YouTube TV vs. YouTube Premium: Are They Worth It?

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YouTube has become one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world, with both its free and paid versions attracting millions of users. Most people know YouTube as the good old free video streaming service but are not as knowledgeable about YouTube TV and YouTube Premium or the differences between them.

When looking to invest in a streaming service, you’ll want to compare pricing and content to determine the overall value of each for your needs.

How Much Is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV costs $64.99 a month and comes with a 14-day free trial. Over the years, the subscription price of YouTube TV has increased significantly. But if you compare it to other TV streaming services, the prices are pretty similar.

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For instance, Hulu + Live TV costs $69.99 a month. This also includes subscriptions to Disney+ and ESPN+.

How Much Is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium costs $11.99 a month and comes with a one-month free trial. You can access the content on YouTube Premium through the YouTube app on smart TVs, mobile platforms, media streaming devices and gaming consoles.

However, some features, like streaming videos when the screen is locked, are limited to mobile apps.

What Is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV is a subscription service that offers live TV streaming from multiple networks, including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. It has a channel list with over 85 channels so you can cut the cord on your cable and save up to $500 every year. There are no hidden costs or contracts that keep you subscribed for a certain period of time.

Unlike traditional cable, there are no local channel fees, cancellation fees, broadcasting fees, rental box fees or DVR fees. Some notable features of YouTube TV include:

  • Popular Channels: YouTube TV has many popular channels, including PBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.
  • Unlimited DVR Storage: Subscribers get unlimited cloud DVR storage. You can also fast forward, pause and rewind the video.
  • Multiple Accounts: A single subscription gives you access to up to six accounts and three streams per household.

Benefits of YouTube TV

YouTube TV gives you personal recommendations based on what you’ve watched previously. Plus, you can browse through all the channels in the Live tab.

There’s no limit on simultaneous recordings, and you can stream your recorded videos wherever you go. Each account gets a personal library, which means a single subscription lets six family members record their favorite shows in separate accounts.

The recordings in YouTube TV DVR are kept for nine months, giving you ample time to watch or rewatch them later.

Good to Know

YouTube TV supports a number of devices, including Samsung and LG smart TVs, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google devices, Roku TVs, Vizio SmartCast TVs and several versions of Xbox and PlayStation, among others.

What Is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium is a paid version of a streaming service released by YouTube. It is a successor of the YouTube Red service.

YouTube Premium has many features, including:

  • Ad-Free Viewing: You can watch videos without ads.
  • Background Play: Unlike the free version, videos keep playing in YouTube Premium even if you lock the screen or use other apps.
  • Downloads: You can download videos and watch them later.
  • Music: YouTube Premium gives you access to YouTube’s music app, where you can listen to music without interruptions.
  • Kids Version: YouTube Premium has ad-free videos for kids. The videos can also be downloaded and watched offline later.

Is YouTube TV Worth It?

Offering dozens of popular channels and unlimited DVR storage, YouTube TV is worth it if you want to cut the cord on your cable without losing much content.

Although the subscription price has increased significantly over the years, it’s still a better deal than paying hundreds of dollars and hidden fees for cable.

However, if you have specific viewing needs, you can easily find a cheaper alternative. For example, if you only want to watch local channels and limited on-demand streaming, Philo — at just $25 a month — might be a better pick for you.

Is YouTube Premium Worth It?

If you plan to use YouTube Music or often find yourself wanting to watch videos with your screen locked, you might find the cost worth it for YouTube Premium. The additional benefits of ad-free viewing and the ability to download videos to watch offline are also benefits.

However, YouTube Premium doesn’t offer much in the way of additional content, so if the convenience factors aren’t enough for you, you may find another service more worth your money.

Amber Barkley contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by YouTube. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by YouTube.

About the Author

Scott Jeffries is a seasoned technology professional based in Florida. He writes on the topics of business, technology, digital marketing and personal finance.

After earning his bachelor’s in Management Information Systems with a minor in Business, Scott spent 15 years working in technology. He’s helped startups to Fortune 100 companies bring software products to life. When he’s not writing or building software, Scott can be found reading or spending time outside with his kids.

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