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YouTube and Spotify pilot mid-tier subscriptions

YouTube and Spotify are offering discounted subscription services

YouTube and Spotify have moved toward democratizing their premium products and features by introducing mid-tier subscription plans for value-conscious members unwilling or unable to stump up the full cost.

Displaying a common desire to seed growth by making their offer more accessible, the tech giants are aware that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t necessarily best for the individual.

First out the gate is YouTube’s ‘Premium Lite’, which offers ad-free viewing across selected European territories in exchange for 6.99 euros per month, a significant discount on the full-fat 11.99 euro plan – although this comes without other benefits such as offline downloads, ad-free music and background playback.

Premium Lite is currently being tested in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Hitting upon a similar strategy, Spotify is also angling for the penny-conscious with Spotify Plus, which lifts limits on how many tracks you can skip per hour for as little as $0.99 – although the precise offer varies per user at random to better gauge interest.

Unlike the YouTube offer, mid-tier Spotify members will still be hit with adverts, but will benefit in other ways with the freedom to pick specific songs to listen to rather than shuffle within albums and playlists. Nevertheless, it represents a bargain compared to the $9.99 asked for the premium tier.

It also sets members apart from free users, who cannot skip more than six tracks per hour and can only choose music from 15 select playlists or shuffled tracks outwith these confines.

For the time being, Spotify’s trial remains more freeform than YouTube’s own foray, with a spokesperson telling the Verge: “We’re currently conducting a test of an ad-supported subscription plan with a limited number of our users. Some tests end up paving the way for new offerings or enhancements, while others may only provide learnings.”

Subscription products and services have become a boom area, with companies eager to claim recurring cash in return for everything and everything from gaming to Netflix.

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