YouTube Premium: Everything you need to know!

YouTube Premium on a Galaxy S9
YouTube Premium on a Galaxy S9 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Back in 2015, YouTube Red launched as a way for people to get an even better YouTube experience than what was offered in the free version. For $10/month, YouTube Red gave you access to ad-free videos, all-new original shows, and much more.

YouTube Red is now replaced by YouTube Premium, and for folks that are either hardcore or moderate YouTube users, it's definitely worth checking out.

What's included?

As mentioned above, YouTube Premium comes with a load of goodies that make its monthly fee well worth the asking price.

All of the old features from YouTube Red are here, including:

  • Ad-free videos
  • Play videos in the background
  • Download videos for offline use
  • Access to all YouTube Originals content

In addition to these perks, a YouTube Premium subscription also gives you full access to YouTube Music. With a YouTube Premium plan, you can use YouTube Music to listen to music without ads, let your tunes play in the background, and download songs/playlists for offline listening.

How much does it cost?

That's all fine and dandy, but how much will you be paying for all this?

YouTube Premium costs $12/month, and you can cancel or change your plan at any time. However, YouTube now has a second, more affordable option you can check out called YouTube Music Premium.

What's the deal with YouTube Music?

For a cheaper $10/month, you can just subscribe to YouTube Music. That monthly fee gives you full access to the YouTube Music app, including ad-free music, the ability to listen to music in the background, and the option of downloading your music. It's essentially YouTube's version of a Spotify Premium subscription.

While that's a fine deal, spending the extra $2 each month for all of that and the additional features for YouTube is a far better value. It makes the most sense to not bother with YouTube Music Premium and just go for the full YouTube Premium package.

If you subscribe to YouTube Music but decide you want to upgrade to YouTube Premium later on, you can make that change at any time.

Where is YouTube Premium available?

At this time, you can sign up for YouTube Premium in the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • North Macedonia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay

What if I was already subscribed to YouTube Red?

YouTube Premium is a pretty great deal, but old YouTube Red subscribers might think differently. YouTube Premium has all of the same features that were previously found in Red, but it costs $2 more each month.

Thankfully, if you were previously subscribed to YouTube Red on or before May 21, 2018, you get access to all of YouTube Premium for YouTube Red's old pricing of $10/month.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • So basicaly the only thing that changed was that it includes "YouTube Music" instead of "Play Music", but cost $2 more? I have had Play Music for ever it seems now, that included YouTube Red and when it came along YouTube Music (which sucks by the way). It doesn't mention it in the article but I'm guessing that I will get YouTube Premium with that instead of Red? I don't even care that much about what I get with YouTube, it was just a bonus. YouTube Music I wish would go away but I know it isn't. When they do take away Play Music like we are being told is going to happen then I might just have to do away with what I have. I don't want to pay for YouTube who is now being political and acting like a publisher instead of a platform, and YouTube Music is terrible.
  • I switched over and I still get Google Music...
  • I'm using YouTube Vanced now, in anticipation of doing the same as you. It provides all the benefits of Premium, minus the original content...for free.
  • Yep. YouTube Vanced all the way.
  • Being able to download would be the feature I would use the most. I had an incident this weekend where a dance group I engineer for asked if I could play a YouTube video because they couldn't get the CD. The theater media computer was down, the song had an ad in it when it played on my phone, and the girl's phone was buffering. She panicked and subscribed, but she had an S10e so I chose to use the other phone for the sake of quality.
  • Well, not everything I need to know. How many devices can be used/registered...and how many simultaneously active/streaming? Is there a family plan?