YouTube has been pushing its upscale YouTube Music and YouTube Premium services since it hacked YouTube Red into two parts last May. The streaming video giant is now reaching out to students by offering lower-cost subscription plans to YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium; both are ad-free streaming services. Under the new payment plans, Students can get YouTube Music Premium for $4.99 per month, a discount of $5 monthly.
YouTube Premium will cost students $6.99 per month rather than the $11.99 monthly rate it charged before. Students that sign up before January 31, 2019, can get YouTube Premium for $5.99 per month pricing locked in for four years. For those unfamiliar with YouTube Music Premium, it is a direct competitor to Spotify Premium, Pandora Premium, and Apple Music.
YouTube Music Premium allows streaming of music on-demand, the ability to browse playlists, personalized music recommendations based on the user's preferences, artist radio stations, and other features. The big differentiator with YouTube Music Premium is that there is also a video component that the other services don't offer. The service also gives users access to exclusive content like remixes, covers, live versions, and other tracks unavailable elsewhere.
The YouTube Premium service ditches commercials and ads that you usually have to deal with when watching videos on YouTube. A subscription also gives users access to YouTube Originals programming. YouTube is far from the first tech giant to cater to students with lower pricing to get them hooked early on a service. The other major streaming services have offered discounted student subscriptions for years in some cases.
One thing we don't know about YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium today is exactly how many people use the service. YouTube groups all users together in its reported 1.8 billion logged-in monthly users without breaking out users for its paid service. It had admitted in the past that YouTube Red, the predecessor to its current premium service, reached 1.5 million subscriptions in its first year. For now, the discounted student rates are only good in the U.S., but students in other countries will get access to lower pricing in the future.