before signing up for YouTube Premium: do you watch enough YouTube to be worth it? YouTube Premium isn't cheap and if you only watch YouTube every now and then or don't find ads annoying, there's no need to invest in the Premium version of the service.

On the other hand, if YouTube is your main source of information and entertainment, the extra features (no ads, background play and offline viewing) might be worth it. Given that the platform offers a 1-month free trial, you can try it out and see how much use you get out of the subscription.

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Alexandra Plesa writes about Internet TV for Finder. When she’s not re-watching The West Wing for the 11th time, she likes to scour streaming services for any fascinating underrated gems they have on offer. She’ll never say no to a romantic comedy and she’ll press you to watch BoJack Horseman until you finally give in See full bio

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