Why I canceled Spotify for YouTube Premium
No more ads and plenty of other benefits make YouTube Premium an easy choice
I’ve been a Spotify subscriber for several years, but last month I decided to make a change. I canceled my membership with the Swedish company and signed up for a free month of YouTube Premium – and it’s something I wish I’d done sooner.
It’s not that I’ve ever been particularly unhappy with Spotify’s service. Spotify is the market leader for a reason, offering a staggering amount of songs and compatibility with every device you’d expect, including the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
However, I usually gravitate to the same few bands on repeat and rarely dabble in the world of podcasts. It’s fair to say that I wasn’t getting the most out of my $9.99 monthly subscription fee, and it seemed prudent to look for an alternative.
The problem was I’d already tried Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Qobuz, and even Deezer. Even though they all offer higher quality audio than Spotify – which is seriously lagging in this area – I’ve never gelled with either of these services.
Apple Music meant using iTunes again on PC, Tidal and Qobuz were too expensive, and Deezer’s library lacked the depth other rivals could offer. Amazon Music was probably the best, but you only get two million ad-free tracks as part of Amazon Prime.
Last chance saloon 🤠
With all my options exhausted then, I decided to give YouTube Premium a whirl – and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how great it’s been.
I use YouTube almost every day, but it comes with a heavy price — you’re bombarded with ads.
As you might expect, the most obvious benefit of signing up for a Premium account is that I don’t have to deal with any more adverts whatsoever, which is a liberating feeling. 🙌
The double dose of adverts that play during a video, or worse – right at the end – is especially egregious and robs YouTube of its immediacy. That’s super frustrating when you want to watch a short video and swiftly move on.
The frequency of ads also means you need to keep your device close by; otherwise, you can’t skip any that pop up (if they’re indeed skippable). I listen to many videos in the shower, so I’m at the mercy of every ad that rudely appears.
Let the band play on 🎵
Another feature I’d miss if I unsubscribed from YouTube Premium is how videos and music continue to play even when my phone is locked or if I’m using another app like Twitter.
I’ve always found it a little petty that YouTube doesn’t include background play by default, but Google knows just how useful it is. Being able to multitask away from my desktop PC is undoubtedly handy, as I don’t have to commit to watching YouTube over everything else I’d like to do.
You can also download videos to watch offline in case you’re heading somewhere with spotty Wi-Fi, which is everywhere in the UK outside of London and your own home. 😂
The icing on the cake 🍰
No ads, background play, and being able to download videos might not be enough to entice some people to leave Spotify for good. But when combined with YouTube Music? Well, that seals the deal for me.
Not only do you get the usual curated playlists, trending tabs, charts, song suggestions, and every artist you could hope to find, but you also get music videos and lyrics as part of the package. YouTube is usually the place I go to find an artist who may not be on Spotify, too, so I haven’t faced that all too familiar feeling of missing out on your favorite artist when using other music services.
Perhaps the only “advantage” Spotify has is that more devices are built with native integration. But if you have a Bluetooth speaker or a device you can cast to, no problem.
The start of something special 🤗
It’ll be hard to go back to all those ads and missing features should I let my YouTube Premium subscription lapse. For $11.99, it’s worth the extra couple of bucks over Spotify as I feel like I use YouTube to its fullest.
However, it has made me wonder why I’ve shunned Google’s platform before. Maybe I ignored it out of principle after being subjected to so many sign-up ads, but I’ve been more than impressed with what’s on offer as it fits my usage habits perfectly.
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I followed the same route. YouTube Premium is essential (I have 3 YouTube loving kids, so we have the Family membership), and once you have that, Spotify becomes unessential.