YouTube Music vs YouTube Premium vs YouTube Music Premium explained!

YouTube Premium Music Logo in App
YouTube was once a simple service. You simply uploaded your videos to the platform or watched videos other people uploaded. However, it has since diversified its portfolio, so to speak. YouTube Music, YouTube Premium, YouTube Originals, and YouTube Music Premium are now part of the main YouTube experience. Here’s everything you need to know about all of these services!

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Basic definitions

For the sake of clarity, let’s get the basics out of the way first and we’ll talk more about them afterward. Here is everything in YouTube and what it does.

  • YouTube – YouTube is a video streaming service powered by the users of the site. It boasts 500 new minutes of content every minute and it’s the most popular streaming website ever.
  • YouTube Premium – A subscription service with enhanced features for YouTube users. Features include background play on mobile devices, downloading videos for offline use, and no advertising.
  • YouTube Music – YouTube Music was once just an offshoot of YouTube. It originally showed only music videos. However, it has since grown into a full-fledged music streaming service that uses YouTube as its backbone.
  • YouTube Music Premium – This is the subscription service specifically for YouTube Music. It has the same features as YouTube Premium, but those features are locked to the YouTube Music service only.
  • YouTube Originals – YouTube Originals is a set of exclusive content for YouTube. You used to need a YouTube Premium subscription to watch them, but YouTube made them free in late 2019.

It may seem confusing but it’s actually not that bad. YouTube is the platform and YouTube Premium is the service. YouTube Music and Music Premium are separate products for only music content. Of course, YouTube also has additional offshoots like YouTube Kids and YouTube TV. You can read about those with the link below.

Read next: Check out every YouTube offshoot here!

YouTube Premium Music icon


YouTube Premium has a wide array of additional features. The full list includes:

  • Ad-free video content – You can watch anything on YouTube without ads.
  • Offline downloads – Download and watch content offline with your mobile device. You can also download whole playlists.
  • Background play – You can leave the video screen and continue to browse YouTube or the rest of your phone. You can also listen while the screen is off.
  • YouTube Music Premium – Yes, YouTube Music Premium is included in the price of regular YouTube Premium. This does not work in reverse, though.
  • YouTube Kids – All of the above, but in the YouTube Kids app.
  • Google Play Music – Google is retiring Google Play Music sometime in 2020. However, for the time being, it still comes as part of the YouTube Premium package. You can prepare yourself for the transition by transferring your content from Google Play Music to YouTube Music here.

The YouTube Music Premium subscription includes all the same stuff, but it’s locked to the YouTube Music app. For example, with a Music Premium subscription, you can open YouTube Music and listen to music ad-free and in the background with offline downloads. However, if you go onto actual YouTube and watch a Binging With Babish video, it will still have ads.

YouTube Music on smartphone stock photo 4


The prices for YouTube Premium are a bit on the expensive side. It runs for $12.99 per month for a single plan and $17.99 per month for a family plan. The family plan includes you and up to five other people for a total of six. You can read more about YouTube Premium here.

YouTube Music Premium is the weird one in the family. It comes as part of the YouTube Premium membership. Thus, if you pay the $12.99 per month (or $17.99 per month for a family plan), you already have the music version as well along with Google Play Music until it is retired.

However, you can purchase the service on its own for $9.99 per month for one user and $14.99 per month for a family plan. This competes directly with Apple Music, Spotify, and others. You can read more about YouTube Music Premium family plans here.

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What should I get?

Usually we can find good reasons for you to get one thing or another thing. However, this is not the case this time. YouTube Premium is obviously the better bargain. It includes ad-free support for both regular YouTube and YouTube Music along with YouTube Kids and a full Google Play Music (until it dies) subscription for a paltry $3 per month extra. We think that’s an excellent bargain for access to three (soon, two) different services, including ad-free access to the world’s most popular video streaming service.

The only time we wouldn’t recommend the more expensive plan is if you literally only use YouTube for music. In that case, the $9.99 per month one would be best for you. It’s simple enough to graduate to the more expensive plan should you ever want an ad-free experience on all of YouTube.

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We can see how all of this can be confusing. However, it all boils down to the choice between getting both services for one price or just getting the music subscription by itself. The music subscription is an okay deal, but it’s matched in price by competitors like Spotify, Apple Music, and others. Did we miss anything? Sound off in the comments!

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