YouTube Premium promises to improve our viewing experience on the Internet’s largest video platform, but is it really worth it? YouTube Premium is the subscription service of the well-known video platform. It offers ad-free viewing of all videos, offline playback and exclusive content with paywalls, mainly made by famous YouTube people.
YouTube Premium | What It is and How it Works
Google’s naming schemes have always been a bit confusing, and the same goes for YouTube. You will probably remember a service called YouTube Redh. Before 2018 it was essentially the site’s subscription service.
The YouTube ecosystem
Today it changed to YouTube Premium following the rebranding of YouTube Music as a completely separate app. Since there are so many brands and services now under the YouTube banner, here’s a handy guide to help you tell them apart:
- YouTube Premium : The site’s leading paid subscription service.
- YouTube Music – A separate music streaming service with its own app that lets you listen to music for free. It is Google’s competitor for Spotify and Apple Music.
- YouTube Music Premium : the subscription version (9.99 euros) of YouTube Music. Unlike the free version, it allows background playback, offline downloads and higher bitrate audio than the Music app. It is also possible to get it as part of the YouTube Premium membership. It currently includes access to Google Play Music, but will soon replace it completely.
- YouTube TV – A Hulu-like live TV service that allows you to watch live TV and record cloud-based DVRs.
- YouTube Kids : An app designed primarily for children, which contains only age-appropriate content. The features of YouTube Premium also apply to this.
The advantages of Premium
If you are considering signing up for YouTube Premium, there are a number of features to consider. Here is a list of the benefits of the service:
- Ad-Free Display: You can view everything ad-free. The AD-free system applies to any platform that you are logged into with your Google account, including web, smartphone, Roku or other streaming devices.
- YouTube Originals: You can access original content, mostly from high-profile creators, along with some TV shows, documentaries, and movies.
- Background playback: If you are on a mobile device, the audio of the video you are viewing will continue to play even if you are out of the app or if the phone display is off. On Android, you can also view picture-in-picture videos while using other apps on your phone.
- Video download: You can download videos or playlists to watch them offline on your smartphone or tablet.
- YouTube Music Premium: You get access to this service and also to all the functions that make it up.
Google may also add more features to Premium in the future.
Contributions for content creators
One of the less talked about aspects of YouTube Premium is the revenue sharing system. If you already block YouTube ads with an external ad blocker, the Premium service may seem quite useless. However, ad blockers prevent creators on the platform from receiving revenue from views.
For many, advertising revenue is a major source of income. Premium offers viewers a way to have an ad-free experience, while still giving content creators their compensation.
To calculate this, YouTube combines a portion of all the revenue it gets from the service. It then distributes that amount to creators based on the total watch time received by Premium subscribers. Hence, the most viewed channels get a bigger slice of the pie.
Due to YouTube’s strict monetization rules, many videos are demonetized. However, a creator can still earn revenue from Premium subscribers, even if their video is not eligible for advertising.
So, is it worth it?
It depends on how often you use the service. If you use the mobile app frequently, background play and offline download are great features. With so many YouTube channels hosting long-form content, being able to listen to long videos even when you’re not in the app comes in handy. It’s great for listening while driving or in the kitchen.
If you often watch YouTube from your desktop, the utility is definitely in ad blocking. Recently, video ad revenue has dropped, which has led creators to run even more ads in their content. If you want to watch videos non-stop while still supporting those who make them, Premium is the only way to do it.
One thing to consider, however, is that the YouTube Originals library is relatively small. If you are not interested in watching premium content from creators, you will probably find the selection rather poor.