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YouTube TV: Entertainment Plus Benefits & Limitations

Entertainment Plus can be a good way to save on HBO Max, Showtime and Starz, but the bundle comes with downsides.

YouTube TV offers an Entertainment Plus add-on that can reduce the monthly cost of subscribing to each of the networks separately. While this is a way to reduce the monthly cost of the included premium channels, there are some limitations to be aware of. Here’s an overview of what the Entertainment Plus add-on is and what YouTube TV subscribers should know before adding it to their plan.

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YouTube TV is a popular option for live TV streaming. Since launch, YouTube TV has continually added new features and improved the overall experience. However, the price has continuously increased at the same time. Furthermore, without any alternate plans to the $65 subscription, YouTube TV can get expensive when add-ons are added to a package.

This is where the YouTube TV Entertainment Plus comes in. The add-on brings HBO Max, Showtime, and Starz together under the one subscription. YouTube TV subscribers can add Entertainment Plus to their package at any time through the account section while new subscribers can add it when signing up.

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Entertainment Plus benefits

Undoubtedly, the main benefit with YouTube TV’s Entertainment Plus add-on is the price. At $29.99 per month it does result in a savings over the course of a month. For example, YouTube TV currently charges $14.99 per month for HBO Max, $11 per month for Showtime, and $9 per month for Starz. All of which comes to an overall total of $35 per month. Subscribing to the Entertainment Plus add-on instead will result in a $5 monthly savings, compared to subscribing to the same services without using the add-on.

Another benefit to going with Entertainment Plus is the easier billing and account management in general. Not only is it cheaper to bundle these three subscriptions together, but subscribers won’t have to worry about managing all three subscriptions. This isn’t a benefit that’s specific o Entertainment Plus, as subscribers can just as easily manage the subscriptions separately through YouTube TV. However, the ability to add, pause, or remove becomes all the more easier through the one combined add-on.

Although there are some clear benefits to bundling services, including a cheaper price and combined billing, Entertainment Plus is not without its downsides and consumers should be aware of what they are agreeing to before actually signing up.

Entertainment Plus limitations

The first major downside to be aware of before adding Entertainment Plus is that the add-on does not come with a free trial. Although HBO Max doesn’t offer a free trial when signing up directly, YouTube TV subscribers can take advantage of seven days for free. This not only results in an opportunity to test the service out, but it also delays the first payment as well.

In fact, YouTube TV offers a free trial with all three of these subscriptions when subscribing separately. This even applies when adding all three premium networks at the same time. By going the Entertainment Plus route, subscribers will be missing out on the following free trials:

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  • HBO Max – 7 days
  • Showtime – 14 days
  • Starz – 5 days

It is worth noting that there is nothing stopping YouTube TV subscribers from taking advantage of the free trials first. However, this will require the subscriber to add any or all of the separate subscriptions to their YouTube TV plan and then remove them before the free trial ends. As well as then adding the Entertainment Plus add-on after.

Another limitation, which also happens to be one of the benefits, is the easier billing and management. Whenever a service makes it easier to bundle subscriptions together, it also makes the same subscriptions harder to cancel. For example, any subscriber who signs up to Entertainment Plus only to realize they don’t want HBO Max or don’t watch Starz often enough, won’t have any way to remove that subscription from their package without having to cancel the entire Entertainment Plus add-on. This also means they would then need to re-add the subscriptions they do want separately.

Considering the cheapest subscription included in the bundle is $9 per month, unless the subscriber actively watches all three subscriptions enough to make them worthwhile, then they will be paying a minimum of $4 more each month than they would if they only subscribed to the two subscriptions they wanted.

The opposite is true as well. For example, any YouTube TV subscribers currently subscribing to either HBO Max, Showtime or Starz cannot simply add Entertainment Plus and have the other subscriptions added automatically. Instead, they will need to first cancel their existing premium subscriptions and then add the Entertainment Plus add-on. Depending on how much of the current billing cycle is still to go, subscribers may find they end up paying twice for the same subscription for the remainder of the current billed (not calendar) month.

Then there’s the issue of other deals. For example, HBO Max was recently running a promotion where subscribers could sign up directly at a discounted rate. If anyone has subscribed to HBO Max, Showtime, or Starz at a reduced rate (or via an annual plan), then Entertainment Plus is unlikely to be a good idea. The direct subscriptions cannot simply be carried over to YouTube TV and by adding Entertainment Plus, the subscriber will end up with two subscriptions to the same service.

As an extension of the last point, all three subscriptions included with Entertainment Plus are often discounted throughout the year. While $5 per month is a signgiciant savings, there’s a very good chance subscribers could save even more by taking advantage of the service-specific deals that routinely come through.

Entertainment Plus add-on summary

The Entertainment Plus add-on provides access to HBO Max, Showtime and Starz for $29.99 per month. This results in a $5 saving compared to subscribing to these three subscriptions separately through YouTube TV. Not only is the price cheaper, but the bundle makes it easier to manage the three subscriptions.

However, the Entertainment Plus add-on might not be the right option for some consumers. This is the case for anyone who wants to take advantage of a free trial or those who might want to cancel one of the subscriptions before the others. Entertainment Plan is also unlikely to be that useful to any YouTube TV subscribers directly subscribed to any of the services, especially if those direct subscriptions are already discounted or paid annually.

Read more: How YouTube TV’s Sports Plus Compares to fuboTV’s Sports Plus

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By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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