The YouTube free version has become so famous that some of the YouTubers are not even aware of the existence of YouTube Premium, a paid version of YouTube.

YouTube originally existed as a free video sharing website. In 2014 the company started introducing various versions of paid versions of the service. This included the launch of YouTube Music, YouTube Red, and YouTube TV.

In 2018, YouTube Red was rebranded to YouTube Premium. And apart from the name change, YouTube Premium enclosed in it YouTube Music Premium with a subscription fee of $11.99.

The YouTube Premium seems confusing to most of the YouTubers since there is an option of subscribing for only YouTube Music Premium.

Lemme get you on track with this. YouTube Premium can be accessed by paying a subscription fee of $11.99. After subscribing for YouTube Premium, you get YouTube Music Premium by default.

If you just need YouTube Music Premium and don’t care about the other features of YouTube Premium, then you can pay just $9.99 for the service.

But side with me on this one, YouTube Music Premium alone cannot move you through the day. At some moment you will want to watch some sports, fashion or at least some movies. So the best choice here would be to pay for YouTube Premium as a whole at just $11.99. But still, this is a choice for you to make.

In this guide, we shall be digging into YouTube Premium VS YouTube free version. In other words what makes YouTube Premium special from YouTube’s free version

What is YouTube free version?

YouTube free version is the pioneer all the whole service. It was launched in 2005. At least everyone is familiar with this one. It’s a video sharing website (also provides mobile apps for mobile phones), so you can find videos ranging from academic tutorials to geeky videos.

What is YouTube Premium?

Previously YouTube Red, YouTube Premium was launched in 2015 after Music Key. YouTube Red was rebranded to YouTube Premium in 2018 which means those who were subscribing to YouTube Red will be using the new YouTube Premium.

Unfortunately, for now, YouTube Premium is only available is a few countries initially launched in the US, but fortunately, the service is being pushed in other countries.

It was recently launched in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Cyprus, Romania, and Bulgaria according to Wikipedia.

What basically changes between YouTube Red and YouTube Premium is the subscription fee which changed from $9.99 to $11.99 but according to features as we’re going to see, it’s worth the $2 hype.

YouTube Premium includes YouTube Music Premium which a paid version of YouTube Music exclusively for streaming music videos. It’s a tailored version which allows users to navigate through various songs with a unique music player and extra video settings.

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Once a user subscribes to YouTube Premium, the service can be accessed on any device they log in including the YouTube Premium app and the YouTube Music app.

It’s time we examine the features that make YouTube Premium different from the free version of YouTube.

YouTube Premium vs YouTube free version

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1. Ad-free videos

YouTube without ads

If you have used the free version of YouTube, you have probably at some point asked yourself a question, “What’s with the damn ads”. Well if you have never, many have.

I mean ads are not a bad thing because they bring services we need closer, but there are those times when you just want to listen or watch videos without any inconveniences.

You know those frustrating moments when a video is paused to show an ad that you can only skip after 5 seconds.

Well, YouTube Premium lets you watch and listen to ad free videos. This way you get the most out the service.

2. Free YouTube Music Premium and Google Play music

When you subscribe for YouTube Premium, you get YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music as part of the package.

As I mentioned earlier, YouTube Music Premium is a paid version for YouTube Music and it can be paid for at $9.99 if you’re not subscribed to YouTube Premium.

YouTube Music Premium lets you stream all music videos, remixes plus all the live music.  It also includes the following features;

  • Free download of music videos for offline viewing.
  • Watch Ad-free music videos
  • Decide whether to play audio only or video only of the songs.
  • Background play. This way you can listen to your favorite music during a morning jog.

If you’re subscribed to Google Play Music, you get access to YouTube Premium by default and if you subscribe to YouTube Premium, you get Google Play Music. So either way, you’re killing two birds with a single stone.

3. YouTube Originals

youtube originals

This is another great feature on YouTube Premium. YouTube Premium lets watch all movies and series from YouTube creators just like Netflix.

After subscription, be sure you’ll have access to all YouTube originals immediately after they’re released. See some of the YouTube originals.

Video download

YouTube Premium provides a download feature for all videos including all the originals.

You will want to use this feature if you’re about to board a plane where you won’t have an active internet connection.

Or if you’re like me whose internet package is not unlimited then you definitely will need to download videos for offline view.

The feature can work anywhere for as long you log into your google account.

Background play and Switch between apps on mobile

jogging while listening to YouTube

The free YouTube mobile app doesn’t keep videos playing when you switch between apps. This means if you’re listening to music, you’ll always have the YouTube app open.

YouTube Premium, however, is enhanced so you can switch from the YouTube mobile app while still listening to your music or whatever you were watching.

Conclusion

Do I really need to subscribe to YouTube Premium?

Well, this a question you should be in position to answer right now. If I were you, I would go for it, I mean if I can manage to pay the subscription fees.

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After all it’s its not a life and death decision. I wish you luck while you try out the YouTube Premium service.

Enock Lubowa
A technologist who writes for both the geeks and non-geeks. I am an entrepreneur and software developer with a Computer Science background. Discuss complicated stuff with me via my social handles below.