Bad news for YouTube Premium subscribers in the UK: In a move that has been feared since its US counterpart’s price hike just two weeks ago, Google has now increased the cost of YouTube Premium on our side of the pond.
We can now confirm that the subscription service, celebrated for its ad-free viewing and a selection of other benefits, has seen a £1 per month increase – and it’s not just for new users (see full details below).
The lower-cost YouTube Premium for Students has also seen a price increase from £6.99/month to £7.99/month.
These changes, while subtle, join the growing list of digital and streaming services that have been increasing their prices.
For regular YouTube users, the platform’s ad-saturated environment is a well-known frustration. YouTube Premium offers a solution and provides an uninterrupted viewing experience.
But what does this price increase mean for UK subscribers, especially considering the recent similar move in the US?
What Is YouTube Premium?
YouTube Premium is a subscription-based service offered by YouTube, (which is owned by Google).
The service is designed to enhance the user experience on YouTube with a range of benefits – but it is first and foremost known for removing adverts from YouTube.
As any avid YouTube user knows – advert numbers are growing on the platform.
One of the primary advantages of YouTube Premium is the ability to watch videos without any interruptions from ads. This includes ads that typically play before and during a video, as well as video overlay ads.
Content creators who get paid for views on YouTube, still get a (small) share of the profits from YouTube Premium – in place of the advert revenue.
Of course, it’s important to note that users may still see branding or promotions that are embedded in the content by the video creator (such as promotional links, and features in and around the content).
YouTube Music Premium
YouTube Premium also includes access to YouTube Music Premium, a dedicated music streaming service similar to Spotify and Apple Music.
The Premium version allows users to enjoy music content in the YouTube Music app without ads.
YouTube Music Premium also offers a standalone subscription, and its price has also now gone up in the UK – from £9.99/month to £10.99/month.
However, at this point, there’s almost no reason to get it, as you might as well subscribe for the full YouTube Premium for just one extra pound.
Download Videos For Offline Viewing
Another significant benefit of YouTube Premium is the ability to download videos for offline viewing. This feature is particularly useful for those who may not always have access to a stable internet connection.
YouTube Premium also offers the feature of background play. This means that users can continue to listen to a video even when they navigate away from the app or lock their screen.
Otherwise, if you listen to a YouTube video on your phone – and then turn off the screen – the video will stop playing.
Compatibility And Availability
YouTube Premium is supported across all devices and platforms where users can sign in with their Google Account.
YouTube Premium Price Increase: First The US, Now The UK
Over the past few weeks, YouTube Premium subscribers have seen a change in their billing statements. This change was first implemented in the United States and has now made its way to the UK.
The US Price Increase
In the US, the price of an individual YouTube Premium subscription saw an increase of $2, moving from $11.99 to $13.99 per month, just two weeks ago.
This change was implemented for both new and existing customers, meaning that current subscribers did not get to maintain their previous rates.
The price increase was also reflected in the cost of subscribing through the iOS YouTube app, which rose to $18.99 per month.
The reason behind this price increase, according to a YouTube spokesperson who spoke to 9to5Google, was to “continue delivering great service and features.”
The UK Price Increase
Following the price increase in the US, YouTube Premium prices have this week also gone up in the UK.
The cost of an individual YouTube Premium subscription has risen from £11.99 to £12.99 per month.
The price for YouTube Premium for Students has also seen an increase, now standing at £7.99/month, up from £6.99/month.
The YouTube Premium Family Plan, which caters to up to five family members, remains at its previous price of £19.99/month. This plan had already seen a price increase some time ago.
As before you can still get a 1-month free trial for YouTube Premium if you haven’t used one before.
Note that these price increases in the UK are not just for new subscribers – existing users are also being notified of the price increase, which will take effect from their upcoming billing date.
Streaming Services Costing More
These price increases, both in the US and the UK, reflect a trend in the digital subscription market, where providers are adjusting their prices to reflect the value and features of their services.
A few weeks ago, Netflix changed its pricing scheme by discontinuing its low-cost Basic tier, making the more expensive Standard tier the only option for those who want to watch without adverts (but there’s still a trick that lets you snag that Basic tier).
With YouTube Premium being more of an ease-of-use subscription rather than a full-on streaming service, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the user base of YouTube Premium in both the US and the UK.
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