YouTube Premium is underwhelming.

As part of my Discord Nitro subscription, I not only got a few months of the Xbox Game Pass for “free” but also one month of YouTube Premium… and that’s nice because I never would have tried it out if it weren’t for this. Factually, there’s this offer to try it out for a month for relatively cheap but as always, you end up forgetting that you have it and it’s annoying and then you end up paying money for it. I cancelled it already at this point. Why? You’ll see here.

YouTube Premium is a subscription service on YouTube that has been around for a while. For 11.99€ a month, you can watch videos ad-free, play YouTube videos in the background, listen to YouTube Music, and you can watch videos offline. These benefits barely make a difference and while ads can get quite annoying, especially when they’re unskippable or when they don’t interest you… Adblock helps get rid of those on PC and on phone, it doesn’t matter too much.

Most of these perks are quite relevant on your phone but not at all on PC. Again, AdBlock exists… and you can watch videos in the background on your PC even without the service. YouTube Music is practically irrelevant while Spotify is still around (don’t buy that, Google!) unless, of course, you’re not using Spotify. Downloading YouTube videos to watch them offline is cool… but incredibly niche. I don’t know if I’d ever use that… I guess it could be nice if you don’t have enough mobile data but I rarely watch YouTube videos on the go, so it’s just kind of weird? Meanwhile, the background play feature is kinda neat on mobile as I can quickly switch to WhatsApp or Discord without having to stop watching… but again, it’s just a niche feature and honestly, it’s quite bothersome, to say the least, as I can’t just turn off my phone and lay it down. I need to first pause the video before turning it off. It’s lowkey annoying even.

On another note, I don’t like the model overall. On Twitch, you can subscribe to people and get ad-free viewing at a third to half of YouTube premium’s price. Yes, you only get ad-free viewing on this one channel that you subscribed to, but it’s helping the streamer in question as well, supporting them financially. On YouTube, I turn off AdBlock when I watch certain channels. Why? Well, because I like what they do. I don’t know if they still get money when I use premium. I don’t know how much money they get from Premium if they do get paid at all. Factually, most ads don’t bother me on YouTube as you can skip most of them after 5 seconds, so paying ten bucks for that is a bit overpriced, in my opinion.

Overall, I think YouTube premium is somewhat overpriced and underwhelming. Twitch Turbo does exactly the same thing, essentially, at a lower cost, but I don’t use that either so whatever. I don’t think I’ll use YouTube Premium after the trial runs out and I did cancel already as it’s borderline useless. I guess if you don’t care about the revenue that creators get or if you use YouTube a lot on your phone, YouTube Premium might be worth it – but it’s not for me. I don’t like it all that much. Oh well.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

2 thoughts on “YouTube Premium is underwhelming.

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  1. Hard disagree. Sorry for the book I wrote below. I should have probably just made this a post on my own blog.

    I don’t tolerate ads and do run uBlock Origin on my browsers. But I still want content creators to get paid and Premium does that. I also watch a fair amount of Youtube on my living room TV, and the only way to get ad blockers on that is through a temperamental Pi-Hole set up that often doesn’t work or breaks other features of my TV.

    I didn’t grow up watching TV so the idea of breaking up my free time with ads seems borderline nuts to me. I’m not really sure why people just accept it. It’s cloying to me.

    I also disagree that YouTube Music is useless. It’s essentially at feature parity with Spotify. I listen to a lot of old video game soundtracks and jazz that are not on Spotify. Spotify’s library is just flat out smaller. I also don’t support Spotify carving up the once open podcast scene into yet another walled garden. I hope that business practice fails outright.

    I think your comment that Twitch Turbo is better value because it costs less money is off the mark. Twitch Turbo costs $9 in the US, and Spotify costs $10. YouTube provides both video content and takes care of my music needs. for $10. You’re comparing apples to oranges on that one, although maybe Spotify costs a lot less in your country.

    I actually pay for the YouTube Premium family plan for $15. So my wife and four other members of my family also get these things. Six people getting unlimited ad-free music for what I used to pay for a CD in the ’90s is pretty damn good in my opinion.

    YouTube is a pretty large amount of the content I assume in any given month so it was probably always going to make sense for me to subscribe to it.

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    1. Sorry for the late reply but your comment was caught in the spam filter, so I only just saw it. As for “writing a book in a comment”, it’s fine. That’s what blogs and comments are for, after all, right?

      As mentioned in the post, I wasn’t sure whether or not Premium still supports creators. I also said that if it does, then I don’t know how much they get from that subscription. I mean, maybe watching a 30 seconds ad on a 40-minute video earns some creators more money than that one subscription you got, so… I don’t see a problem with the ads.

      Alright, since you’re not used to getting ads at times: It’s essentially break-time. Ever watched a movie in the cinema but you needed to pee? Well, you either have to hold it in now or you go and potentially miss something important. Ad-breaks on TV kinda solve that as you have 5 to 7 minutes to get a refill on snacks, drinks, or to empty your bladder. But then again, I’m talking about free-TV in Germany here with those ads every now and then. It’s alright and not at all as bad you make it out to be.

      As mentioned in the post, Spotify’s better unless you don’t use Spotify. I mean, YouTube music feels unhandy and while there are some creators on YouTube that don’t put their stuff on Spotify, most do. And well, artists earn more on Spotify than on YouTube – at least in most cases. On Spotify, you need about 229 streams to earn $1 while you need 570 streams on YouTube Music to earn the same amount. Arguably, more people probably use YouTube music but there are also more artists there. Most artists will probably earn more through bandcamp and Spotify than on YouTube Music, I’d reckon, especially with the discoverability offered there. I don’t get your problem with podcasts (language barrier and all of that) – can you elaborate?

      And yeah, Spotify has family-plans that are relatively cheap and as a student (as in at university), I don’t have to pay the full amount either. I’d argue that Spotify’s subscription is worth it if you use it a lot… but then again, that’s every subscription. I even mentioned it in the post. Idk.

      Yeah, I guess the Twitch Turbo comparison was off the mark but it just seems to me as if YouTube Premium’s main feature is that ad-free experience. Everything else seems as if it was added afterwards in some small patch and wasn’t promoted correctly. I just got the impression that YouTube Premium isn’t worth it if it’s just for the ads – but then again, I also said that it is probably worth it more if you use it a lot on mobile. I’d argue that your “four other members” (I assume kids?) probably use it more. In that case, it’s more value. Surely. Still, *in my opinion* and that’s what this post is, YouTube Premium is underwhelming and overpriced.

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