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YouTube Premium Has Its Perks. Here Are Some to Consider

Originally posted on wired.

Yeah, it’s yet another paid subscription. But this one might actually be worth it.

THERE ARE ALL kinds of digital subscriptions you can sign up for nowadays—for cloud storage and fitness plans and music streaming and audiobooks—and you simply cannot sign up for every single one. Even if you had the money, you wouldn’t have the time to get your money’s worth.

This brings us to YouTube Premium, the paid plan for the video-sharing site that you and billions of other people happily use for free. So why would you pay $12 a month for it? We’re going to outline the perks here, so you can decide whether it’s worth the price.

No Ads

Sitting through YouTube ads isn’t the worst experience you’re ever going to have—most of them can be skipped after a few seconds anyway—but you might be surprised at just how much better the YouTube experience is without the interruptions and hassles.

You can try YouTube Premium for free—which we encourage you to do—and that will give you an idea of the difference. It actually saves a significant amount of time, especially if you’re a frequent YouTube user and spend a lot of time on the site or in the app.

Also, if you’re using YouTube for music for a party, you won’t have your tunes interrupted every few minutes by an advert. It also helps when you’re presenting clips to other people—at work or in a classroom, for example.

Built-In Video Downloads

YouTube Premium subscribers can also save videos for offline playback. This works in the YouTube apps for Android and iOS, as well as in desktop web browsers, so that you can take your videos anywhere.

No longer do you have to put up with a dodgy internet connection or a lack of Wi-Fi ruining your video streaming. Whether you’re heading to a park or hopping on a plane, you’re able to queue up a selection of clips for your viewing entertainment.

In the mobile apps, there’s also a feature called Smart Downloads. This automatically downloads clips that YouTube thinks you will like (based on your recommendations), so you’ve always got something to watch, whether you’re online or off.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music, which ordinarily would set you back $10 a year, is included with YouTube Premium—so you’re getting a full music streaming service in the style of Spotify or Apple Music as one of your perks.

While YouTube Music might not be quite as feature-rich or as comprehensive as some of its rivals, it has everything that most people need. You can run it through a web browser or through the dedicated mobile apps, and there’s the option to sync tracks to your devices for offline listening.

What’s more, YouTube integrates very well with YouTube Music. For example, if you find a rare live recording on YouTube, you can add it to a playlist on YouTube Music and include it as part of your library.

New Features First

YouTube often tests new features for its video-sharing website and apps, and YouTube Premium subscribers are first in line to try them if interested. These experimental features don’t always make it into the product, but they can still be a lot of fun. In recent times we’ve seen a picture-in-picture mode and a pinch-to-zoom capability appear as test options.

The features are pretty easy to find on the YouTube website and within the apps for Android and iOS, and you’ll usually get a notification when they’re made available, so you can decide whether or not you want to give them a go.

Screenshot of YouTube Premium

Experimental features can be made available on a limited basis.

Background Listening

Another advantage of YouTube Premium is that it enables a rather cool feature when you’re using YouTube on your smartphone: background listening. Switch away to another app and the audio for your video clip carries on playing.

Imagine if you’re listening to a talk and you want to check your social media, or you’re playing music through YouTube and you need to visit a website in your mobile browser. With YouTube Premium, your listening doesn’t have to stop because you want to do something else on your device.

This won’t be something you always use—you don’t want every YouTube video playing in the background on your phone—but the feature is easy enough to toggle on and off in the app settings.

Source: wired

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