After YouTube spent two years piloting Premium Lite, a lower-cost subscription plan for ad-free video viewing in select countries, the platform is pulling the plug on the tier. In an email to customers, YouTube announced it will no longer offer Premium Lite after October 25th, 2023.
At €6.99 per month, YouTube’s Premium Lite plan first launched in select European countries in 2021, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. It offers ad-free viewing across YouTube’s spectrum of apps and formats but doesn’t come with Premium’s other features like offline downloads, background playback, or any YouTube Music benefits.
But soon, existing Premium Lite subscribers will be left with two options: go back to watching YouTube with ads or subscribe to the pricier YouTube Premium that also includes YouTube Music. In an email notifying users of the change, YouTube says it will offer Lite subscribers a one-month free trial of YouTube Premium, regardless of whether they’ve had a trial before. It notes that subscribers will need to cancel their Lite subscription or wait for it to be canceled in order to redeem the offer. YouTube raised the price of its Premium and Music subscriptions in the US in July.
“We’re writing to let you know that after 25 October 2023, we will no longer be offering your version of Premium Lite,” YouTube writes in the email. “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.”
The Verge has received several emails from Premium Lite subscribers to our tipline, informing us of their disappointment, while a ResetEra forum discussion is currently growing with other European users lamenting the loss of their service. Premium Lite may have been a relatively unknown service to many of us living in the US and other regions that never had access, but based on initial reactions to its discontinuation, it seems to be the Goldilocks “just right” level for those who want to skip ads but don’t have any interest in paying more for YouTube Music or downloading videos for offline viewing.