Google is putting an end to its YouTube Premium Lite plans
YouTube users have three official options when it comes to dealing with advertisement on the platform: endure it, subscribe to YouTube Premium, or, in some select countries, subscribe to YouTube Premium Lite.
This last option, which Google launched in select European countries in 2021, will be retired.
The main idea behind YouTube Premium Lite was to bridge the gap between the free ad-powered version of the site and the subscription-based YouTube Premium plan.
YouTube Premium offers an ad-free experience, background playback, access to YouTube Music Premium and more. All of these come with a price tag of $13.99 in the United States or $139.99 per year. Google increased the price of YouTube Premium recently in the US.
YouTube Premium Lite offered only some of the Premium benefits. Most notably, users could watch YouTube videos without advertisement. The reduction of features was reflected in the price of a subscription, as Google charged €6.99 per month for the plan.
Subscribers would not get access to YouTube Music or features such as background playback or offline downloads.
YouTube Premium Lite was launched in several European countries, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Google is sending out emails to YouTube Premium Lite subscribers currently in which the company informs them about the upcoming end of the plan.
Google writes: "We’re writing to let you know that after 25 October 2023, we will no longer be offering your version of Premium Lite,” YouTube writes in the email. “While we understand that this may be disappointing news, we continue to work on different versions of Premium Lite as we incorporate feedback from our users, creators and partners."
Subscribers have just two options: upgrade the subscription to YouTube Premium, which costs nearly double, but offers more features, or go back to watching YouTube without a subscription and thus advertisement.
Google is trying to sweeten the upgrade offer by adding a free trial month of YouTube Premium for everyone, even users who singed-up for a trial before.
The change puts Premium Lite subscribers in a difficult position. Most may have made a deliberate decision when they picked Lite over the regular Premium version of YouTube. If an ad-free experience was their prime motivation, a Lite subscription made a whole lot of sense, as it cost only halve the price of YouTube Premium and did away with ads on the platform.
Now, they either have to pay nearly twice as much, and get additional features that they may not need or want, or go back to regular YouTube and its obnoxious amount of ads. Some may very well switch their content blockers on to avoid that. Other options include using third-party clients, e.g., on Fire TV.
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