YouTube kills Premium Lite, a budget-friendly, ad-free only tier, without background play, downloads and YouTube Music Premium.
YouTube Premium is the video streaming platform’s top tier, subscription service, offering ad-free videos, background play on mobile, downloads for offline watching and a full YouTube Music Premium account. However for many, all they’re interested in is ad-free videos.
For these people, in select European markets, YouTube Premium Lite was the perfect sweet spot, offering ad-free videos, but lacking background play, downloads and YouTube Music Premium, for just €6.99 per month, €5 per month less than the usual €11.99 per month.
YouTube has announced that they will be ending this loved lower tier on 25 October, with existing memberships being cancelled. Those wanted to still enjoy ad-free YouTube will need to pony up the additional €5/month for a full YouTube Premium subscription. YouTube are offering all Lite subscribers a free one-month trial to Premium, regardless of whether they have tried it before or not.
Subscribers of YouTube Premium Lite have been sent the following email from YouTube:
Thank you for being one of our first Premium Lite members.
We’re writing to let you know that after 25 October 2023, we will no longer be offering your version of Premium Lite. While we understand that this may be disappointing news, we continue to work on different versions of Premium Lite as we incorporate feedback from our users, creators and partners.
We will cancel your membership on 25 October 2023. Your Premium Lite benefits will expire at the end of your billing cycle and you will not be billed further.
To show our appreciation, we’re offering a one-month trial of YouTube Premium (even if you’ve had a trial before). With YouTube Premium, you can watch videos ad-free, offline and in the background. Plus, stream music ad-free in the YouTube Music app.
If you’d like to redeem this offer, you’ll need to cancel your Premium Lite membership or wait for it to be cancelled for you.
You can find more information in the YouTube Help Centre.
The YouTube Premium team
This move has unsurprisingly angered many subscribers, who were willing to pay a small amount to not see ads, but were uninterested in the additional features. The question is, after these Premium Lite memberships lapse, will enough previous subscribers upgrade to make this decision financially worth it for YouTube?