YouTube Premium costs $12 a month and the service offers ad-free videos, background playback on phones, and video downloads (both for YouTube and Google’s Spotify competitor, YouTube Music). But what if you don’t care about music and all that extra functionality? What if you just don’t want to see ads?
Google is now testing a service for this and it is called ‘YouTube Premium Lite’. For €7 a month ($8.31), you’d get ad-free YouTube and nothing else — no background playback, video downloads, or Music Premium access.
The Verge received an official statement from Google about the project, and the company calls the service a “test offering” currently available in “Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden”. Here is the statement from Google:
In Scandinavia and the Benelux (except Iceland), we’re testing a new offering to give users even more choice: Premium Lite costs €6.99 per month (or local equivalent per month) and includes videos without ads on YouTube.
We’re speculating a bit here, but the cheaper plan all seems to come down to unbundling YouTube Premium’s music features. YouTube Premium has always been bundled with YouTube Music — the two services actually launched at the same event when Premium was called “YouTube Red” — and the features of this €7-a-month ($8.31) subscription were probably designed not to be. activated additional payments to music companies. In some secretive music licensing deal archived deep in Google’s headquarters, background and offline playback probably each count as “music service features,” which should give music companies more than just the ad revenue from videos. Without having to cut back on music companies, Google can lower the monthly fee.
For now, this offer is only in testing, and the Premium Lite page in the US says “this offer is not available.” There’s no telling if Google will roll out the feature globally.