Is YouTube Premium worth $14 per month?

Angry Asian man screaming at YouTube

Everyone knows subscriptions are out of control. I feel like block of ice being chipped away by hoards of people wanting an ice cube for their drink. This feeling is made worse by inflation melting my ice block allowing larger chunks with every strike. YouTube is bringing more heat by bumping their subscription to $14/month. Time to re-evaluate the expenditure.

I started subscribing back in 2014 when it was called YouTube Red. It was $9.99 and included Google Play Music and YouTube. It gave me ad free YouTube plus the entire Google Play Music library. I felt it was worth the money at the time for the elimination of annoying ads and the convenience of access to newly released music. The main reason for subscribing, though, was to get rid of the annoying YouTube ads. They interrupt the flow and are never for products or services of which I have interest.

Over the years Google rebranded the product to YouTube Premium and raised the monthly subscription to $11.99. Didn’t seem like much but it annoyed me. I considered cancelling then. But, that was 5 years ago when I didn’t decide to go into early retirement. A couple extra dollars was tolerable.

Yesterday I received a notice that the price of YouTube Premium is increasing to $13.99 per month starting with my September billing. What once was $10 is now going to be $14. What am I getting that’s worth a 40% increase from where I started? Nothing that I can see. Here is the list of “benefits” of paying $14 for YouTube Premium.

  • Watch videos without ads
  • Download videos to watch offline
  • Background play
  • YouTube Music Premium
  • Continue watching
    • With your Premium membership, you can continue watching videos right where you left off for an uninterrupted viewing experience. If you stop watching a video, we’ll save your spot so that you can resume watching videos across multiple devices.
  • Modify playback with listening controls
  • Picture-in-Picture (PiP)
  • Queue videos on mobile devices and tablets
  • Change your video quality

There is nothing in that list I want other than getting videos without ads and access to YouTube Music Premium. This isn’t worth $14/month.

I always knew the day would come when I had to start canceling subscriptions. Not because I can’t afford them but because they’re no longer worth the money. Looking at subscriptions, in aggregate, I’m paying about $100/month for various entertainment services.

Over the last year I don’t recall more than a couple movies, a few TV series, and a handful of music albums I enjoyed. It’s high time to leave the digital streaming entertainment economy.

History of YouTube Premium – Wikipedia

P.S. I love the crazy cartoon images you can make with Bing’s Image Creator. You tell it what you want and it tries to create it. It never works right and sometimes the images are downright creepy. But, at least it ads something different than a stock image!

Image created with Bing Image Creator