A big YouTube TV change could save you money — here's how

YouTube TV sports in 4K
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If you've been considering subscribing to YouTube TV, but have been put off by the $65-per-month price tag, or the fact that you likely won't use all 85 channels offered, then a new change to YouTube's US-only TV streaming service might make you reconsider.

Going forward, if you don't want the full YouTube TV package, the company is now offering a flexible solution — this lets you pick your own collection of channels, each for its own separate fee, instead of paying for all of them.

This change will be great news if you only use a select few of the many YouTube TV channels available to you. If you only use sports channels like NBA or MLB, or stick to your factual shows with Docurama and CuriosityStream, then you'll certainly save money by picking just a few channels to subscribe to.

However, if you like making the most of YouTube TV's range, then sticking with the Basic package (the one that gets you all the channels for $65 per month) may still be an economical idea. That's because each channel costs roughly $15, so if you use five or more, subscribing individually will actually be more expensive.

If you're a current YouTube TV subscriber, you'll need to manually switch over to this new package — it won't happen automatically. But doing so could save you money monthly, so we'd recommend looking into your options.

Subscribing to YouTube TV using the flexible option lets you use some of the Basic plan's features, including DVR (digital video recorder) for recording shows, and access to apps on gaming consoles, smartphones and smart TVs.

In case you're confused by YouTube's streaming services, TV is actually completely different to Premium. The former is for watching live TV, while the latter gets you extra features for your standard YouTube videos, particularly the removal of pre-roll ads (and it's rumored that 4K YouTube videos will soon be exclusive to Premium). There's basically no overlap between the two services.

YouTube TV is one of many live TV services available on the web, with Hulu arguably the biggest competitor. While YouTube TV was already cheaper than its rival by $5, this added flexibility could make it an even more tempting choice for spending-savvy streamers.

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Tom Bedford
Streaming and Ecommerce Writer

Tom is the streaming and ecommerce writer at What to Watch, covering streaming services in the US and UK. His goal is to help you navigate the busy and confusing online video market, to help you find the TV, movies and sports that you're looking for without having to spend too much money.