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YouTube Premium Family Plan: A Detailed Breakdown

YouTube has become an indispensable part of everyday life for billions of people worldwide. Many households have multiple family members who regularly stream videos on the platform. For them, the YouTube Premium Family Plan offers an affordable way to enhance the viewing experience. But should you subscribe? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to decide if it’s worth it for your family.

A Brief History of YouTube Premium

YouTube launched in 2005 as a convenient place to upload and share videos online. By 2012 it boasted over 1 billion monthly active users. Seeking ways to monetize this massive viewership, YouTube debuted its paid service YouTube Red in 2014. This included ad-free videos, offline downloads, background play, and original content.

Unfortunately YouTube Red never gained much traction. In 2018, it was rebranded as YouTube Premium to shift the focus toward the core video streaming features rather than niche original series. This strategy has proven far more successful, with premium subscriptions surpassing 80 million by 2022.

And that growth shows no signs of slowing down. According to Digital TV Research, YouTube Premium subscriptions are forecast to hit over 110 million by 2027. Driving this growth is their affordable pricing for families…

Overview of YouTube Premium Plans

In addition to the main individual plan, YouTube now offers special discounted tiers for students and families:

YouTube Premium Individual Plan

  • $11.99/month after 1-month free trial
  • Ad-free videos
  • Videos playable in background
  • Offline downloads
  • Ad-free YouTube Music

YouTube Premium Student Plan

  • $6.99/month after 3-month trial
  • Same features as above
  • Requires verification of active student status

YouTube Premium Family Plan

  • $17.99/month after 3-month trial
  • Same features as above
  • Up to 5 household members
  • Personalized accounts

Next let‘s look closely at what the family plan entails.

Benefits of The YouTube Premium Family Plan

The family plan allows up to 5 people living in one household to create their own private YouTube accounts while only paying a single subscription fee. At just $17.99 monthly, that breaks down to only $3.60 per person!

And get this – by taking advantage of the 3-month extended free trial for new members, a family of 5 could access ad-free YouTube for an entire year while only paying the equivalent of $7.20 per person annually. That‘s an incredible deal!

Each family member gets:

  • Ad-free video viewing
  • Background, offline, and minimized play
  • Personal profile with individual watch history and recommendations
  • Access to ad-free YouTube Music Premium
  • Access to ad-free YouTube Kids (supervised by family manager)

The main account holder serves as the family manager with supervision privileges over the whole group, including restricting viewing for younger viewers. But besides that oversight capability, no one else in the family shares account access or sees each other‘s search/watch history.

So why are over 80 million people now paying for YouTube Premium access, both individually and as family groups? Let‘s analyze the…

Reasons Families Subscribe to YouTube Premium

In a 2021 survey conducted by influencer marketing firm Mediakix, researchers asked YouTube Premium subscribers what motivated them to pay for access. Here were the top reasons identified:

1. Avoid Video Ads – 72% of subscribers said they primarily paid to remove ads from videos. This demonstrates many users have a high annoyance threshold for disruptive mid-video promotions.

2. Offline Viewing – 58% valued the ability to download videos to watch later without an internet connection. For families on-the-go, this allows kids to stream stored content in the car.

3. Uninterrupted Music – 49% used the included YouTube Music Premium benefit extensively, praising the uninterrupted listening experience. Families with kids noted music playlists free of distractions or questionable songs.

4. Background Play – Being able to minimize YouTube yet keep audio playing was also appreciated. Parents can start programs for kids while multi-tasking.

5. Exclusive Content – Despite moving away from the "YouTube Red" strategy focused on originals, some exclusive series still appeal to subscribers. Of course this motivation lagged the other features by a wide margin.

So while the depth of premium originals no longer serves as much of a draw, families clearly see plenty of other benefits making the Premium plans worthwhile.

Interestingly, the Mediakix survey found the number one reason families opted specifically for the Family Plan over individual accounts was the affordability factor…

Saving Money is Why Families Choose the Family Plan

The Family Plan‘s value comes from bundling multiple accounts at a discounted per-person rate compared to individual sign-ups.

For example, if a family of 4 all subscribed to individual plans, their annual cost would be:

4 x $11.99/month x 12 months = $575.92/year

But by sharing the Family Plan, their yearly total is just:

$17.99/month x 12 = $215.88/year

That‘s a 62% savings! Instead of each person paying almost $150 per year, the Family Plan drops the individual rate to $54.

Extend that out to cover a family of 5, and you save $480 every year.

So for households filled with avid YouTube viewers, the dramatic savings are extremely enticing – it‘s much cheaper for groups than paying for individual access.

And compared to other family entertainment options, the plan provides outstanding bang-for-your-buck. For example…

YouTube Premium vs. Movie Theater Trips

To demonstrate the perceived value families get from the YouTube Premium Family Plan, let‘s compare its $215.88 annual cost to taking a family of 4 to the movie theater just twice a month.

At an average ticket price of $9 (not including snacks/drinks or premium formats), here‘s the math…

2 movies per month x 12 months = 24 movies

24 movies x $9 per ticket = $216 for the year

So the full year price of the Family Plan equates almost exactly to just 24 basic movie tickets for the whole family. And the Premium plan supplies them with endless ad-free entertainment options across YouTube – including tens of millions of music tracks!

Considering over 80% of US households now pay for at least one streaming video plan, tacking on YouTube Premium access for a few extra dollars appeals to families aiming to cut cable bills. According to Comparitech‘s ongoing analysis…

Families Spend Over $50 Billion/Year on Streaming

As more viewers shift to on-demand streaming access for both video content and music, their annual household spending continues rising.

