Is YouTube Premium worth it in 2024?

Is YouTube Premium worth it in 2024?
YouTube is one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world, with more than 2.7 billion active users globally (I mean, hey, this is over one-third of the world’s population!). Yet, just around 80 million people pay for YouTube’s premium subscription, including both YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium.

As the popularity of online streaming continues to soar, the choice of platforms can be overwhelming, and you might wonder what sets one apart from the other and whether the investment is worth it. In this article, we will explore the features, pricing, and benefits of YouTube Premium in 2024, helping you determine if it is the right choice for your streaming needs.

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Understanding YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a subscription service that aims to make your online experience better. For $13.99 a month, you get some cool perks. Ever been irritated by ads? Well, with YouTube Premium, you can say goodbye to them and enjoy uninterrupted video and music streaming. Ad-free viewing is a major selling point for YouTube Premium (we all probably know how annoying the ads can be), allowing subscribers to watch videos without the interruptions of ads.
You can also download content to watch later without needing an internet connection. Oh, and you get the option for background play so you can watch while using other apps or listen with your screen locked. That is not all, though. You can also modify playback or use Picture-in-picture (PiP) to watch videos while using other apps on your mobile device.

With YouTube Premium, you can also enjoy videos in 1080p Premium—a higher bitrate version of 1080p that enhances the viewing experience by providing more information per pixel.

But that is not all! With YouTube Premium, you also unlock:

  • Afterparties & live chat.
  • Seamless integration with smart devices.
  • Smart downloads for offline viewing.
  • Access to exclusive original content
  • Co-watch with Google Meet.
  • Exclusive special offers and early access to new features.
And guess what? There is a new perk in the works—the Playables feature. This lets Premium subscribers play games directly within the app on both desktop and mobile devices.

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Now, let's dive into the details of some of these awesome perks.

Ad-free viewing

The primary motivation for subscribing to YouTube Premium is the ad-free viewing experience, priced at $13.99 per month for an individual plan. This means no ads before, during, or after videos, providing a smoother and more enjoyable viewing experience.

While YouTube Premium removes most ads, occasional connection issues or glitches may still cause some ads to appear. Certain content creators might not have enabled ad-free viewing for their videos. Nonetheless, the majority of videos on the platform will be free of advertisements, making for a significantly improved user experience.

Offline video access

YouTube Premium brings another handy feature to the table—you can download videos for offline viewing, even your all-time favorite YouTube videos. This feature is a game-changer, especially if you are dealing with limited internet access or are often on the go. You can relish your favorite content without worrying about a constant internet connection.

And here is the cool part: it is not just about personal use. With YouTube Premium, you can share these downloaded videos with other premium subscribers. It adds a nice touch of convenience and flexibility to the whole experience.

Background play

We have all been there—watching a video or listening to a song on YouTube, and then, oops, you accidentally lock your screen or need to check something in another app, and everything comes to a halt. It is frustrating, right? Well, with the premium subscription, you get a nifty perk—you can keep watching. Whether your screen is off or you are using other apps, enjoy uninterrupted playback and continue enjoying your videos in the background.

YouTube Premium pricing breakdown

The price of YouTube Premium differs based on the plan you choose. There are discounts for yearly subscriptions and special rates for students. In this section, we will break down the pricing for individual, family, and student plans to help you find the best fit for your needs.

It's worth noting that YouTube Premium's prices are generally a bit higher compared to some other streaming services.

Individual plan

The individual plan for YouTube Premium is priced at $13.99 per month and includes:
  • Ad-free content
  • Ability to download videos for offline viewing
  • Background play
  • Access to YouTube Music
  • Plus all the other perks listed above like access to exclusive original content, videos in 1080p Premium, and more playback controls

For those looking at a longer commitment, there is a sweet deal—an annual plan at a discounted rate of $139.99 when you pay for 12 months upfront. Opting for this option means around $30 savings compared to the monthly subscription.

Family plan

The YouTube Premium Family Plan comes in at $22.99 per month, making the overall cost of YouTube Premium quite reasonable. This plan is designed to accommodate up to six users living at the same address, making it perfect for families aiming to enjoy the perks of YouTube Premium while sharing the cost among multiple users.

However, it’s important to note that the Family Plan, which allows up to six accounts, has the following requirements and conditions:

  • All users must reside at the same address.
  • Terms and conditions apply to the sharing of subscriptions.
  • The age requirement for users is at least 13 years old.
  • The family group can only be modified once every 12 months.

