Google launched its new YouTube Red service (the U.S. only) this week, and it offers a free 30-day trial. Here’s a look at how to get started with it and how to cancel the subscription to make sure you don’t get charged after the trial is over.
What is YouTube Red?
YouTube Red is a subscription service ($9.99/month) that offers access to all videos ad-free. It comes with other perks as well.
It lets you download videos for offline viewing or listening. A lot of people listen to their music via YouTube. The offline viewing and listening support background play so you can keep the music going while using other apps or while on the go.
To download, tap the down arrow icon on the screen and then choose the quality you want to download it at.
Starting in 2016, YouTube Red subscribers will also have access to original content including TV series and movies. For more on what’s on tap for next year and the companies producing the shows, read Introducing YouTube Red Original Series and Movies from your favorite stars on the official YouTube blog.
Another benefit is a free monthly subscription to Google Play Music, which also costs $9.99/month. It’s also worth noting that if you’re already a subscriber to Play Music, you have access to YouTube Red for no additional charge.
In addition to iOS and Android, YouTube Red also works with Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, and select Smart TVs. One glaring omission, at the time of this writing, it’s not available on Amazon Fire TV.
Free Month of YouTube Red
First, sign up for YouTube Red here. Then I recommend you cancel your membership at the same time you sign up…wait, what? You can cancel at any time before the trial period is over and still access all the benefits of YouTube Red for the month.
Canceling right away lets you use the service for the full month, and not have to worry about your credit card being charged after the trial period if you don’t want it anymore.
According to YouTube Red terms:
“Cancellations: You can cancel your YouTube Red membership at any time. If you cancel, you’ll still have access to YouTube Red benefits until the end of your billing period.”
After signing up, head to the YouTube Red Cancellation page and select Cancel membership. Then click Yes, cancel to the verification message that comes up.
Next, you’ll get verification that your membership is canceled. But do note that it says you’ll have the YouTube Red benefits available until the end of the billing period.
If you listen to your music via YouTube or spend a lot of hours on it watching videos, this is something you should check out. Even if you don’t spend a whole lot of time on YouTube, it’s still worth checking out if nothing else, for an ad-free viewing experience for 30 days.
After signing up for YouTube Red, nothing on your customized YouTube page will change. You’ll still have all of your favorites, playlists, and subscriptions.
I’ve been testing it out a bit since it launched yesterday, but to me, there’s not much to see here other than the benefit of no ads. One thing that seems strange is that it lets you play music via the app on your phone. The music will continue to play while your screen is locked, which current music subscriptions like Spotify already do. And, why would you use YouTube Red to listen to music from videos, when you get Google Play Music that is a more powerful music service?
There are also problems with content creators who make a ton of money from their videos from ads, have to move to YouTube Red. Otherwise, their content will be removed. And they no longer will get that profit? If content creators don’t agree to the YouTube Red agreement, their content will be withdrawn from regular YouTube. In fact, ESPN has already had content pulled due to rights issues surrounding its content and the deal.
Coming to a satisfactory agreement with content creators will inevitably be a deciding factor in whether this new service is a success or not.
Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comment section below.