YouTube tests Premium Lite, a cut-down ad-free tier that ditches the extras

Super Bowl Commercial on YouTube app
Super Bowl Commercial on YouTube app (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • YouTube is testing a new Premium Lite subscription tier that includes ad-free viewing without the other extras that YouTube Premium offers.
  • The new tier is being tested in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

YouTube is testing a new ad-free tier that sits below the Premium subscription offering. Premium Lite still brings ad-free viewing to YouTube apps on all devices, but it does away with some of the extras that people might not want. It's also around 60% cheaper.

The new tier was first spied by a user on ResetEra and has since been confirmed by The Verge. YouTube says that the tier is being tested in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden right now.

"In Nordics and Benelux (except for Iceland), we're testing a new offering to give users even more choice: Premium Lite costs €6.99/month (or local equivalent per month) and it includes ad-free videos on YouTube," a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. In comparison, YouTube's existing Premium plan costs around €11.99 a month in Europe.

The new tier doesn't include most of the features associated with YouTube Premium, with background playback and downloads being two of the most notable omissions. YouTube Premium Lite also doesn't include the YouTube Music benefits of its more costly alternative, either. YouTube is already one of the best iPhone video-watching experiences out there, even without those options.

It remains to be seen when — or if — YouTube Premiums Lite will come to the masses but it could be a great option for people who just want to be rid of YouTube's ads but don't need all of the bells and whistles that come with YouTube Premium.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.