After Netflix quietly killed the cheapest ad-free subscription tier in Canada, US, and UK, Google quietly increased the price of YouTube Premium in the US. You’re looking at a $2 price hike that puts YouTube Premium at $13.99/month. The cost increase is unfortunate and might make some people consider canceling Premium subscriptions, while others will ignore the hike and continue paying for YouTube Premium. It’s something we routinely see in the streaming business, with Paramount Plus having recently seen a price hike of its own.
YouTube Premium is even more expensive if you subscribe to the service via the YouTube app for iPhone and iPad. You’re looking at paying $18.99/month, $3 more expensive than the previous price tag.
One way to save money is to go for the annual option. But you’re still looking at a price hike even here. Previously, you’d pay $119.99 for a year of YouTube Premium access. Now you’re looking at an increase of $20 per year, or $139.99.
If you’re on an annual plan, you’ll still take advantage of the price you paid when you subscribed or renewed your YouTube Premium subscription.
If you’re on a student play, your price hike is milder. YouTube Premium will go up to $7.99/month from the previous $6.99/month.
The only plan that Google didn’t change is the YouTube Premium family plan, which still costs $22.99/month.
If that’s not enough, the Music Premium subscription is also going up. You’ll have to pay $10.99/month, or $1 more than the previous price. YouTube Premium access also includes YouTube Music Premium, however.
Anyone looking to subscribe to YouTube Premium right now will have to pay the increased rates. But you get the same one-month free trial period.
YouTube fans in other markets considering a subscription to Google’s popular service might want to act fast. Google increased prices only in the US for now, but other markets might follow. You might still be able to get in on that annual deal before a price hike reaches your market.
YouTube Premium might be one way to deal with Google’s potential measures against YouTube users who rely on ad-blockers to remove ads. Google is testing a feature that would block access to YouTube clips after watching three videos while blocking ads. YouTube Premium removes ads from YouTube so you don’t need an ad blocker.
I did say that blocking ad-blockers is the right move for YouTube, although Google is partly at fault for internet users relying on ad-blockers to begin with.
That said, it’s unclear whether Google’s ad-blocker ban feature will expand to all YouTube users anytime soon. But simultaneously raising the price of YouTube Premium while also blocking ad-blockers will annoy many users.