YouTube's new subscription plans are a bad deal if you just want to watch videos
- YouTube announced two new services on Thursday that will replace its paid YouTube Red service.
- YouTube Music Premium will be a music streaming service and will compete with Spotify and Apple Music.
- YouTube Premium includes YouTube Music, as well as ad-free video and video downloads.
- But there's no option just for video-based benefits, so you'll have to pay for YouTube Music even if you only want the premium video plan.
YouTube Premium offers everything from YouTube Music Premium, but with ad-free video, playing videos in the background without having to be in the app, video downloads, and access to YouTube originals for $12/month.
Here's a handy chart that makes what each plan offers clear:
But what if you already have a music streaming service, and you just want the video-based benefits of YouTube Premium, like ad-free video and video downloads?
Unfortunately, there's no choice for you.Missing in YouTube's new plan is a video-only option that costs less than the YouTube Premium service for those who just want the video-based benefits of YouTube's Premium plan, like ad-free viewing and - I suppose - YouTube Originals like Cobra Kai. To get those benefits, you have to sign up for the YouTube Premium service, where you're also paying for YouTube's new Music service.
That's a bad deal if you already subscribe to a music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music and you're happy with it. If all you want are the video-based benefits of YouTube Premium, you'd essentially be paying $10/month for the music service on top of what you pay for your current music streaming service, and $2/month for what you actually want.
With that said, it's unlikely that the video-based benefits are worth $2/month to YouTube. Those benefits are surely subsidized by being bundled with YouTube's Music service. It's hard to estimate what a video-only option would cost on its own. Either way, there's no option for it!
You could always give YouTube Music a shot and switch over if you prefer it to your current music streaming service. It'll offer its own playlists, recommendations based on your listening history, and ad-free access to music videos.
But I'd assume that YouTube Music would have to be as good or better than your current music streaming service to get you to switch.
To be fair, I haven't tried YouTube's new music service, and it could be very good. It could be a great option if you don't already use a music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music, or if your source of music is YouTube. And I'll certainly give it a shot when it launches on May 22. Otherwise, in trying to become a music streaming service, YouTube seems to have forgotten that it's also a place to watch videos.
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