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YouTube Premium vs YouTube Music Premium: Both options explained

YouTube has a few different paid services. Which one will best meet your needs?
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Published onFebruary 9, 2024

YouTube Music on smartphone stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

YouTube was once a simple service. You simply uploaded your videos to the platform or watched videos other people uploaded. However, it has since diversified its portfolio, so to speak. YouTube now counts itself among music streaming services. But between YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium, which is the right pick for you? Here’s everything you need to know.

YouTube Music Premium

QUICK ANSWER

YouTube is a video streaming service that you've no doubt heard of. Meanwhile, YouTube Music is a music streaming service that uses YouTube as a backbone. YouTube Music Premium is a subscription that removes ads on all music (but not normal videos), while the more costly YouTube Premium removes ads from all videos, and it includes YouTube Music Premium.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

  1. What are YouTube and YouTube Music?
  2. What are YouTube and YouTube Music's features
  3. How much are YouTube Premium and YouTube Music?
  4. Should I get YouTube Premium or YouTube Music?


What are YouTube and YouTube Music?

YouTube on smartphone stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
For the sake of clarity, let’s get the basics out of the way first, and we’ll talk more about them afterward. Here is everything that’s part of YouTube and how YouTube works.

  • YouTube: YouTube is a video streaming service powered by the users of the site. It boasts 500 new minutes of content every minute, and it’s the most popular streaming website ever.
  • YouTube Premium: A subscription service with enhanced features for YouTube users. Features include background play on mobile devices, downloading videos for offline use, and no advertising.
  • YouTube Music: YouTube Music was once just an offshoot of YouTube. It originally showed only music videos. However, it has since grown into a full-fledged music streaming service that uses YouTube as its backbone.
  • YouTube Originals: YouTube Originals is a set of exclusive content for YouTube. You used to need a YouTube Premium subscription to watch them, but YouTube made them free in late 2019.

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It may seem confusing, but it’s actually not that bad. YouTube is the platform, and YouTube Premium is the service. YouTube Music and Music Premium are separate products for only music content. Of course, YouTube also has additional offshoots like YouTube Kids and YouTube TV, but those aren’t relevant for this comparison.


What are YouTube and YouTube Music’s features?

YouTube on smartphone stock photo 14
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
YouTube PremiumYouTube Music Premium
Price
YouTube Premium
$13.99 per month
YouTube Music Premium
$10.99 per month
Ad-free videos
YouTube Premium
Yes
YouTube Music Premium
Yes (music only)
Offline downloads
YouTube Premium
Yes
YouTube Music Premium
Yes (music only)
Background play
YouTube Premium
Yes
YouTube Music Premium
Yes (music only)

YouTube Premium has a wide array of additional features. The full list includes:

  • Ad-free video content: You can watch anything on YouTube without ads.
  • Offline downloads: Download and watch content offline with your mobile device. You can also download whole playlists.
  • Background play: You can leave the video screen and continue to browse YouTube or the rest of your phone. You can also listen while the screen is off.
  • YouTube Music: Yes, YouTube Music is included in the price of regular YouTube Premium. The reverse is not true for YouTube Music subscribers, though.
  • YouTube Kids: All of the above, but in the YouTube Kids app.

The YouTube Music subscription includes all the same stuff, but it’s locked to the YouTube Music app. For example, with a Music subscription, you can open YouTube Music and listen to music ad-free and in the background with offline downloads. However, if you go onto actual YouTube and watch a Binging With Babish video, it will still have ads.


How much are YouTube Premium and YouTube Music?

YouTube Quality Settings 1
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
YouTube Premium runs $13.99 per month for a single plan (or $119,99 per year) and $22.99 per month for a family plan. The family plan includes you and up to five other people for a total of six. We have a review of YouTube Premium if you want to learn more.

YouTube Music Premium is the weird one in the family. It comes as part of the YouTube Premium membership. Thus, if you pay for YouTube Premium, you already have the music version as well.

However, you can subscribe to the YouTube Music Premium service on its own for $10.99 per month for one user and $14.99 per month for a family plan. This competes directly with Apple Music, Spotify, TIDAL, and others. When you use this plan, YouTube Music works like Spotify, and you can enjoy ad-free music and videos in the YouTube Music app.

Both versions offer discounted student plans as well. A student YouTube Premium account will run you $7.99 per month, while a standalone YouTube Music plan for students is $5.49 per month.


Should I get YouTube Premium or YouTube Music Premium?

YouTube on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Usually, we can find good reasons for you to get one thing or another thing. However, this is not the case this time. YouTube Premium is obviously the better bargain. It includes ad-free support for both regular YouTube and YouTube Music, along with YouTube Kids subscription for a paltry $3 per month extra for an individual account or $7 per month extra for a family account.

We think that’s an excellent bargain for access to two different services, including ad-free access to the world’s most popular video streaming service. It’s even better if you have kids.

The only time we wouldn’t recommend the more expensive plan is if you only use YouTube for music. In that case, the $10.99 per month option would be best for you. It’s simple enough to graduate to the more expensive plan should you ever want an ad-free experience on all of YouTube.

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