YouTube is by far the most well-known video platform on the web. Launched in 2005, then acquired by Google in 2006 for over $1.6 billion, the video service started life primarily as a web-based PC service, allowing anyone to upload its creations so anyone could see them and look at them. When smartphones started to become popular in the late 2000s, followed by the rise of smart TVs and mobile apps, its popularity skyrocketed. Google now says that more 2 billion users worldwide watches YouTube videos every month and over 70% of their video views come from mobile devices.
Read more: All YouTube apps from Google
Of course, there’s more to YouTube than just its core service. Google has branded many products with the brand name, including YouTube Music, YouTube Premium, and YouTube TV. Although they share the same brand, they all have very different characteristics. Here’s an overview of all the YouTube services that Google currently offers.
YouTube (including YouTube Kids)
The OG YouTube service is still hugely popular and by far the biggest of the brand’s services. Anyone can upload their videos to the service and there is also no charge for those who want to watch them. Google has certain rules about the type of videos that can be uploaded. This includes those subject to copyright infringement. This caused quite a bit of controversy for the service over the year. Some companies have attempted to remove videos whose content has not been approved by the copyright holder for publication.
Content creators can create channels to upload their original videos, and users can subscribe to these channels and get notified when new content is uploaded. These users can also post comments under each uploaded video (if the creator allows it). Creators can also launch live streams of their content. Indeed, live streaming has become an effective way for businesses to launch new products or promote their latest ventures to the rest of the world.
Content creators can make money using Google’s AdSense program, which normally places video ads in front of or sometimes inside their clips. They can also earn money through banner ads placed at the bottom of their clips. Some creators can even set up subscriptions for their users, which allows them to upload special videos designed just for their paid subscribers, along with other benefits.
Google lets people pay for or rent movies and TV shows from big and small Hollywood studios directly from YouTube. Any movie purchased on the service can also be viewed in the Google Movies & TV app on the same Google Account, and vice versa. The service also offers a selection of Hollywood movies that can be viewed in their entirety for free, if you don’t mind the ads. If you decide to sign up and pay for YouTube Premium, you can get rid of those free movie ads.
Read more: Best free movies on YouTube
youtube for kids
Google also offers a separate YouTube Kids app. It’s basically a curated way for kids to surf videos designed for younger audiences, with some additional parental controls. It’s not really a separate service; rather, it is a restricted version of the same service.
YouTube Music is Google’s latest attempt to break into the streaming music business. Launched in June 2018, it essentially replaces the now discontinued Google Play Music.
Music offers streaming music from an extensive library of songs and albums as well as music videos, and it lets you create and manage your own playlists. While the music is accessible for free in an ad-supported version, the real benefits come when you pay for a premium subscription. For $9.99 a month, you can ditch the ads and listen to your favorite tunes without annoying pauses, and it also supports offline music listening via downloads, as well as playing songs in the background or when your phone screen is locked.
Read more: Best Alternatives to YouTube Music
If you’re an eligible student, you can access the paid music service for just $4.99 per month. If you have more than one person in your family that wants access, there’s also a $14.99 per month tier that supports up to six family members in one household on a single account.
YouTube Premium used to be called YouTube Red, but was renamed when the Music service launched in June 2018. It’s also the only service that doesn’t have its own app. It is a paid add-on for experienced users. For $11.99 a month, you not only get all the music benefits, but you can also watch almost any YouTube video without banner ads or video commercial breaks (this does not apply when watching Hollywood movies free published on the service, however).
Moreover, you can listen to audio from any YouTube video in the background with a Premium subscription. You can also download and watch videos offline.
Read more: Is YouTube Premium Worth It?
As with music, students can sign up for Premium for a lower price; $6.99 per month. There’s also a family plan for $17.99 per month that covers up to six people on a single account.
YouTube TV, like Music, is Google’s entry into an already crowded realm of entertainment services. This time, YouTube TV is taking on internet-based TV services like Sling, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now and others. Signing up for YouTube TV will allow you to watch live TV from your smartphone, smart TV or other compatible devices. More than 70 channels are available with the basic subscription. This includes all of your local broadcast channels. YouTube TV is now available across the United States.
Read more: All YouTube TV Channels
YouTube TV allows up to six people to use the service on a single account, and it supports up to three simultaneous video streams. Perhaps the most important feature of the service is the unlimited cloud DVR functionality. Yes, you can record and rewatch as many TV shows and movies on your YouTube TV channel lineup as you want, with no storage limit. The only limit he has is time; Cloud DVR recordings will expire nine months after storage.
The price for the service is $64.99 per month with a 14-day free trial. There are a number of other channels you can add to your lineup at an additional cost. They include regional sports networks and paid movie channels like HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz and Epix.