Why You Should Never Get YouTube Premium
Have you noticed YouTube really pushing their Premium subscription recently? You know, those slightly annoying ads popping up or the constant prompts to “Go Premium”. Well, I gotta admit – after looking into it, the Premium version actually offers some pretty sweet bonuses.
For a monthly fee, you get an entirely ad-free YouTube experience. No more pesky video ads or banners – just pure, uninterrupted videos. You also gain the ability to download videos to watch offline whenever you want. Perfect for plane rides or subways with shaky WiFi. And on top of that, you get full access to YouTube Music Premium for all your streaming needs.
YouTube touts Premium as the “ultimate ad-free, uninterrupted experience”. And with over 2 billion people visiting YouTube every month, I can see why many super-fans might love these bonuses.
But before you pull out your credit card, it’s worth weighing if you truly need to upgrade from the free, ad-supported version. Let’s take a gander at some of the downsides to paying for a YouTube Premium subscription.
9 disadvantages of YouTube Premium
1. It’s expensive
At a staggering $13.99 per month, YouTube Premium is one of the pricier streaming subscriptions out there. For the same price, you could get Netflix or Spotify Premium. Unless you spend hours on YouTube daily, it’s hard to justify the cost when there are cheaper (or free) alternatives.
2. Ads aren’t that bad
The ads on YouTube are a bit annoying but easy enough to tolerate. They’re rarely longer than 15-30 seconds and most can be skipped after 5 seconds. Plus, many YouTubers integrate ads seamlessly into their videos. So you’re not necessarily missing much by sticking with the free, ad-supported version.
Also, you could find some valuable new products, services, or entertainment through ads. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered new, awesome songs simply because I let an ad play. I’ll just say it’s a lot.
3. You’ll eventually get used to the ads
After using the free version of YouTube for a while, most people stop noticing the ads. Your brain learns to tune them out or you instinctively reach for your phone during commercial breaks. For many, the ads become background noise not really worth paying to remove.
4. Downloads aren’t essential
One of the main perks of Premium is the ability to download videos for offline viewing. But with the proliferation of Wi-Fi and unlimited data plans, this feels less essential. Most planes and transit systems now offer on-board Wi-Fi too. So the offline feature doesn’t justify the price tag for many casual YouTube users.
5. You can get features elsewhere
Premium lets you play YouTube videos in the background on mobile. But apps like YouTube Vanced (Android only) allow this for free. And services like Spotify offer you music streaming without having to pay. Yes, there are ads, but they’re far less intrusive and frequent than YouTube’s.
There are also free automatic ad-skipping and ad-muting apps for mobile devices, so you won’t have the hassle of dealing with ads. Ad Skipper for Android is the one I use, and it’s great!
Bottom line: some of the best Premium features can be replicated through other free or cheaper options.
6. Limited original content
YouTube Premium offers some original movies, shows, and music not available on the free platform. However, the library of original content is still relatively small compared to paid streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. For most casual viewers, YouTube’s free videos remain the main draw over Premium originals.
7. Ads better compensate creators
Watching ads on videos allows YouTube creators to earn more money from your views. By going Premium and blocking all ads, you deprive creators of higher potential revenue. The subscription fees don’t go directly to creators either.
So sticking with ads enables you to better support the channels you love through ad revenue sharing.
8. Feels wrong given YouTube’s origins
YouTube started as a free, open platform for sharing videos. While they have a right to charge for bonus features now, going Premium still leaves a bad taste for many original users.
After over 15 years as a free service, putting up paywalls just feels wrong and against YouTube’s original democratic intentions. There’s something immoral about a formerly free platform now charging.
9. It’s a slippery slope
Paying for YouTube Premium now could set the precedent of paying for other previously free online services down the line. Once you open your wallet for one subscription, it becomes easier to keep spending on premium versions of other sites as well.
YouTube Premium provides some nice bonuses but isn’t a necessity for most casual YouTube users. The free version of the platform still offers a solid experience.
And the subscription fee is hard to justify unless you rely on YouTube heavily for entertainment or background playback. For most, the free route still does the job!