Key Differences and Similarities Between YouTube Premium & YouTube TV

YouTube Premium vs YouTube TV

On the outside, YouTube Premium and YouTube TV seem to be almost the same offerings from YouTube. But the fact is, they are very diverse services for customers with very distinct needs. The cost and features of each service are also very diverse.

YouTube now offers two premium video services. YouTube Premium, is formerly known as YouTube Red, and the newly announced YouTube TV both seem to provide a paradise for content to streamers, but it can be complex to understand what you get with each.

While YouTube TV seems to substitute your TV service and those who want to cut the cord, YouTube Premium is more targeted at those who can’t get enough videos that you can find on YouTube itself. Here are some contrasts between YouTube TV and YouTube Premium.

YouTube Premieres

Premium offers monthly $11.99 after a 30-day free trial and enables members to watch their preferred videos without ads. You can also listen to audio in the background with the YouTube Music app, download videos for offline viewing, and access exclusive content on YouTube and YouTube Music.

 YouTube Music app
YouTube Music App

The original content you get with YouTube Premium incorporates documentary, scripted, reality, and animated programming, as well as content starring some of YouTube’s most famous personalities. Additional television and film content is set for release in 2019, and many other projects are still in progress.

If you upgrade to YouTube Premium, your new features will work across the family of YouTube services, including YouTube Kids, YouTube Music, and YouTube videos on YouTube TV. While Premium can be accessed through the web and the app, features like offline playback and background play are restricted to the YouTube apps.

Rented or purchased movies/TV shows, paid channel subscriptions, and related bonus material is not compatible with YouTube Premium, so if you buy or rent movies through YouTube, you might still view ads or promotions.


  • Live Redirect
  • Premiere Trailers
  • Expanded Countdown Themes
  • Schedule Premieres on Mobile

YouTube T.V

YouTube TV is a strong streaming service intended at cord-cutters. The service covers cable network streaming and live broadcast television from local affiliates and YouTube original content. There is no original content particular to YouTube TV at this time.

The service recently got a price hike, from $39.99 per month to $49.99. Still, YouTube also added some new channels such as Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, TLC, Travel Channel, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, and MotorTrend. The Oprah Winfrey Network will also be added later, while Epix is now an add-on option.

Otherwise, the network availability is on par with other streaming services. You will get live programming from the four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox), also popular sports, news, and entertainment networks based on your areas, such as AMC, BBC America, BBC World News, Bravo, The Disney Channel, ESPN, FX, MSNBC, Telemundo, and others. AMC Premiere, Showtime, Starz, and NBA League Pass can be added at extra charges. And most networks give some on-demand content.

YouTube TV also owns the capability to share the service with six users at once and endless cloud DVR functionality. You can view YouTube TV on your Android and iOS devices, Google Chromecast, and via Apple AirPlay. The service also fits Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, and many different smart TV brands.


  • Unlimited cloud DVR
  • Multiple users
  • On-demand
  • Voice control
  • Picture-in-picture for mobile
  • Jump
  • Dark mode
  • Mark as watched
  • No offline viewing


YouTube TV is a cable-TV replacing service, providing a mix of broadcast networks, cable-TV channels, and live news. YouTube Premium is an optimized version of the ad-free video site and features exclusive content made by famous YouTubers.

You might not require to pay for YouTube Premium for the latter, dubbed YouTube Originals, in the future. A Hollywood Reporter story claims that “a source with direct knowledge of the company’s plans” claims that YouTube’s shifting its focus from paid subscription-supported content to ad-supported content, starting in 2020. The report draws this to YouTube Originals not approaching a large sufficient audience.


YouTube TV charges $50 every month, while YouTube Premium is $11.99 monthly. Your YouTube Premium subscription comes with six accounts, with three concurrent streams available. YouTube Premium covers free access to YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music, its Spotify competitors.

If you buy a YouTube TV subscription via one of its iOS or tvOS apps, though, you will be paying an extra $5 per month.

YouTube is now giving an opportunity for students to create new YouTube Premium (or YouTube Music Premium) accounts, where they can get a 3-month free trial (and not a 1-month free trial)


YouTube TV and YouTube Premium can be accessed in the same ways: with Android and iOS devices, computers, and Chromecast-enabled TVs, whether built-in or connected. YouTube TV is its own app, while YouTube Premium is found by opening the traditional YouTube site or app (provided that you are subscribed).

You can access YouTube Premium on Roku and Apple TV set-top boxes, but not on the Amazon Fire TV. YouTube TV operates on both of those, plus Chromecast, Xbox One, Android, iOS, and select Smart TVs from LG, Hisense, Samsung, Sharp, and Vizio.


The main distinction between these two services is the source of the content. When you sign up with YouTube Premium, you get better access to existing YouTube video content (including free access to YouTube Originals when they are released). It does not give you access to more content, but it will enable you to bypass irritating ads, and legally view YouTube videos offline.

YouTube TV, on the other hand, does not change how you view regular YouTube videos. It simply provides you access to an entirely new set of content. Namely, movies and TV shows from major TV networks like AMC, TLC, TBS, Discovery Channel, SyFy, and much more. You will still require an internet connection to view content on YouTube TV.

How can you save YouTube Premium and YouTube TV content?

YouTube Premium enables videos to be saved to local devices for playback later. The exemptions are when content creators decide they do not want to allow for that. 

In August 2019, the maximum YouTube Premium download resolution quality improved from 720p to 1080p.

YouTube TV includes a cloud-based DVR with few restrictions. You will get to record as many programs as you want at once, without any storage restrictions. The only limitation is that YouTube TV will delete recordings after nine months.

Final Verdict

Both services fulfill essential entertainment requirements.

In the end, you may feel you want to subscribe to both services rather than deciding between the two. This is because they follow two entirely different directions.

If you do not watch much TV and consume most of your time watching only YouTube videos, then the YouTube Premium plan is made for you. The fact it also provides you free access to YouTube Music Premium is a nice additional bonus.

However, if you want to watch major TV network shows and movies, or you are looking to get a replacement for your expensive cable TV subscription. YouTube TV is an ideal and affordable medium.

And if you like to enjoy both YouTube videos and TV network content, both services will serve you excellently.

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