YouTube Marketing

What is YouTube Premium, And What Does it Mean For My Business?

6 min read
Aug 30, 2021

With two billion users per month, YouTube is one of the most powerful communication channels on the planet. Learn how YouTube Premium is changing the game and what this means for your business.

Andrew ConradSr Content Writer

With more than two billion global viewers every month, it’s safe to say that YouTube has changed the way the world watches video content.

YouTube is one of the most powerful communication platforms in the world today, with millions of hours of video, original content uploaded everyday, and music streaming. But with the launch of YouTube Premium in 2014, users have even more ways to engage with and enjoy the video streaming service.

YouTube home screen

YouTube home screen (Source)

What is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium is an upgraded version of the standard YouTube platform, which is free for viewers but supported by advertising. A YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red) subscription includes the following upgrades:

  • No ads. Though you can still see sponsored content if a content creator has a brand partnership and promotes that brand during one of their videos.

  • Background play. Users can play videos in the YouTube app while using other apps or while their phone screen is locked.

  • Downloads. Subscribers can download videos to their devices to watch later when they’re offline such as, during a flight. 

  • YouTube Music Premium. YouTube Premium also includes YouTube Music Premium, which allows users to listen and download millions of ad-free songs and playlists. Users can also get YouTube Music Premium (standalone) for $9.99/month. YouTube Music Premium absorbed and replaced Google Play Music in late 2020.

  • YouTube Kids upgrade. Users can enjoy ad-free videos and downloads in the YouTube Kids app.

  • YouTube Originals upgrade. Subscribers receive early access to every episode in a new YouTube Originals series as soon as it premieres, along with exclusive content like director’s cuts and bonus scenes.

YouTube is also piloting a discounted YouTube Premium Lite service in parts of Europe to expand its market and make the offering more affordable. YouTube Premium Lite offers ad-free viewing without the other perks, but it’s unknown if that tier will become a permanent option.

YouTube Originals

YouTube Originals (Source)

YouTube Premium is different from YouTube TV, which is a streaming television service that includes traditional live broadcast and cable TV channels. There is no option to bundle the two services, but users who subscribe to both can watch YouTube videos ad-free through the YouTube TV app. Live programming on YouTube TV is still subject to advertising, though.

How much is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium starts at $11.99/month but you can take advantage of multiple discounts:

What does YouTube Premium mean for my business?

If your business runs ads on YouTube, you may be worried that YouTube Premium is diluting your reach. YouTube creators are covered because YouTube shares a percentage of the subscription fee with creators everytime a Premium subscriber watches one of their videos. 

But what about businesses that advertise on YouTube? Unfortunately, YouTube Premium subscribers who are logged in to their Premium account will not see your ads. In a Q3 2020 earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that YouTube Premium had more than 30 million subscribers (and more than 35 million subscribers on a one-month free trial). That number was up by about 10 million subscribers from the end of 2019.

That’s still just a drop in the bucket (less than 2%) of YouTube’s overall user base of two billion, though, and history shows that the majority of people will choose the free option if one is available. In other words, if your business advertises on YouTube there are still more than enough views to go around.

Also remember that YouTube advertising should be just one piece of your overall marketing strategy, which should also include a healthy dose of social media marketing, email marketing, and other channels.

Find more resources to help you manage your channel

We hope this guide has prepared you to turn your content into a cash cow. And if you’ve found this article helpful, there’s even more resources for your YouTube channel on our site:

We also recommend taking a look at the tools in our video making and video editing software directories, where you can compare tools’ functionality and usability, as well as read reviews from real users like you.

About the author

Andrew Conrad

Sr Content Writer

Hey there, I’m Andrew. I’m a Senior Content Writer at GetApp. I bring you insights about retail, eCommerce, and marketing. I studied at Loyola University Maryland and have more than a decade of professional writing experience. Home base: Austin. 2 things about me: I am a lifetime Baltimore Orioles fan, and I love walks in the woods. The tech trend I think you should keep an eye on: Mixed reality in retail. Trying on clothes will never be the same.

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