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Is YouTube Free?

Here’s everything you need to know about YouTube—including costs.

I’ll cut straight to the chase.

Yes, YouTube is 100% free. But you can pay for certain features on YouTube, whether you prefer to digest or create content.

Let’s dive in.

YouTube Premium for Viewers

YouTube Premium is $12/month.

So what’s it all about?

There are four key differences between free YouTube and YouTube Premium.

With YouTube Premium, you can:

  • Watch videos without ads
  • Access YouTube Music
  • View exclusive YouTube Original shows
  • Download content to stream offline

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Is it worth it?

Let’s break it down.

The price point isn’t bad compared to other streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Hulu, or Netflix.

It’s an all-in-one content subscription that gives the most value to users who already spend a large portion of their time on YouTube watching videos.

If that sounds like you, it’s worth looking into.

Content Creator Costs

YouTube doesn’t cost a penny for content creators, influencers, vloggers, businesses—you name it.

The best part is that you can upload as much content whenever you want with no limits.

YouTube does have its limitations, though.

An oversaturated market makes it difficult to stand out among the crowd, and most viewers hit ad walls before—or during—your videos.

Compared to the high costs and strict limitations of streaming competitor Vimeo, YouTube is a great platform for content creators.

But beware: if you’re about to jump into the enticing world of YouTube vlogging with the hopes to earn easy cash or drive consumers to your business, make sure you look before you leap.

There are hidden costs of content creation.

High-quality cameras, microphones, video-editing software, and other equipment costs can empty your wallet quickly.

But that’s not all.

You need to account for the time spent (which can equate to money lost) crafting, recording, editing, and publishing content.


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  • Becca is a freelance writer and recent graduate from Arcadia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Graphic Design. Her passions include reading and writing, promoting mental health and wellness, and creating functional artwork.

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