After a two-year trial period, YouTube is bidding farewell to its Premium Lite subscription plan, designed to provide a more budget-friendly option for ad-free video viewing in certain countries. In an email communication addressed to its subscribers, YouTube declared that it will officially discontinue Premium Lite starting from October 25th, 2023.
Launched at a cost of €6.99 per month, the Premium Lite plan made its debut in select European nations back in 2021. These countries included Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. The core allure of this subscription was the elimination of advertisements across all of YouTube’s platforms and formats. However, it did not encompass additional features associated with YouTube Premium, such as offline downloads, background playback, or access to YouTube Music.
Limited Options for Existing Subscribers
Subscribers who are currently enjoying the benefits of Premium Lite will soon be faced with a decision. They can either revert to the standard YouTube experience, complete with advertisements, or opt for the pricier YouTube Premium, which bundles YouTube Music with its offering. In an email notification outlining this transition, YouTube stated its intention to grant Lite subscribers a one-month free trial of YouTube Premium. Importantly, this offer extends to both new and previous trial participants. To redeem this complimentary trial, subscribers will need to either cancel their Lite subscription or await its automatic discontinuation. It is worth noting that YouTube had already increased the prices of its Premium and Music subscriptions in the United States earlier in the year.
“We’re writing to let you know that after 25 October 2023, we will no longer be offering your version of Premium Lite,” the email from YouTube informed its subscribers. It acknowledged the disappointment this news may bring and offered reassurance by stating, “While we understand that this may be disappointing news, we continue to work on different versions of Premium Lite as we incorporate feedback from our users, creators, and partners.”
Subscribers Express Their Disappointment
The announcement of Premium Lite’s discontinuation has led to a wave of disappointment among its subscribers. The Verge has received numerous emails from Premium Lite subscribers expressing their discontent. Additionally, a discussion on the ResetEra forum, primarily consisting of European users, is gaining momentum as users lament the impending loss of their service.
While Premium Lite may have remained somewhat obscure to those residing in regions without access to it, such as the United States, its cancellation has underscored its significance to a particular demographic. This subscription plan seemed to strike a balance, meeting the needs of those who desired an ad-free experience without the added expenses of YouTube Music or the convenience of downloading videos for offline viewing. As YouTube moves forward, it appears they will be taking user, creator, and partner feedback into account as they explore new iterations of Premium Lite.