YouTube and Youtube Music
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As someone who grew up on the internet, I've always been a big YouTube fan. Over the years, the video-sharing service has established itself as an important platform for content creators, amassing a massive library of videos covering a wide range of topics.

I frequently forego watching shows and movies on other apps, such as Netflix or Hulu, in favour of some quick entertainment from popular YouTubers. But, as much as I enjoy watching the service, there is one major drawback: the platform has evolved from a free, ad-free website to one that is full of advertisements.

Though YouTube videos are still free to watch, you must frequently endure commercials before and, in some cases, during your stream. Unless you pay $12 per month for YouTube Premium.

Though I put it off for a while, I eventually bit the bullet and upgraded to YouTube Premium. There is simply no turning back now. The Premium plan only has four main benefits, but depending on how much you use the service, these perks can add up to a significant upgrade.

Ad-free viewing

screencap of youtube withwendy sewing video for youtube premium

This is the important one. Ads on streaming services make it feel like you're watching TV with commercials, which isn't fun. It's even worse when you're using YouTube to listen to a music playlist on your phone because ads interrupt each song.

Premium removes all advertisements. I'm sure I've gotten back hours and hours of time that would have gone straight into commercials since subscribing.

It's also worth noting that by skipping ads, you're not depriving your favourite YouTube channels of revenue — content creators on the platform still earn money from Premium subscription viewers.

Background play

sarah's youtube premium stats showing her hours in ad-free, background play, and youtube music

Though YouTube bundles this one with ad-free viewing as a benefit, I think it's worth mentioning separately. Background play means that you can lock your phone or switch to another app while the audio from your video continues to play.

This is useful on long drives when I need a navigation app but also want to listen to that one album on YouTube that is no longer available on Spotify. I'm thinking of Made in Heights' "Without My Enemy, What Would I Do?" Other primarily audio-based streams, such as video essays and ASMR, are also suitable for background play.


side by side youtube premium downloads and sarah browsing her phone

I only use this feature a few times a year, but it comes in handy when I do. YouTube Premium allows you to download videos to your mobile device for later viewing when you don't have an internet connection. This is especially useful for long plane rides, as it allows me to save some viewing material that I want to watch.

YouTube Music Premium

youtube music app on sarah's phone with youtube premium subscription

YouTube Premium includes YouTube's music streaming service as part of the subscription. YouTube Music normally costs $10 per month, so having it included with YouTube Premium is a huge benefit.

YouTube Music isn't the best service in its class, but it's good enough to replace your Spotify or Apple Music subscriptions if you're trying to save money.

Remember that Made in Heights album that I can't seem to find on Spotify anymore? I can listen to the entire album here, thanks to a familiar music player interface that just works. Albums can also be downloaded for offline listening.

Is YouTube Premium worth it?

sarah browsing youtube music with her youtube premium account through the youtube app on smart TV

If you're like me and watch YouTube several times a day, YouTube Premium is an excellent investment.

The time I've saved on ads alone makes it worthwhile to pay $12 per month. When you consider that YouTube Premium includes YouTube Music, which normally costs $10 per month on its own, the service becomes even more appealing.

Subscriptions also help content creators in ways that other streaming services do not. YouTube Premium views contribute to a YouTuber's revenue in the same way that ad views do.

If you have other users in your household who are interested, you can also choose a family plan. My husband and I share a family account, which means we pay $18 per month for the two of us, which is $6 less per month than when we subscribed separately.

YouTube and Youtube Music
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