Google is testing a more affordable premium subscription level for YouTube, which offers ad-free viewing and does not require other YouTube Premium features, such as offline downloads or background playback. Users discovered the new “Premium Lite” program on ResetEra, and YouTube subsequently confirmed the trial offer in a statement to The Verge. Premium Lite is currently being tested in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
“In Nordics and Benelux (except for Iceland), we’re testing a new offering to give users even more choice: Premium Lite costs €6.99/month (or local equivalent per month) and it includes ad-free videos on YouTube.” A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. In contrast, YouTube’s existing premium plan costs approximately 11.99 Euros per month in Europe.
Premium Lite includes ad-free viewing in the main YouTube app on the web, iOS, Android, smart TVs, and game consoles, and the YouTube Kids app. However, it does not include any of the benefits of YouTube Music, such as ad-free listening, or other advanced features, such as background playback (when you want to switch to another application while still listening to the audio of the YouTube video). Or download offline.
As someone who hates the number of ads on YouTube, but is not too keen on other advanced features such as offline downloads, Premium Lite sounds like a tempting proposal. But at the current price, it costs about 60% of the price of an ordinary premium subscription, while only providing about a quarter of its benefits. However, YouTube said that the current subscription is in the experimental stage and is considering implementing more plans based on viewer feedback.
Youtube Premium was originally launched as Music Key on November 14, 2014, and only provides ad-free music video streams participating in the tag on YouTube and Google Play Music. The service was later revised and relaunched as YouTube Red on October 31, 2015, expanding its coverage to provide ad-free access to all YouTube videos, not just music.
YouTube announced on May 17, 2018, that the service was renamed YouTube Premium, and it was returning to a separate YouTube Music subscription service. Later this year, it is reported that YouTube plans to provide some original content related to the service through advertisements.