Youtube Premium is the latest Google service to lavish its users with freebies, this time in the form of a Stadia Premiere Edition for absolutely gratis. Subscribers to the service, including those who have it as part of their YouTube Music plan, can claim a voucher in the app, offering a package including controller and Chromecast Ultra, which remains the only version that Stadia supports officially. Your only commitment is that after the first month, you’ll need to pay the $12 subscription fee, but there’s no contract or commitment to do so (though it seems a bit dumb, as you won’t be able to access large parts of the service). Alternatively, you could put the controller in the cupboard and keep the Chromecast Ultra, which despite dating back to 2016, remains a handsome streaming device.
On the face of it, a free Stadia package seems like a jolly perk, but it does raise the question of how the fledgling cloud gaming service is doing – $100 is a fairly generous gift for a service that has succeeded in selling itself. We’ll be interested to see if this fairly audacious seeding program will do anything to improve Stadia’s foothold against rival services like Amazon Luna and Nvidia Geforce Now. That said, a good start would be making Stadia work with Google Chromecast with Google TV, which is not due to happen until next year, though there are several workarounds in our forums.
Google perks are nothing new but seem to be particularly prevalent right now, with Google One and Chromebooks amongst the Google products currently offering up a bit of something for nothing. So far, based on the information gathered by GemStadia on Twitter, we’ve confirmed that the Stadia offer is available in the UK and USA with Canada and mainland Europe expected to be added in the coming days. The offer is due to run until the end of 2021. To access it, go to the YouTube Premium app, go into your account settings, click “Your Premium Benefits” and follow the instructions. If your experience matches ours, you should find your Stadia Premiere Edition lands on your doorstep the very next day.