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YouTube Music vs YouTube Music Premium 2022 Review

You can’t deny that streaming music is quickly becoming the in-thing and something that everyone wants to be associated with. I was in a lounge earlier this year and asked if I could play music. They agreed, so I reached for my phone, plugged in the AUX, and hit the play button.

Beautiful song, a top hit, and everyone was dancing, but at the end of the song, the name of the website where I got it for free was pronounced. That admiration in their eyes had suddenly turned to disgust, so I asked a friend what the problem was, and he told me that no one downloads music from a free website anymore.

That’s my streaming story, and aside from being cool, it feels great to be able to contribute as little as possible to your favorite artists’ musical careers, because every time you stream their songs, you contribute to their process.

Most streaming platforms offer a free and premium package; if you cannot afford a subscription plan, you can always stream for free.  In this article, we’ll be comparing YouTube Music vs YouTube Music Premium.

YouTube Music Overview

YouTube music was created as an offshoot of YouTube which is now owned by Google. Google just has a way of owning everything cool. When YouTube first launched in 2004, no one knew whether the video streaming platform would be successful.

YouTube Music Premium is an ad-free version of YouTube Music which makes it the less annoying version.

RELATED: Spotify vs YouTube Music: The Clash of Streaming Titans

Revenue Generation: YouTube Music vs YouTube Music

YouTube music is free, but it contains ads, which help the platform generate revenue. According to a yearly report, YouTube generated $28 billion in ad revenue alone in 2021. 

Of course, this has proven to be more productive for the company as it is the primary source of revenue generation. YouTube Music Premium, on the other hand, generates revenue through paid subscriptions. 

As a result, the more subscribers they acquire, the more revenue they will generate. Youtube Music announced in September 2021 that it had over 50 million subscribers.

The company experienced significant growth, as it had just over half of that number in late 2020; 30 million subscribers.

Pricing: YouTube Music vs YouTube Music Premium

While YouTube music is free, the premium package will cost you money. The pricing structure is quite flexible and will most likely not break the bank. If you can afford it, I recommend you go for it. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that prices differ by region or country. The monthly plan goes for $9.99 in the US and the same features can be gotten for a little above $2 in my country. The student plan, however, goes for just $4.99 in the US. 

There is also a family plan, which allows you to add up to five family members and save money on their individual subscriptions; it costs $14.99 in the US but only $3.33 in my region.

The price difference is due to the cost of living in each region. YouTube charges based on labor costs in your country, ensuring that you are not overcharged.

YouTube Music vs YouTube Music Premium: What’s the Difference

They are several features on  YouTube Music premium that cannot be gotten in the free version, such as no ads.


Ads are critical to the company’s revenue generation process because they are one of its primary sources of income. However, for the company to generate revenue, it must serve these ads to its users at what can be an overwhelming rate at times.

Even though you can skip some of these ads after 5 seconds, sometimes you may need to watch the entire ad to access your desired content. Some of these ads can run for up to 15 seconds and believe me when I say they’re exhausting.

Of course, you’ll eventually get tired of seeing and hearing the same ads over and over again. So, to give users a choice, YouTube Music introduced the premium plan, where you can now pay them to not see these ads. It’s a win-win for both YouTube Music and the subscriber.

Background Play

Another essential feature differential is the background play. How you play your music is crucial to whether or not you enjoy it. 

Music is sometimes something you just want to keep going while you focus your attention on other things, such as studying, cleaning, or something else. The goal here is not the music, but the task or activity at hand. So you’d want it to play in the background to focus on what you want to do.

But the background play feature is only available to YouTube Music Premium subscribers. Free plan subscribers have to stay in the app to view the advertisements.

Offline Downloads

Offline downloads are an essential feature when you consider the fact that you might not want to be online but still want to enjoy music. You can listen to songs you’ve downloaded from YouTube Music Premium even if your internet connection is down.

Download to SD card

With the YouTube Premium plan, you can download songs directly to your SD card by selecting the option when you click the download icon in the app.

Audios-only Mode

If a song has a music video and you play it on YouTube music, the algorithm will play the music video first, followed by the audio. However, on the premium plan, the audio file of the songs is played first.

Access Entire Content Library

Youtube has a massive library that is constantly growing. They also have a well-known collaboration with Warner Music and Universal Music.

YoutTube Music doesn’t hoard content from its free plan users- both Youtube Music and Youtube Music Premium have access to the entire YouTube Music library. 


When I say “pluses,” I mean what I get as a result of selecting any of these plans.

If you choose the free plan, you will save nearly $10 per month. While this may appear to be a small amount, it will add up to more than a thousand dollars in ten years.

On the other hand, if you subscribe to a plan, whether basic, family, or student, you will gain access to YouTube Premium.

Conclusion- Is YouTube Music Premium Worth It?

While YouTube Music might seem like a good deal to save money on a music subscription, the features offered on the free version just don’t cut it.

You can’t listen to background music, ads interrupt the flow of the music, and many other reasons are why I recommend you bite a little deeper into your budget and pay for a music subscription.

READ NEXT: HBO Max Vs Netflix: Which Is Better?

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