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Your annual subscription guide to YouTube Premium and Music

What you choose very much depends on how you like to use YouTube.
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Published onJanuary 24, 2024

YouTube premium app on smartphone stock photo (4)

As the world’s most popular streaming service, YouTube can generate enormous advertising revenues. If you’re happy to watch or listen to the ads, it’s a win-win, but many people prefer to pay a subscription fee to remove the ads and unlock extra features in YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. Whether you’re one of those paying customers or not, you might have wondered if YouTube Premium and Music have an annual subscription. It’s a little complicated, but we’ll answer your questions here.

As a quick summary, YouTube Premium not only includes ad-free videos and music, it also gives you background play and offline downloads, plus YouTube Music and YouTube Kids. YouTube Music alone omits the ads and gives you background play and offline download options, but only for music streaming.

Does YouTube Premium and Music have an annual subscription?

YouTube Music home screen UI 1

Both YouTube Premium and Music now have an annual subscription. This is a relatively recent development that started being trialed in 2022.

This isn’t too surprising from a streaming giant. The likes of Netflix and Spotify also don’t offer annual subscriptions. There’s little incentive for these services to give you a discount over the course of 12 months when they know that you’re less likely to notice a monthly outlay over a lump sum payment and that you’ll probably stay subscribed all year anyway.

You can sign up for these annual plans in the same place that you go to get a monthly subscription. Where it starts getting a little less straightforward is if you’re currently subscribed to a monthly plan for either service, as you cannot switch to an annual plan directly. But you can just cancel your current monthly plan and then enroll in the annual plan. Rest assured that your playlists and other features will remain intact as they are linked to your account rather than your subscription.

How much does an annual YouTube Premium and Music subscription cost?

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium annual pricing.

Both YouTube Premium and Youtube Music have Individual, Family, and Student plans, but only the Individual option is available as an annual plan. For both services, the annual subscription works out to effectively 12 months for the price of 10.

A YouTube Premium annual subscription costs $119.99. The Individual plan is $11.99 per month, which works out to $143.88 per year. The savings are, therefore, approximately $24 per year — or $2 per month.

The annual subscription for YouTube Music is $99.99. Since a month of the service is $9.99 per month, the savings are approximately $20 over the course of the year, which comes to around $1.67 each month.

Is the YouTube annual subscription available globally?

YouTube Music on smartphone stock photo 1

The YouTube annual subscriptions aren’t available globally yet, but they are on offer in several key markets. So far, you can get the annual plan in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Thailand, India, and Japan.

You might expect that this relatively new payment plan will be expanded to other regions if YouTube sees value in it, especially the other big economies of Europe.

Is the YouTube annual subscription worth it?

YouTube on smartphone stock photo 2

Whether you’re looking at a monthly or an annual plan, it’s fair to say that the YouTube Music subscription isn’t worth it when comparing the two YouTube services. YouTube Premium includes Music and is only a couple of bucks more per month with a lot of extra ad-free content, so unless you purely use YouTube for music, it’s worth going for Premium on any payment plan.

Is the YouTube Premium annual subscription worth it? This is a trickier question to answer. The effective savings of $2 per month are relatively modest. Not only do you have to commit for a whole year to get that discount, but you also have to pay the whole amount upfront.

If you know for a fact that you’ll use the service fairly constantly — you can’t pause your subscription — for the next 12 months, and you have the money to shell out, then it is arguably worth it. Just keep in mind the flexibility to cancel that you’re losing in signing up.

For those with grandfathered YouTube Music plans, the equation is different. If you secured the $7.99 rate during the shift away from Google Play Music, even the annual plan to YouTube Music is more expensive than what you’re currently paying, as it works out to around $8.33 per month. So you’re better off sticking with the legacy option.