YouTube ‘Premium Lite’ subscription offers ad-free viewing for less

Premium Lite offers ad-free viewing at a lower price.
Screenshot: YouTube

Google is piloting a more affordable premium subscription tier for YouTube that offers ad-free viewing without YouTube Premium’s other features like offline downloads or background playback. The new “Premium Lite” plan was spotted by a user on ResetEra, and YouTube subsequently confirmed the test offering in a statement given to The Verge. Premium Lite is currently being tested in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

“In Nordics and Benelux (except for Iceland), we’re testing a new offering to give users even more choice: Premium Lite costs €6.99/month (or local equivalent per month) and it includes ad-free videos on YouTube,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. In comparison, YouTube’s existing Premium plan costs around €11.99 a month in Europe.

Premium Lite includes ad-free viewing across YouTube’s main app on web, iOS, Android, smart TVs, and games consoles, as well as in the YouTube Kids app. However, it doesn’t include any YouTube Music benefits like ad-free listening, and it doesn’t include Premium’s other features like background playback (for when you want to switch to another app while continuing to listen to audio from a YouTube video), or offline downloads.

Speaking as someone who hates the amount of ads on YouTube, but isn’t too interested in Premium’s other features like offline downloads, Premium Lite sounds like a tempting proposition. But at its current pricing, it costs around 60 percent of the price of a regular Premium subscription, while only offering around a quarter of its benefits. YouTube says that the current subscription is in an experimental phase, however, and that it’s considering rolling out more plans based on audience feedback.

Comments

Give me YouTube Premium, with all features, without Music, for 6$ and we have a deal Google.

I don’t think they would be able to offer background playback without also offering music, simply because many videos are just music. That seems to be the compromise they’ve landed on with rights holders.

I would want all the other features though. No ads, offline playback. For those who think the full price is too much, the alternatives (adblock and youtube-dl) are free after all.

Well apparently they might already be giving everyone background playback soon, so "YouTube Lite" sounds pretty appealing to me.

The article you linked is about picture in picture, not background play. Background means being able to play audio without the video, essentially.

yes, people seem to forget that. what’s the point of youtube premium if they provide all features including background playback. then youtube premium is not even needed at that point.
what they should do i probably reduce the price to maybe 6

I’d be okay with ad free and background playback only for videos that don’t contain music.

Exactly. Google, don’t be greedy! These companies are becoming more and more greedy when they cross this trillion dollar mark. What a world!

I say $5.

and a bit odd to me was the lack of complaints in the media about the forced YT Music bundle. but maybe i missed those

There is a student discount which brings down the price to $6.99 which is amazing. I listen to a lot of YouTube videos so at this price it is an absolute deal for me.

Best I can do is 5€

Just roll out Family Plan support already for those of us using a Google Apps (Workspace/G Suite) account, sheesh

Yeah feels like it should be a bit cheaper. I believe it also gives more of a cut per view to youtube creators (full Premium does), so that would be a bullet point on the list that I’d consider a positive as well.

It’s too much. If they offer it for under 5€, I might be interested.

I was expecting $2.99 or $3.99 USD

I’ve been a subscriber to Google’s media subscription for… quite literally as long as it’s been a thing. When it launched as Google Play Music "All Access" in spring 2013, I was a subscriber at an introductory rate of $7.99/month.

Credit to google, they’ve kept me at this early-adopter pricing this whole time – a sign up window which only lasted a few months. Since then the price has gone up to $9.99 and then up again during the youtube rebrand.

I’ve since stopped using the music service, but still keep the subscription alive because my life is too short to watch youtube ads. Given how many hours of content I get a month out of it, I think $8 is pretty fair. I wouldn’t pay the full price (now $12/month) for just add-free youtube, though.

It would be worth the $8/month if YouTube Music were an actual replacement for Google Play Music but it isn’t. YTM is an abomination, one of the worst music services I have ever used. I would have been fine spending $8/month if YTM was better. I stopped when it was apparent that Google had no interest in making YTM better. I’ll put up with a few ads until Google decides they want to compete in the music streaming space again.

YTM is truly an abomination of a service. It’s almost perplexing how powerful and profitable Google is and how often they put out just terrible products (or abandon good ones)

That’s because Google is an ad company. The software services they make are just a side-hustle that is enabled by their ad-revenue. It’s why they can be so directionless at times, and yet still be very profitable.

Accurate

I switched to Apple Music once that rolled out but kept GPM because of its excellent browser interface. I could use it at work or on any machine without issue, no app required. I tried using YTM whenever Google announced the switch a year or two ago (or maybe 3 years now) but it was so buggy I couldn’t do anything with it. I tried using it after Google said you couldn’t add new content to GPM and it was a mess. The liked songs auto-playlist is limited to 5000 songs, songs will just remove their thumbs up, music videos will play over songs despite disabling video, user uploads are bundled in with searches, and downloads are handled terribly (I shouldn’t have to individually download songs when I want to download them in a playlist and know which songs are downloaded).

I canceled my $8/month because I didn’t think it was worth it just for ad-free YT. I’ve stuck with AM now on my Apple devices and have Spotify for everything else because iTunes is still a mess on Windows (not as big of a mess as YT is).

YTM is the biggest step back in a product that I’ve seen since Windows 8.
Lowered bitrate (320 to 256) even for paying subscribers, no ability to purchase songs, unable to manually adjust playback quality, no ability to edit metadata for uploaded tracks, uploaded Library is totally isolated even when doing a search, horrible app UX.

And of course in classic Google style, the app is extremely buggy.

The decrease in bitrate is fine. GPM was 320kbps and YTM is 256kbps AAC, the same as Apple Music’s lossy songs. I agree with everything you said but the decrease in bitrate is fine.

Not when you consider both apple and amazon have released lossless audio.

Disagree. Use good headphones or a decent sound system and you’ll find that the 256 AAC is inferior. They SAY that its equivalent, but the industry has also been saying that 320 is "CD quality" (remember when they claimed 128 was in the 00’s?). Perhaps if encoded from source to 256 AAC but YTM converted 320 mp3s to it, and it’s definitely not the same.

Now that we have lossless streaming, the difference is night and day better than 320 even when streaming at lossless CD quality.

Seriously, moreso than many of their other stupid self-owns, the GPM >> YTM transition takes the cake for how bad it was. The transition itself was handled horribly and the end product is much much worse than what it’s replacing.

That said, it was a forcing function for me to finally push through the one-time pain point to migrate my playlists and likes over to Spotify and I have not looked back. In many ways Spotify is even better than GPM (for example: I have rediscovered many of my old favorite songs due to a better playlist randomizer than Google has ever had), so I guess I’m thankful that Google gave me a reason to move over.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