YouTube. What a blessing and what a curse it is, all at the same time. It gets used a lot around here and by a lot, I mean, way too much. When used appropriately, it can be a valuable tool in our education toolkit. Unfortunately, it is the non-educational usage that has been causing problems in our house. Whether it is video game gameplay videos with coarse language, comedy videos with crude jokes, top ten lists with “sexy” content or who knows what else, it is definitely a brave new world out there for us parents. Additionally, we have found YouTube to be one of the toughest sites/apps to manage with parental controls. So, be aware and use with care.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about YouTube Red. This is a relatively new offering from YouTube that offers ad-free video watching along with a growing library of original content that you cannot access via the normal, free YouTube. Pricing is set at $9.99 per month for an individual account and $14.99 a month for a family account with up to 5 users. As a side benefit, you also get access to the Google Play Music service included in that price which could be a huge benefit, depending on the user. For us, this may replace Spotify if we are pleased with it overall, saving us that subscription fee.
We have been seeing ads for this service pretty regularly, but have resisted the service, until now. Until the end of October, Google is offering YouTube Red free for three months and you can cancel it at any time. This was just too good to pass up so we signed up and have really been enjoying what the service offers. First of all, no ads on any videos. That’s just great because who really enjoys sitting through those pesky pre-roll videos. Secondly, there are a number of shows on Red that have caught our attention. For example, we were able to use Mind Field by Vsauce as part of school today with our 13-year-old and she was chattering about all she had learned for hours afterward. Finally, the added benefit of the Play music service is a great way to sweeten the pot. The ability to stream or download millions of songs and curated playlists makes it a worthy successor to other music services, and it’s included for free with YouTube Red.
Is it worth it? The short answer is yes, especially with the free 3-month trial that they are running right now.