YouTube TV

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
YouTube TV App Poster Image
Popular with kids
Live TV, recording feature, weak parent controls.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Teens can learn about the news and other topics, and kids' channels offer some limited educational content from networks like Sprout.

Ease of Play

Interface is intuitive. Watch live TV or record shows with a single tap.

Violence

Content varies depending upon programming.

Sex

Content varies depending upon programming.

Language

Content varies depending upon programming.

Consumerism

Content varies depending upon programming.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Content varies depending upon programming.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that YouTube TV is a free app that must be attached to a paid monthly subscription service in order to work. It gives access to lots of network TV and YouTube Red originals, but isn't a portal to YouTube itself. A range of network and cable stations are available for a $39.99 month-to-month subscription fee, and premium channels are available at an additional charge. Up to six people can share the account, but users must be at least 13 and have a Google account. A per-device filter allows users to toggle between G- and PG-rated content, though it's easy to turn off. User accounts are automatically connected to Nielsen ratings tracking; you have to go to the Nielsen website to opt out. Note that you need an internet connection for the app to work, and you must be in one of the select cities. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycoverkin7 July 26, 2018

Has Kid Friendly Content

The website has kid friendly videos and not so kid friendly videos, however you can monitor what your kids watch by creating a playlist for them or putting rest... Continue reading
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byjaylacooper August 12, 2019

youtube restricted mode

put on restricted mode so they don't watch videos with butts
Kid, 8 years old April 7, 2021

Can have kid friendly content

Can include kid friendly content
Kid friendly content will only appear if kids mode is on
Can access kids mode in settings
Kid, 10 years old January 31, 2021

amazing

dont have 2 pay for disney like spectrum

What's it about?

YOUTUBE TV is a "free" app that requires a monthly subscription fee. It allows you to watch live TV anywhere (as long as you have a good internet connection) as well as search for and record your favorite shows. It also lets you save shows in a personal library, record them at the touch of a button, and filter content (per device) to protect your kids. However, the parental controls only allow you to toggle between G- and PG-rated content, and they're easy to shut off. Enjoy unlimited DVR storage and keep recorded shows for up to nine months.

Is it any good?

This app's a no-brainer if you need a way to keep your kids (or yourself) busy. As long as you don't mind paying the $40 monthly fee, you can enjoy live TV, so long as you live in a select city and your internet connection is strong enough. It's extremely easy to search for shows and add them to your personal library, and the second you add them, they're set to record. The month-to-month, cancel-anytime policy is nice, as is being able to share your account among six people and watch shows on up to three devices at once. The only downside really, is that like with any other TV subscription service, some shows and channels just aren't available, so if you're using YouTube TV to augment your other subscriptions, things can get a little pricey. All told, it's a nice entertainment add-on for your smart phone, if you don't mind forking over the cash.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about setting TV time limits. With TV available now 24/7, how much is too much? How can you watch the shows you want in balance with other, offscreen activities?

  • Discuss how to be cautious about "free" apps that require a monthly subscription. How can you tell if the subscription is worth it?

  • Think about how apps use technology to track your viewing behavior without your knowledge. What does it mean to "opt out," and how do you do it?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love video streaming

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