YouTube Premium Lite

By: Nick Gambino

Google is testing out a new YouTube premium subscription plan that will offer ad-free viewing and…well, that’s it. It might not seem like much incentive to fork over money to the video platform, but to be fair, watching YouTube videos without ads is what makes a premium subscription so appealing.

“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 rep for YouTube said in a statement.

That’s almost half of what the full Premium subscription plan costs (€11.99). The standard Premium tier also includes ad-free music, download, and offline features as well as background playback which is great if you want to go in and out of the app but still hear the video.

Some may see the price as a little high considering the lack of features, but they’re not considering how much ad-free viewing factors into the decision to pay for even the highest Premium plan.

Ads are a large deterrent to viewing videos on YouTube. When you click on a 3-minute video and are forced to sit through a 30-second ad, it feels like torture. That “cat that barks like a dog” video just isn’t worth it. It makes us think twice and tap out.

Google is currently piloting Premium Lite in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark and Belgium. We don’t know if they’re going to roll it out worldwide or if it’ll ever hit the U.S., but I’d be surprised if it didn’t. Ad-free video viewing for only a few bucks would rope in a lot of users.

There was also some trepidation from users that the video platform was looking to raise their prices yet again in the near future. Neal Mohan, chief product officer for YouTube, laid those rumors to rest telling the Decoder podcast “there’s not another price hike or anything in the near term.”

For now, YouTube has confirmed Premium Lite is just an experiment, but they are seriously considering several tiers of subscriptions based on user feedback.