YouTube is testing a cheaper version of its Premium subscription service, which is focused purely on ad-free viewing.
The more affordable option was first uncovered by a forum member on Resetera, who was given the choice of downgrading to YouTube Premium Lite while cancelling their standard Premium subscription in the Netherlands.
YouTube Premium Lite eliminates ads during video viewing across YouTube’s main app on the web, iOS, Android, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.
However, it excludes features such as offline downloads, background playback, and ad-free YouTube Music.
While it offers fewer features, it is more affordable.
In Europe, Premium is charged at €11.99 a month (R205), while Lite costs €6.99 (R119) per month, making it about 42% cheaper.
In a statement provided to The Verge, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed it was currently trialling the new offer in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
YouTube says that Premium Lite was in an experimental phase and that it is considering rolling out more plans based on audience feedback.
A lite version could be an attractive option for those who prefer using other music streaming services and don’t feel they benefit from offline downloads or background playback.
It is unclear if YouTube plans to bring the cheaper product to South Africa, however.
When attempting to access the YouTube Premium Lite page from South Africa, we were presented with a “This offer is not available” message.
South Africa’s standard Premium package is already much more affordable than the equivalent offer in Europe.
YouTube Premium costs R71.99 in South Africa, which is already cheaper than the price of the new Lite service in Europe.
If YouTube were to apply the same discount in South Africa for a Lite version, it could be priced at around R41.99.
That’s the same price as the student plan, which, just like Lite, costs €6.99 in Europe.