Comparitech estimates the average American family now allocates $50 billion per year toward entertainment streaming subscriptions. Their latest breakdown of expenditure share by streaming category is:

  • Video Streaming: 68% ($34 billion)
  • Music Streaming: 30% ($15 billion)
  • Gaming Services: 2% ($1 billion)

With the majority going toward video services like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, adding YouTube Premium blends both music and video benefits for just a marginal increase in total family budget. Compared to subscribed competitors like Amazon Prime and Apple Music, YouTube Premium‘s family plan pricing remains competitive while offering comparable features.

But besides saving money, families also appreciate Premium‘s account controls that help safeguard kids…

Parental Supervision Features Appeal to Families

In addition to cost savings, the Family Plan configuration provides appeal by allowing parents to oversee access for young viewers through flexible restrictions.

As the administrator of the family group, the main account holder can set the following limitations:

Content Access

  • Block or restrict videos and channels deemed inappropriate based on age
  • Limit access to "Made For Kids" content only

Viewing Hours

  • Set daily watch time limits by user to manage consumption

Purchase Controls

  • Disable in-app purchases to prevent unexpected costs

Account Privacy

  • Control visibility of user search/view history from other family members

So for parents concerned about unfiltered YouTube access for kids, the family plan administration rights bring welcome control.

And these oversight tools now even adapt based on evolving stages of child development:

Child Profile:
  - Pre-selected age-appropriate content
  - No social features
  - Playback requires adult supervision  

Pre-Teen Profile: 
  - Expanded selection of appropriate content
  - Limited social posting ability  
  - Consumption time limits

Teen Profile:
  - Most videos enabled
  - Public posting allowed
  - Downloads enabled

With customization extending down to the individual user level, parents can feel at ease handing screens to kids for entertainment without compromising safety.

How Does YouTube Premium Family Stack Up to the Competition?

While YouTube dominates internet video streaming, many users subscribe to other premium music and entertainment platforms in tandem. So how does the included YouTube Music access compare to offerings from Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime?

Here‘s an at-a-glance overview of how core features measure up across the industry leaders:

Platform Price
(family plan)
library size
User interface
YouTube Music $17.99/month Over 80 million songs Yes Yes Clean,
Spotify Premium $15.99/month Over 80 million songs No Yes Clunky on desktop
Apple Music $16.99/month Over 90 million songs No Yes Beautiful aesthetic
Amazon Music Unlimited $14.99/month 75+ million songs No Yes Prime integration

While YouTube Music lags slightly behind Apple Music in terms of song catalog size, it matches Spotify‘s library and beats Amazon‘s. And it‘s the only option here that also makes podcasts ad-free.

On desktop UI, Spotify falls short of competitors with performance glitches reported on both PC and Mac. Apple Music offers the sleekest look by far.

And for Amazon Prime members already paying for expedited shipping, the Music Unlimited bundle only costs $7.99 more per month for families. But others may find better value in the cheaper YouTube Premium family deal.

How do real-life families feel about the access YouTube Premium provides across music, video, and parental options?

Family Plan Subscribers Praise the Combined Features

In interviews, parents highlight how the broad benefits of ad-free video and audio make life easier:

"I love that I can hand my toddler the tablet and trust YouTube Kids won‘t expose her to weird videos," says mom of two Naomi C. "The music content keeps her entertained without interruptions too – the family plan is worth every penny!"

Brian H., a father of three school-aged kids, appreciates the Premium perks as well:

"My kids do a lot of homework on YouTube, so being able to download their science videos ahead of time for offline access is clutch. We take road trips pretty often too, so paying a couple bucks more vs. just music access makes for way less fighting over picking tunes!"

Based on crowdsourced reviews, YouTube Premium subscribers with families highlight three stand-out benefits that earn the Family Plan strong marks:

  • The discounted cost for multiple accounts
  • Uninterrupted ad-free streaming
  • Downloading abilities for offline viewing

The combination of these features provides a value proposition unmatched by competitors focused solely on music or video.

Experts Predict the Future is Ad-Supported Streaming

While YouTube Premium grants families reprieve from ads, industry analysts suggest this business model will dominate the future as subscription costs rise.

"Ad-based streaming tiers are poised to explode in popularity as services increasingly segment offerings between free and paid plans," predicts Michael Goodman, media analyst with Strategy Analytics. "Especially considering many consumers resent paying to remove ads, lower-cost ad-supported plans will gain traction by striking an appealing balance of content quality and affordability."

So while YouTube Premium grants a near-term escape from promotions, projections indicate ads will inevitably infest most streamed content to subsidize licensing costs. Families may find themselves abandoning paid plans down the road unless subscription rates stay competitive with inflation.

Summary: Who Should Subscribe to Premium Family?

In closing, the YouTube Premium Family Plan offers a flexible way for multiple household members to enhance their viewing and listening across YouTube‘s app ecosystem. Larger families frustrated by ads can bundle ad-free video, background play, downloads, and music streaming at a very reasonable per-person rate compared to individual plans or competitors.

But more casual viewers may not use YouTube consistently enough to justify the higher family pricing tier over individual options. Take stock of how your whole family interacts with YouTube and estimate if the plan‘s many perks provide sufficient value to validate the $18 monthly expense given your size.

For the right high-usage household, the Premium Family Plan amplifies enjoyment of YouTube‘s vibrant catalog. But not every family should feel compelled to pay – gauge your frequency of use and patience for ads before deciding if the splurge makes sense for your situation.