YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium and it’s available in the UK

Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes

As I mentioned in passing on Wednesday, YouTube’s paid-for service YouTube Red has not only renamed itself YouTube Premium, it’s been made available here in the UK.

This is good for several reasons:

  1. YouTube Red did sound a bit porny
  2. No one knew what YouTube Red was
  3. It’s actually started producing some decent shows
  4. I felt a bit stupid constantly reviewing shows that no one in the UK had a chance of watching unless they paid £1.89/episode

On point 3, we’ve gone in the space of less than a year from the “moderately okay but not worth paying money for” likes of Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television* and Lifeline through to the “genuinely as good as you’ll see anywhere else” likes of Impulse and Cobra Kai. That ain’t bad. There are proper TV networks that have been running for years that haven’t produced anything close to as good as the latter two.

What do you get with YouTube Premium?

However, the devil’s in the details. The current UK cost of YouTube Premium is £11.99 a month, which given Netflix is only £5.99 if you don’t mind SD, £7.99 for HD and £9.99 for UltraHD, is a big ask. However, YouTube Premium does offer three features it reckons justify the price:

  1. Ad-free and offline: Enjoy YouTube ad-free, offline and in the background.
  2. YouTube Music Premium: A music streaming service from YouTube. Explore a complete world of music without interruptions.
  3. YouTube Originals: Watch new original series & movies from your favourite stars.

So basically, no ads, a music service, and exclusive TV and movies if you pay the price. The music service, if that’s your inclination, includes Google Play, but more likely, you’re interested in the exclusive TV and movies. So what has YouTube Premium got?

Approximately bugger all, unless you’re under 25. Even then, you’ve got to be really into dance.

Meanwhile, for everyone else, anything worth noting, I’ve already reviewed. Indeed, what I’ve reviewed is a super-set of everything worth noting.

Fortunately, YouTube Premium does offer a one-month free trial, so you can at least watch the good stuff and still have 28 days or so to play around with everything else on YouTube Premium, all without having to pay a penny.

Still, given how much the service has come along in just a year, this time in 2019, it might be a very different story. Assuming we haven’t all died in some horrible apocalypse by then.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.