How to not overpay for YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is something that, after trying, you won’t ever want to give up. It’s easy to sign up for via your iPhone or iPad’s YouTube app for $15.99, but did you know you can get the exact same YouTube Premium subscription on your iPhone or iPad for just $11.99?

I didn’t realize it until I saw an advertisement on the YouTube website after I cancelled YouTube Premium for a brief period; but the so-called ‘Apple Tax’ is real, and YouTube passes the operating expense that it pays Apple for the privilege to sell this service directly on the iOS & iPadOS platform directly to its iOS & iPadOS users.

Why the cost difference?

Apple gets a commission fee on every sale processed through the App Store. That commission fee ranges from 15-30% depending on the developer, and it includes service subscriptions that developers choose to offer via an iPhone or iPad app.

Apple forbids app developers who host apps on the App Store from offering subscriptions inside of iOS or iPadOS apps without using the App Store to process the payment, which means that YouTube can’t simply link you to their official website from the app to pay for a YouTube Premium subscription.

This limitation compels app developers make a choice: 1) charge the same amount via the App Store as everywhere else and take a loss in revenue; or 2) charge more for App Store-based subscriptions to absorb the commission fee costs.

Obviously, YouTube doesn’t like the idea of taking a loss in revenue, so it passes the added cost of navigating Apple’s commission fees to the end user.

But you don’t have to pay such a needless price hike if you know where to look, and that’s what we’ll be showing you today.

How to dodge the Apple Tax for YouTube Premium

The key to paying $11.99 for your YouTube Premium subscription instead of $15.99 is to simply purchase your YouTube Premium subscription from YouTube directly instead of using the App Store subscription mechanism to acquire the same service.

By eliminating the middleman, Apple doesn’t get a cut of the profit, and so YouTube charges you the original cost of the YouTube Premium service instead of an inflated amount since it isn’t obligated to pay Apple any commission fees if you sign up in this manner.


In the screenshot on the left, you can see the YouTube app for iOS advertises a price of $15.99 for YouTube Premium. Conversely, on the right, you can see the YouTube website in Safari advertises the exact same YouTube Premium services for just $11.99.

Pro Tip: it doesn’t matter where you sign up for YouTube Premium because you’ll get the same features. But if you choose the iPhone app, then you’ll just pay more money for it.

What if I already pay $15.99 for YouTube Premium?

If you’re already subscribed to YouTube Premium from your iOS or iPadOS app for $15.99 and you want to re-subscribe for the smaller $11.99 price tag, then you can certainly do so.

To do it, open the App Store app and tap on your profile picture at the top-right, then tap on the Subscriptions button. When your list of active subscriptions populates, you may cancel your existing YouTube Premium subscription.

After cancelling, you will need to use the remainder of your YouTube Premium subscription before you can resubscribe. When your YouTube Premium subscription does end, you can visit YouTube’s Premium subscription website in Safari to resubscribe for the smaller $11.99 price tag.

The URL to visit for YouTube Premium subscriptions can be found below:

The perks of YouTube Premium

We’d like to reiterate that signing up for YouTube Premium via YouTube’s website instead of the App Store lets you enjoy all the same benefits you would’ve had if subscribing to YouTube Premium via the iOS app.

Those perks include:

  • Background video playback
  • No ads before, during, or after videos
  • No ads in your video feed
  • The ability to download videos for offline playback
  • Access to new features like Picture-in-Picture mode and Smart Downloads before anyone else can use them
  • Access to the entire YouTube Music streaming catalog

Moreover, you can access YouTube Premium on your iPhone or iPad in addition to all your other machines and/or devices, regardless of where you choose to subscribe.

Wrapping up

Did you already know that you could save $4 per month by subscribing to YouTube Premium directly through YouTube’s website? And if not, will you continue to pay $15.99 instead of $11.99 for YouTube Premium?

We’re interested to read about your thoughts in the comments section down below.