Is it worth paying for YouTube Premium? Our honest thoughts

Many of us are subscribed to a number of different services to keep ourselves entertained, with everything from Spotify to Netflix requiring a recurring monthly payment.

YouTube is a platform that most of us use for free quite happily, so it might seem a bit mad to add a paid YouTube subscription to your growing list of monthly recurring payments, but hear us out. We think that YouTube Premium is excellent and could actually replace some of your existing subscriptions. We wanted to publish a guide arguing why we believe it is absolutely worth paying for YouTube Premium, based on our personal experiences with the service.

But before we get into the full guide, let us just make it clear that we absolutely think YouTube Premium is worth paying for. Just look at these stats from our YouTube Premium account:
YouTube Premium stats

Yes, that’s 26 hours of YouTube in 1 week! So for us, paying £11.99 per month for ad-free access to YouTube is absolutely worth the money. Let's now get into the full guide:

What does YouTube Premium actually give you?

We imagine that most people will be thinking, "but I already get unlimited access to YouTube videos, why would I need to pay for it?". And that's totally true - you could watch YouTube 24/7 using a normal account and you wouldn't have to pay a penny. But although YouTube premium might not give you access to more videos, it does give you some really cool features which we feel warrant paying for it.

For starters, the obvious feature of YouTube Premium is that all adverts are removed from videos. This includes the adverts which are shown and during videos, as well as the advert banners which are often shown below videos. And this is on both desktop and mobile.

Another of the main features of YouTube Premium is that you can browse other apps on your phone and even lock your phone will you have a YouTube video playing. This is one of the main reasons why we love to use YouTube Premium, because we can play a podcast or music on YouTube and lock our phone while it's playing. This is where you can make an argument for YouTube Premium being a great alternative to Spotify - you can access podcasts and music via YouTube and lock your phone while you listen to them, as you can with Spotify.

But we'd have to say that our favourite thing about YouTube Premium is being able to download videos and watch them offline. Got a long flight coming up? Download videos from YouTube using YouTube Premium and watch them on the flight as you normally would. It's so great to be able to do this and we use this feature any time we travel.

There are other cool features of YouTube Premium too, such as being able to continue watching videos from where you left off, which works cross-device. We use this feature all the time, especially if we're watching a long video like a podcast.

Picture-in-picture (PiP) is also a really cool setting you can use - this allows you to continue watching YouTube videos via a mini-player while you're using other apps. As you can see from the screenshot below, we're watching a Jurgen Klopp interview while looking at the You Well homepage.

YouTube Premium PIP

You also get access to YouTube Music Premium, which has millions of songs and which allows you to download songs for listening offline as you can with videos.

Overall, we think that people don't realise how much you get with a YouTube Premium account.

How much does YouTube Premium cost?

At the moment in the UK, YouTube Premium will cost you £12.99 per month for a single account. This has gone up in recent months from the previous cost of £11.99 per month. You can get a better deal for YouTube Premium if you sign your whole family up for an account - the cost will be £19.99 per month for you plus 5 other family members. If you're a student you can get a major discount for YouTube Premium, paying just £7 per month.

FireShot Capture 031 - YouTube - (1)

£12.99 per month might seem like a lot, but we think it's useful to compare YouTube Premium to other similar services. For example, Spotify Premium currently costs £10.99 per month for an individual account. YouTube is packed with music and podcasts, and many creators now only upload their podcasts to YouTube instead of platforms like Spotify because the advertising revenue is better. Plus, you get access to YouTube Music Premium with your YouTube Premium account, which gives you access to millions of songs. So you'll still be able to access the podcasts and music that you love via YouTube Premium. You can also build playlists on YouTube Premium as you can with Spotify.

Final thoughts - is it worth paying for YouTube Premium?

Overall we'd say that it absolutely is worth paying for YouTube Premium, especially if you're already a regular YouTube user. You get a huge number of excellent features including the ability to download videos and watch them offline, and you'll pay only a little bit more than you pay for Spotify Premium.

What do you think of YouTube Premium? Do you have it? Let us know in the comments!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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