The Family plan includes the same primary benefits as the individual one:

  • Ad-free content
  • Ability to download videos for offline viewing
  • Background play
  • Access to YouTube Music

Student discount

Students can access YouTube Premium at a discounted rate of $7.99 per month with verification through SheerID. This discount, exclusive to students, provides all the benefits of YouTube Premium at a more affordable price.

To snag the student discount, students need to verify their eligibility annually through SheerID. The discounted subscription is a steal, remaining valid for up to four years—a fantastic opportunity for students to enjoy substantial savings throughout their educational journey.

YouTube Music Premium included

One of the key benefits of a YouTube Premium subscription is the inclusion of YouTube Music Premium. This service offers enhanced music streaming features, such as ad-free playback, offline listening, and background play on mobile devices, catering to the needs of YouTube Music Premium subscribers. This section covers the features and advantages of YouTube Music Premium.

It’s worth noting that YouTube Music Premium is also available as a standalone service. However, opting for YouTube Premium provides users with access to both enhanced video and music streaming services, making it a more comprehensive entertainment package.

Enhanced music streaming

Enhanced music streaming on YouTube Music Premium offers users ad-free playback and the luxury of offline listening to a vast library of over 100 million songs. This translates to uninterrupted enjoyment of favorite tunes, along with the option to download playlists or songs for offline playback when an internet connection is out of reach.

It's worth noting that the audio quality of YouTube Music Premium is sometimes seen as not quite on par with other streaming services like Spotify. Despite this, the YouTube Music app still boasts a diverse music selection and customizable features, including curated playlists, personalized radio stations, and the ability to create user-generated playlists.

Background playback

Background playback is a nifty feature that lets users keep the music playing while diving into other apps on their devices. It's a game-changer for multitaskers who want to:

  • Listen to music or podcasts while browsing the web.
  • Enjoy music or podcasts while scrolling through social media.
  • Immerse themselves in music or podcasts while using other apps.

And here's the bonus: It's not limited to music videos. Background playback extends its convenience to non-music videos on the platform. Users can continue playing videos in the background while using other apps or when the screen is off, adding a level of flexibility and convenience that goes beyond the standard YouTube experience.

YouTube Premium vs other streaming services

When considering YouTube Premium, comparing it to other video-on-demand (VOD) services, as well as some standalone music streaming services is a key step. While YouTube Premium’s pricing is higher than some other streaming services, its content, features, and benefits may justify the cost for certain users.

YouTube Premium's main competitors are considered to be Netflix and Hulu. However, both are offering quite different content with a wide variety of original and licensed TV shows and movies, as well as documentaries, stand-up comedy specials, and other content. And while they all offer an ad-free experience, YouTube Premium also has:
  • Offline downloads
  • Background playing
  • YouTube Music Premium, accessible through the YouTube app

When it comes to music streaming services, YouTube Music holds its own against heavyweights like Spotify and Apple Music. Spotify boasts extensive social and discovery features, although its music library is slightly smaller than YouTube Music and Apple Music. Apple Music, known for its top-notch audio quality, faces limitations in availability.

What sets YouTube Music apart is a unique benefit—you not only get music streaming but also video streaming for the same price. In essence, what makes YouTube Premium stand out among its peers is its content, often exclusive and unavailable elsewhere.

Device compatibility and accessibility

YouTube Premium is compatible with a wide range of devices, including:

  • Web browsers
  • Mobile devices (Android and iOS)
  • Video game consoles
  • Smart TVs
  • Media streaming devices

In addition to its broad device compatibility, YouTube Premium also offers parental controls and accessibility features to cater to a diverse user base.

Parental controls

YouTube Premium takes parental controls seriously, offering tools like enabling Restricted Mode and utilizing YouTube Kids for child-friendly content. These features empower parents with greater control over the content their children can access, creating a safe and age-appropriate viewing experience.

With these controls in place, parents can rest easy knowing their children won't encounter inappropriate content. Plus, the added perk of offline content downloads ensures entertainment during situations where a wireless signal is unavailable—perfect for travel scenarios.

Accessibility features

YouTube Premium offers a range of accessibility features, such as closed captioning, audio description, and the ability to adjust playback speed, making the platform accessible to a diverse audience.

Customizable subtitles and multiple language options ensure that users with hearing impairments or language preferences can enjoy the platform’s content with ease. 

Making the decision: Is YouTube Premium worth it?

For users who prioritize an ad-free experience, offline playback, and the perks of YouTube Music Premium, the platform's features might make the slightly higher price worthwhile compared to other streaming services.

If you enjoy watching videos and YouTube is your go-to source for content, then considering a Premium subscription is worth it.

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