3 Little-Known Perks of Your YouTube Premium Subscription

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  • YouTube Premium's pricing structure is competitive with a lot of streaming services.
  • YouTube Premium offers background play, to help you take your multitasking to the next level.
  • It also comes bundled with ad-free YouTube Music and YouTube Kids.

Why not give YouTube Premium a try?

YouTube Premium is a bit different from a lot of traditional streaming services in that you can access most of its content for free, with one caveat: ads. Perhaps this doesn't bother you, or you use YouTube so infrequently that having to watch or skip the occasional commercial isn't a dealbreaker. I am a daily user, however, and it only took a single month's free trial of YouTube Premium to make me a believer, and then a paying subscriber. It's one streaming entertainment service I'm not willing to give up.

If you sign up for YouTube Premium through the YouTube website, you'll pay $11.99 a month for an individual membership (or $17.99 a month for a family membership, which includes up to six household users). I recommend this, as signing up through the YouTube app on an iOS device will cost you $15.99 per month (and we all need to watch our budgets these days!). In brief, along with ad-free viewing/listening across all YouTube platforms (Originals, Kids, Music) included in Premium, you'll also receive the ability to download videos for later offline viewing, access to extra members-only content through YouTube Originals, and background play. Some of these perks might be new to you, so let's break down three of them.

1. Background play

This is one of my favorite YouTube Premium features. If you use the YouTube app on your phone or tablet, you've probably noticed that if you're watching a video and then swipe out of the app and into something else (such as your web browser or your email program), the video stops playing. This doesn't happen if you're a Premium member.

I often joke that I have no attention span, which makes me a great multitasker, but it makes me absolutely terrible at just sitting quietly and giving my full attention to a YouTube video. Now I can keep listening to a video while I jump over to the weather app to check the forecast, or hop over to a food delivery app to order some takeout. You can basically turn any YouTube video into an instant podcast. What could be better?

2. YouTube Music

I listen to a lot of music, but I didn't become a fan of streaming music services until I joined YouTube Premium. I still have a functional MP3 player I bought in my 20s, and my car is 13 years old and has no Bluetooth capabilities whatsoever. So I just never saw the need to sign up for Spotify or a similar service. My YouTube Premium subscription comes with ad-free YouTube Music, however, and while I still can't use it in my car (at least, not by playing it through the speakers via Bluetooth), I do use it every day while I work, sometimes all day, and I listen on my phone when I'm working out or doing chores.

You can save your favorite songs, stream custom radio stations, or check out a truly astonishing number of custom playlists, created by both YouTube and the community of users. You can also download songs for offline listening. There's even a dedicated YouTube Music app and website.

3. YouTube Kids

I asked a parent I know for a little review of the last little-known perk of YouTube Premium, because as someone without kids, I have no firsthand experience with it. I'm told that YouTube Kids is great because it offers strong parental controls and age-appropriate content, including the ability to screen and hand-pick videos for your kids (and disable the search function).

The parent I asked also noted that the controls were easy to set up and the usage data offered insight into what his kid was watching. And with YouTube Premium, YouTube Kids also comes ad-free and with the ability to download videos for offline viewing. It's a big scary world out there, and all the parents I know are grateful for the ability to make accessing web content a little less scary for their children.

Perhaps you haven't considered subscribing to YouTube Premium, but if you too hate skipping ads (or worse, watching them), like to listen to videos while you multitask with your smartphone, enjoy music streaming, or have kids, I recommend checking it out!

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