In an effort to streamline my time, I decided to try out YouTube Premium. I’d always felt the service was a luxury, so I didn’t bother with it. YouTube Premium clocks in at $11.99 a month for the standard service and didn’t appear to do much except for remove ads. Many of us have ad-blockers for that, so this aspect could be seen as whatever. But I ended up buying into it (free trial) for one main reason…

1) Background Playback on Mobile

There is some long-form content I listen to that is only available on YouTube. (interviews, concerts, podcasts, panel discussions, etc.)  With the free version of YouTube, I was running into a problem where I would need to do something like send a text, and the playback would stop. 

With background playback enabled, I can use YouTube as I would with a traditional audio app so I can send texts, play chess, or whatever without stopping the audio. I used to even use both a tablet and my phone at home because I wanted YouTube and access to my phone at the same time.

It’s one of those little changes that’s really helped.

This feature also saves on battery life and cellular data since video isn’t constantly pumping to the screen.

2) Benefit : Download for Offline Viewing / Listening

Speaking of data, YouTube doesn’t operate the best when streaming from your cellular provider or a janky public wi-fi setup. And if you plan on viewing/listening to content more than once, having the option to download for use later is a plus.

3) Ad-Free Standard Videos

This means A LOT to some people put wasn’t a terribly big deal to me as I don’t hate ads like many people do. But getting rid of them does streamline things quite a bit.  When you are trying to keep your flow going, stopping to hit the Skip Ads button takes you out of the zone a bit. And it’s really annoying when you go to skip an ad and you find out there’s no option so you have to watch the whole thing. And you know, some of those ads feel really long, letting them play through isn’t always an option.

4) Ad-Free YouTube Movies and Originals Service

I could have included this in the previous section, but there’s this part of YouTube called “YouTube Movies”. It’s a pretty basic version of a streaming service that has shows, documentaries, and feature length films. The ads you get on them are usually pretty bad. Not the best for when you’re trying to really engage with the content.

This also includes a small amount of content unique to YouTube Premium.

5) YouTube Music

I was trying out Amazon Music for a while, but that service had quite a few songs that it was missing even with a Premium Amazon membership. With YouTube Music, I actually get a few of those songs back. I’m sure I’ll find some missing songs here and there.

But this is a pretty decent service that has it’s own music player app for mobile devices. One of the best things is that YouTube Music has a great “play similar songs” feature. With a given playlist loaded up, it keeps on offering me great suggestions to add to that list. This works much better for me than Amazon or Spotify.

6) Supports Creators

Supposedly, the YouTube creators get a cut of the Premium revenue, so you can feel better knowing that you’re supporting the community.


So there it is. Hope that was valuable to you. For more about my thoughts on streaming, be sure to check out my other posts and discussions on the Streaming Wars.

– Benja –

Image Reference: Corner of the living room from my old home in Florida where the kids watched movies and played Super Nintendo.



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