YouTube has decided to end Premium Lite, a low-cost subscription plan for ad-free video viewing in select countries, two years after it began trialling.
In an email to customers, YouTube announced that it will no longer offer a Premium Light subscription from October 25, 2023.
At €6.99 per month, the Premium Light plan was first launched in selected European countries in 2021, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
This service provides ad-free viewing across a wide range of YouTube apps, but it does not come with other premium features, such as downloads for offline viewing, background playback, or any of the features of YouTube Music.
But soon, existing Premium Light subscribers will be left with two options: either go back to watching videos with ads, or subscribe to the more expensive YouTube Premium.
In the email informing users of the change, YouTube says it will offer Premium Light subscribers a one-month free trial of YouTube Premium, regardless of whether they have had a trial before.
Premium Light is relatively unknown to many users residing in countries where the service has not been launched, but based on initial reactions to its shutdown, it seems to have been very popular with those who want to try YouTube without ads, but also have no interest in paying more for YouTube Music, or downloading videos to watch offline.
It is noteworthy that the decision to stop the (Premium Lite) service comes in conjunction with Google’s decision to end the interface that the Gmail email service has long been famous for, which is the basic HTML display interface.
The company said that the simple display interface will not be supported from January 2024, and users will need modern browsers to continue using the service.