Opinion about YouTube Premium Lite: “This subscription is a joke!”

November 19, 2023, 4:33 p.m. |
Reading time: 4 minutes

YouTube Premium Lite has recently been available in Germany. Although it doesn’t offer any extra functions, it reduces the number of advertisements displayed and is significantly cheaper than the large premium subscription. But essentially, many points are simply not true. TECHBOOK editorial director Rita Deutschbein therefore does not have a good opinion about the new offer.

In recent years, YouTube has significantly increased the number of advertisements displayed before and within videos. However, those who do not want to see advertising can hide them with the YouTube Premium tariff. They also get access to the YouTube Music streaming service as well as convenience functions such as the download function and playback in the background. Since the price increase at the beginning of November, Android users have been paying 12.99 euros per month instead of the previous 11.99 euros, and iOS users have been paying 16.99 euros instead of 15.99 euros (Apple charges developers in the App Store for in-app sales usually an additional fee of 30 percent). YouTube Premium is therefore quite expensive.

The Premium Lite tariff, which YouTube has been offering in Germany since the beginning of October, is intended to provide a remedy. Curious: While the subscription starts in Germany, the provider is already discontinuing it in many other countries.

What does YouTube Premium Lite offer?

“You can watch most videos without commercial interruptions with YouTube Premium Lite. Fewer ads will be played on YouTube, YouTube Kids and on all streaming devices on which you can use YouTube.” This is how the provider itself describes its new product. Elsewhere it becomes more specific: “Advertising may appear with music and searches,” it says here.

YouTube Premium Lite does not offer completely ad-free access, but only ad-reduced access. At the same time, there is no access to the convenience functions mentioned at the beginning.

In addition, the Lite subscription is only available as a monthly cancellable version. A reduced student tariff is missing, as is a family subscription. After all: the offer can be tested free of charge for one month. After that, users pay 5.99 euros (Android) or 7.99 euros (iOS) per month – around half the price that would be charged for YouTube Premium.

Only for select YouTube users

YouTube also only offers Premium Lite through the app. There is no booking option in the browser. However, so far only selected users can book the offer, as a test in the editorial team showed. For several colleagues with Android phones, YouTube only advertised the premium subscription, but not the cheaper Lite option. The search within available subscription options was also unsuccessful. A click on the help page revealed the following:

YouTube Premium Lite is not offered on this Android phone

YouTube Premium Lite is not offered on this Android phone Photo: Screenshot TECHBOOK

If you click on the “Become a Premium Lite member” button, another website opens with the message “This page cannot be found”. This means users can’t get any further. There is also an explanation in the information box. YouTube writes here that Premium Lite is “currently only available to certain users”. And at the moment it seems to be mainly those with an iPhone. Our test showed that the Lite subscription could be easily booked on the iPhone – but then for the higher fee of 7.99 euros per month.

Book YouTube Premium Lite – no problem on the iPhone.

Book YouTube Premium Lite – no problem on the iPhone. Photo: Screenshot TECHBOOK

YouTube is keeping quiet about questions about Premium Lite

We asked YouTube for a statement. Among other things, we wanted to know why YouTube Premium Lite was launched in Germany when the offer was discontinued in other countries at the same time? We were also interested in the question of why subscribers continue to see advertising despite the monthly fee. However, the company did not want to answer either question. We only received the statement that the Lite subscription is currently in a test phase in Germany.

We’re testing this version of Premium Lite in different regions to better understand how users, creators, and partners feel about this experience before we expand to more countries.

“We are testing this version of Premium Lite in different regions to better understand how users, creators and partners experience the experience before expanding to additional countries.”

YouTube spokeswoman told TECHBOOK

Unfortunately not a good impression

In the end, the impression remains that YouTube is offering a rather poor compromise to the expensive premium version with the current version of the new Lite subscription. The fact that many Android users cannot book the offer, but in our samples it was available in the more expensive iOS version, makes me personally angry.

I am an enthusiastic YouTube user and have the premium subscription myself because the advertisements in the standard version have become far too much for me. However, I hardly use YouTube Music and would therefore be happy with a cheaper, truly ad-free version. But continuing to see advertising for 6 euros a month and then having to do without the convenience functions is incomprehensible to me. Dear YouTube team, please offer us a truly ad-free alternative for this price without major restrictions in functions. Then YouTube Premium Lite would be a subscription that many people would certainly be happy about.