How much does YouTube Music cost?

YouTube Music is a music streaming platform created by YouTube in 2015. It offers both a free ad-supported option and a paid subscription service called YouTube Music Premium (Source). Like other music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, YouTube Music utilizes a freemium pricing model to attract users.

YouTube Music Free

YouTube Music offers a free, ad-supported version that provides access to the full YouTube Music catalog of over 80 million official songs, albums, thousands of playlists, and artist radio. With the free tier, users can search and play any song or album, create custom playlists, get personalized recommendations, and take music offline by downloading up to 500 songs to their mobile device (Your content & YouTube Music).

Some key features available for free YouTube Music users include:

  • Streaming music with ads
  • Searching songs, albums, artists, playlists
  • Personalized home screen with recommendations
  • Creating and sharing playlists
  • Liking songs to improve recommendations
  • Basic radio-style stations based on songs or artists
  • Offline listening for up to 500 downloaded songs

While free users have access to the full catalog, they are limited in terms of features compared to paid subscribers. There are ads throughout the app, users can’t play songs on-demand or in the background, and the listening experience is generally tailored more towards music discovery vs. any song on-demand.

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube Music Premium is a paid subscription that provides an ad-free, background listening experience of YouTube Music along with downloads for offline playback. It also unlocks additional features not available through the free tier.

Some of the key benefits of a YouTube Music Premium subscription include:

  • Ad-free listening – No annoying video or display ads interrupt your listening.
  • Background play – Keep the music going while using other apps or when your device is locked.
  • Offline downloads – Save songs, playlists, and music videos to your mobile device to listen when internet access is limited.
  • High quality audio – Get the best sound quality with up to 256kbps downloads.
  • Uninterrupted music – Listen continuously with unlimited skips and replays.
  • Exclusive content – Access live performances, cover songs, and remixes not available elsewhere.

With a paid subscription, you can fully unlock the potential of YouTube Music for a seamless ad-free listening experience whenever and wherever you want.

Premium Student Plan

YouTube offers a discounted YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscription for students. The Student plan costs $5.49 per month in the US, which is a nice discount from the regular $9.99 Premium price (

To qualify for the student discount, you must be 18 or older and provide proof that you are currently enrolled at an accredited college or university. Verification is done through SheerID. Once verified, you can sign up for the Premium Student plan and get access to YouTube and YouTube Music ad-free, in the background, and offline for a low monthly price.

Some key perks of the Premium Student plan include:

  • Ad-free music listening on YouTube Music
  • Ability to download songs, albums, playlists for offline listening
  • Background play to keep music going even when app is closed
  • Ad-free, background, and offline access to YouTube videos
  • Access to YouTube Originals series and movies

The Premium Student plan provides a great way for students on a budget to enjoy an enhanced YouTube experience. It’s a nice middle ground between the free, ad-supported base service and the full-price Premium subscription.

Premium Family Plan

YouTube Music Premium offers a family plan that allows up to 6 members to share one subscription ( This is a great option for families who want to save money by sharing an account. The family plan costs $14.99 per month in the US (pricing may vary by country).

All family members get their own separate YouTube Music Premium account with features like ad-free listening, offline downloads, and background play. Family members can also download the YouTube Music mobile app and access it with their own credentials.

To be on the same family plan, members must reside at the same residential address. The family manager can invite up to 5 additional members to join their plan (

The family plan provides a more affordable way for multiple household members to enjoy premium features. Compared to individual plans that cost $9.99 per month, a family of 4 could save over $60 per year with the family plan.

Additional Perks

Aside from unlimited, ad-free music listening, YouTube Music Premium subscriptions include several other benefits. These include:

  • Ad-free video watching on YouTube – Premium subscribers can watch all YouTube videos without any interruptions from ads. This applies across YouTube on all devices.
  • Offline downloads – Users can download an unlimited number of songs, playlists, and music videos to their mobile device to listen offline when internet access is limited. This is handy for plane rides or other situations without connectivity.
  • Background listening – Music will keep playing even when you switch apps or lock your phone’s screen. This allows for seamless listening.
  • Audio-only mode – An audio-only version of music videos and other content is available for times when a video feed isn’t needed.

These extras add significant value, allowing subscribers to get even more utility and enjoyment out of YouTube Music Premium.

Free Trial

YouTube Music offers a free 1-month trial of YouTube Music Premium to new users. This allows you to test out the premium features before committing to a paid subscription. Some key details on the free trial:

  • The free trial is only available to users who have not previously signed up for a YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium subscription.
  • You will not be charged during the 1-month trial period.
  • You can cancel at any time during the trial and you will not be charged.
  • To start the free trial, you sign up directly through YouTube Music by clicking on the “Start 1-month free trial” button.
  • The trial provides full access to YouTube Music Premium features like ad-free listening, offline downloads, and background playback.
  • After 1 month, your trial will expire and you will be automatically charged the regular subscription fee unless you cancel beforehand.

The free trial allows you to fully test out YouTube Music Premium before paying anything. It’s a great way to experience the benefits of a paid subscription risk-free.

Cost Comparison

When it comes to pricing, YouTube Music is very competitively priced compared to other major music streaming services like Spotify. The basic ad-supported version of YouTube Music is free, just like the ad-supported version of Spotify. This allows users to access the full music catalog on demand with advertisements between songs.

For ad-free listening, YouTube Music Premium costs $9.99 per month for an individual plan, the same monthly cost as Spotify Premium (Digital Trends). Both services offer a $4.99 per month discount for students with a valid student ID. However, YouTube Music’s family plan allows up to 5 additional members for a total of 6 accounts for $14.99, while Spotify’s family plan is also $14.99 but only allows up to 5 total members. So YouTube Music’s family plan provides slightly better value.

One key difference in pricing models is that a YouTube Music Premium subscription includes ad-free access to all of YouTube, while a Spotify Premium account does not include any other services. So some users may find additional value in the bundled YouTube Premium features (How-To Geek). Overall, the pricing of these two streaming music giants is very competitively matched.

Ways To Pay

There are a few different ways to pay for YouTube Music Premium subscriptions.1 The main options include:

  • Credit card – Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards are accepted.
  • PayPal – Link your PayPal account to pay.
  • Carrier billing – If your cell phone carrier supports it, you can add the subscription cost to your monthly phone bill.
  • Prepaid card – Redeemable gift cards and prepaid credit cards are accepted.

You can manage your payment method anytime under account settings. When your subscription renews, Google will automatically charge the payment method on file unless you change or cancel it ahead of time.1

Closing Thoughts

In summary, YouTube Music comes in two versions – a free, ad-supported version and a paid Premium version without ads. The free version allows you to search and stream music, but with ads. YouTube Music Premium provides an ad-free experience, offline downloads, and background listening for $9.99/month for individuals or $14.99/month for families up to 5 members. Students can get Premium for $4.99/month with student verification.

The key differences between the free and paid versions are:

  • YouTube Music Free has ads while Premium has no ads
  • Premium allows offline downloads while Free does not
  • Premium enables background listening while Free stops when the app is closed

Overall, for the price, YouTube Music Premium provides an excellent value compared to competitors like Spotify and Apple Music. The membership gives you an uninterrupted, ad-free experience across all your devices. For those looking to stream music extensive music catalogs on demand, YouTube Music is a top choice to consider.

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