YouTube trials a cheaper ‘Premium Lite’ subscription that only removes ads

In a bid to boost YouTube Premium sign-ups, Google has offered everything from free hardware to access to unique features. Now, it’s going back to basics. The company is testing a lower-priced subscription plan in parts of Europe that gives you ad-free viewing without offline downloads, YouTube Music and background playback. A Resetera user first spotted the new YouTube Premium Lite tier in Netherlands, Finland and Sweden while trying to cancel the paid-for service. 

The plan costs €6.99 ($8.32) per month, the same as the student tier, whereas the normal price is €11.99 ($14.26). YouTube confirmed to The Verge that it’s also testing the offering in Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and Norway with local equivalent pricing. Comparatively, Netflix Basic costs €7.99 ($9.50) in several of those regions.

The YouTube Premium Lite page states that you get ad-free YouTube and YouTube Kids across multiple devices including mobile, desktop and TVs. In the past, YouTube has announced incentives for paying users including free products such as Google Stadia and neat features like automatic downloads.

But, since its launch, and subsequent rebranding, the service has always been more like a bundle with the inclusion of YouTube Music, which may not entice those already paying for Spotify or Apple Music. Trimming the fat to offer the core ad-free experience for less will certainly appeal to more viewers, and could help to drive subscriptions as a result.

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