Although YouTube TV add-ons are primarily designed to be bundled with the main live TV plan, it is also possible to subscribe to many of them without signing up to a base plan. While it might not work out to be any cheaper, there are other benefits that might make subscribing through YouTube TV worthwhile for some individuals and households.
YouTube TV can be a good option for live TV, but at $64.99 per month, the base subscription is not exactly one of the cheapest live TV services around. However, thanks to the various premium features and benefits, some consumers may find that YouTube TV better suits their needs than other live TV streaming services. In addition to the main live TV channels included with the base plan, there are also a number of premium networks that can be added as well. Many of these premium networks can actually be signed up to without also signing up to the base plan.
Unlike when signing up to the base live TV package, which is possible on all of YouTube TV’s supported devices, the option to sign up to a premium network without a live TV subscription is a little hidden away. For example it is not possible to subscribe to standalone add-ons through any of the platform apps. Likewise, it is not possible to sign up when accessing YouTube TV through the mobile web browser either. There is also no option to sign up to these premium networks on iOS devices at all.
Essentially, if looking to sign up to a premium network without an active live TV subscription, the consumer will need to access the YouTube TV website through a desktop browser.
How to sign up to a YouTube TV add-on:
- Visit the YouTube TV website
- Click ‘Sign In’ (top right corner)
- Sign in with a Google account
- Click on profile photo (top right corner)
- Then on Settings
- Click on Membership
Once in the Membership section, the user will be presented with a list of all of the available add-ons that YouTube TV currently offers. For reference, this list will also include the Base plan, Spanish Plan, and add-ons that do require a base plan. If the main live TV plan is required for a particular add-on, it will say “Requires Base Plan” below the premium service’s name making it easy to tell which ones do and don’t require an existing subscription.
To actually complete the sign up process, click on the “Add” button next to any of the services. Then finally click on the ‘Buy’ or ‘Start Free Trial’ button to confirm the subscription.
Things to consider before signing up
While there are no major caveats or red flags to signing up to a standalone add-on, there are some general things to be aware of. Firstly, it is not usually any cheaper to sign up to a premium network through YouTube TV than it is to sign up to the same streaming service directly. Therefore, and depending on the time of year, consumers may find a better deal on the price by checking the premium network’s website and signing up that way.
Another caveat to be aware of is that any subscriptions set up through YouTube TV are completely managed by Google. This also does mean that the subscription will need to be canceled directly through YouTube TV. Even if primarily using TV Everywhere support to log in to the premium network’s website or apps to watch live TV or on-demand videos, the subscription will still need to be canceled through YouTube TV.
For reference, the option to remove an individual premium network works pretty much the same way it does when adding one. Simply head back over to the YouTube TV website, click on the profile photo, navigate to Settings and then to Membership. Then click on the checkmark next to the network to be removed and click on “Confirm” to complete the process.
Add-ons without a base plan summary
YouTube TV offers a variety of premium networks and add-ons that can be bundled with its main live TV plan. However, the live TV is not a requirement for many of the premium networks. If a subscriber wants to use their existing Google account for billing, this can be a good way to sign up to a streaming service without having to create another account and provide payment details to another website.
For those that do want to subscribe to a service through YouTube TV without paying for the base plan, the option can be found by accessing the Membership section of the settings menu on the YouTube TV website. In general, signing up to a premium network through YouTube TV probably won’t result in a saving on the monthly cost. Due to this, it still may be worth subscribing directly to some streaming services if wanting to maximize the savings.