Shortly after banning individuals for using ad-blockers, YouTube has increased the price of its Premium service, making it the most expensive among its competitors.
In a recent development, YouTube announced a price hike for its Premium service in Australia, raising the monthly fee of the Family plan to A$32.99, a jump of A$10 from the previous price. This change will come into effect on December 9, 2023, and has made YouTube Premium the priciest Video on Demand (VOD) and live-streaming service, overshadowing competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and Stan Australia.
The new pricing sees the Individual plan now priced at A$16.99 to A$17 per month, marking the first-ever price increase for individual subscriptions in Australia. This move comes shortly after YouTube started cracking down on users employing ad-blockers, a tactic expected to boost the platform’s overall earnings, which makes this price increase a puzzling decision.
When compared to other streaming giants, YouTube Premium’s new pricing stands out starkly. Netflix, a platform known for its high-quality, big-budget shows and films, offers its premium plan at A$22.99 per month which includes 4K streaming and the ability to watch on multiple devices simultaneously. On the other hand, Amazon Prime Video, priced at A$9.99 per month, not only provides a vast array of video content but also includes other perks like free and fast delivery on orders, along with access to Amazon Music.
Disney Plus, with a monthly subscription of A$13.99, is home to an extensive collection of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content, and allows streaming on 4 screens at the same time with up to 7 profiles. Stan Australia has a range of plans starting from A$10 to A$21 per month, offering different levels of access including HD and 4K streaming on the premium plan.
Besides video streaming platforms, music streaming service Spotify also seems to offer better value with its Premium Individual plan priced at A$12.99 per month, which is significantly lower than YouTube Premium, and includes ad-free music streaming among other features.
The YouTube Premium Family Plan allows for up to 5 accounts, but with a catch – all members must reside at the same address, essentially acting as additional profiles rather than separate accounts. In contrast, Netflix’s premium plan allows for multiple profiles and Disney Plus allows up to 7 profiles, with no such location restrictions.
With this price increase, YouTube Premium has become the most expensive live streaming and VOD service. Despite the vast user-generated content, the platform lacks the high-budget, feature-length shows and movies that competitors offer, raising questions about the justification behind the steep price hike, especially in the wake of the recent ad-blocker crackdown. This move by YouTube prompts a re-evaluation among users whether the ad-free experience and other features offered by YouTube Premium justify its high cost.