YouTube TV & YouTube Premium - A Breakdown & Comparison


Tubers meandering down a stream with Youtube TV text over the image


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After Google acquired YouTube just one year after the user-generated video site was founded, the service quickly blew up and became the internet’s home for video that we all know and use today. What may be a little under-the-radar, though, is that YouTube offers a few premium subscription services. Among those services, like YouTube Kids and YouTube Music, YouTube offers a couple of high-quality video services: YouTube TV and YouTube Premium.

What are YouTube TV and YouTube Premium?

Think of YouTube Premium, formerly YouTube Red as of a 2018 rebrand, as an optimized, ad-free version of the standard YouTube service but with added exclusive content. Though the service may not be as much of a household name as something like Netflix, YouTube Premium has released some high-quality, wildly popular content. Current Netflix sensation Cobra Kai was originally a YouTube Premium show, where the first two seasons aired before the show moved to Netflix.

YouTube TV, having launched in 2017, is more geared towards cord-cutters. The service offers a variety of broadcast networks, cable- TV channels, and live news and sports. YouTube TV also has a cloud-based DVR service with unlimited storage, so you can organize your media backlog a little more easily.

How Much Do They Cost?

YouTube TV costs $64.99 per month and YouTube Premium costs $11.99 for individuals, $17.99 per month for families (which includes five people aged 13 or older), and $6.99 per month for a student membership that grants unlimited access if the student is enrolled in a four-year college or university.

What Devices Support Them?

YouTube TV is an app, while YouTube Premium is available through the YouTube site or app so long as you’re subscribed. Both YouTube TV and YouTube Premium can be accessed through Android and iOS devices, web browsers.

Chromecast, a variety of smart TVs, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Both services are also available on game consoles, like the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. YouTube Premium is also accessible on the Nintendo Switch, as well as some older consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Are YouTube TV and YouTube Premium Worth Getting?

YouTube TV’s $64.99 is actually a pretty hefty price for only receiving 80+ channels, even if some include live news and sports. Many cable companies offer more channels than this (with Internet!) for the same price or less. However, if you’re simply done with cable and you already have other streaming services to supplement YouTube TV, then it may be worth giving it a shot, but you might not be getting the best bang for your buck. 

YouTube Premium is an attractive service if you’re an avid YouTube- watcher and don’t want to have to deal with sitting through the advertisements. You’ll also get the exclusive content, which sometimes turn into streaming sensations. The cost is relatively low, so it's a good deal if you spend a lot of time on YouTube.


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