Google would be wise to create a limited YouTube Premium tier – Information Today Web

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While Google offers no shortage of free services, some of its paid offerings are extremely tempting, and that’s probably no more true than for YouTube Premium. Spend any appreciable amount of time on regular YouTube, sitting through ad after ad, and you’ll be lining up to give Google your $14/month in no time at all to remove ads from YouTube.

AI is not (yet) the hook you’re biting at

At the time, we were thinking about Premium’s new AI-powered conversation tools, and while those sounded all sorts of nifty — is stuff like that really why anyone is paying for Premium?

Well, those of you who responded are clearly not fans of Google spending your subscription dollars on advancements in this direction, with a mere 13.1% interested in a YouTube Premium plan that might place an emphasis on advanced AI tools.

Frankly, Google’s interest in AI is likely to continue for at least the immediate future, whether paid subscribers are clamoring for it or not, so odds are we’ll continue to see an expansion of AI across YouTube. Expect upcoming features to debut first for Premium before possibly spreading to YouTube’s free tier.

‘Pay less, get less’ sounds pretty good

We also asked you about a few modified YouTube Premium plans that could be explicitly about saving you money — and surprise, surprise, saving money turns out to be really popular. Even still, you clearly expressed a preference for how you’d like to see the service limited, with the aim of lower prices.

Only 18.1% of you are interested in a “fewer ads” version of YouTube Premium. This might be something equivalent to the ad-supported tiers of other streaming services, but with most of them lacking full ad-supported offerings, this would have to be sort of a hybrid solution — some ads, and maybe getting a little less annoying about how and when you see them, for a price that’s just a fraction of full Premium.

Some people will always just try to block ads, and they’re welcome to keep at it, but seeing as Google shows no sign of backing down from its battle to prevent such efforts, that doesn’t sound like a ton of fun. Instead, even pirates get to a place eventually where it’s just a better user experience to shell out a few bucks a month. If something like this were ever to succeed, Google would have to be careful about striking the right balance to create optimal feelings of value.

Our runaway winner isn’t interested in seeing any more ads, but is a little less picky about having access to YouTube Premium across their entire library of devices. What if, instead, you could pay a little less for mobile-only Premium? Or maybe we could forget about comments sections entirely and get a special Premium for smart TVs? A solid 68.8% of you think that sounds like a compromise worth making.

YouTube premium app on smartphone stock photo (1)

We got plenty of great comments about this debate, including some alternate ideas on making YouTube Premium more affordable. “Maybe divorcing ad-free Premium from YouTube Music? The only caveat, it cannot be ridiculously priced,” one reader suggests.

That idea picked up a lot of traction, though with many of you doubting whether Google would ever be interested in such a split. Others considered whether Premium might one day extend its ad-free experience to sponsored content in videos themselves. While that sounds like a huge hornet’s nest, it’s also the sort of thing that’s feeling increasingly possible with the help of AI — as well as something that might actually be worth paying even more for.

In the end, Google making YouTube Premium more affordable can only hope to make it more attractive to potential subscribers. Higher tiers, like the one we have now, should remain options for people willing to pay, but by not also offering at least some level of limited Premium subscription, Google is just leaving money on the table.

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Google would be wise to create a limited YouTube Premium tier – Information Today Web

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