Should you get a GoPro Subscription? Previously known as GoPro Plus, this service has been around for a few years. The makers of the best action cameras have been pushing it hard and by November 2022 there were over two million members. But at the moment, at least, you can no longer get GoPro Hero11 and Hero10 Black cameras for a lower price if you also take out GoPro Subscription – as was recently the case.
However, the GoPro Subscription is still worth considering if you are buying, or already own, a GoPro. The membership scheme gives a number of very useful benefits - including a replacement service if your camera gets damaged, and a cloud-based back-up service for all our footage. And a carrot to attract new subscribers is that the first year's subscription is half-price.
But what does a GoPro Subscription actually get you, and is it worth it? Read on, and we'll reveal all...
How much does a GoPro Subscription cost?
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A GoPro Subscription will cost you $24.99/£24.99/AU$34.99 for the first year with the introductory 50% discount. The membership will then renew at $49.99/£49.99/AU$69.99 for each subsequent year. You need to pay that money upfront at the start of the year.
A big incentive to keeping the subscription going after the first year, is that you then get a $100 discount on your next GoPro camera. This benefit alone could make the subscription worthwhile, if you are updating your GoPro every couple of years.
GoPro subscription benefits #1: cloud storage
One of the best reasons to go for a GoPro Subscription is for its unlimited cloud storage. You can then upload all your videos and photos from your camera to the cloud in one of three ways. These are: using the GoPro Quik app (on auto-upload when you’re on WiFi – even when the Hero10 Black is recharging), via the GoPro website; or using the GoPro software called Quik for Desktop. Crucially, photos and videos are stored in their original quality.
The cloud storage service is pretty easy to use, and its unlimited and auto-upload nature is tempting, but there are a couple of caveats. Users of the regular GoPro cameras won’t have any trouble uploading linear video, but if you’ve got a GoPro Max its extremely high-res files will (at best) take ages to transmit.
You also can’t upload anything taken with your smartphone or any other action camera, which means the GoPro cloud storage isn’t going to work if you use a hub on the cloud to store all your videos and photos. Note, too, that GoPro’s Quik for Desktop software doesn’t support the GoPro Fusion or GoPro Max.
GoPro subscription benefits #2: camera replacement
Another thing a GoPro subscription includes is a “no-questions-asked camera replacement.” That sounds like a good deal considering that you’re probably planning to take your GoPro skiing, cycling, and general adventuring. But is it, really?
Firstly, we’d question whether you should really need any kind of insurance for a waterproof, drop-proof product like a GoPro. Okay, screens do smash, so if you're worried about that, this might help put you at ease. However, be aware that if you lose your GoPro, you can’t have it replaced; only if you break it.
Also, note that this replacement is not free. The small print explains that you can “exchange up to two cameras per year for the same model (GoPro Fusion and Hero5 or later). Fees apply. Available in these countries only.”
Yes, you read that right: it costs you extra money. This is the full table telling you how much, but the fee for a Hero11 or Hero10 is $99/£115/AU$149.
GoPro subscription benefits #3: live stream by private link
If you have a Hero7 Black and later, or a GoPro Max, you may want to live stream in 1080p quality to YouTube, Facebook Profiles, Facebook Pages, and Twitch. Normally, you need to pair your camera with a smartphone via the GoPro app, and even then it’s a bit fiddly. Not for GoPro Subscription members, though, who can live stream from their GoPro camera to their account at GoPro.com, then text a private live stream link to whomever they want.
GoPro subscription benefits #4: premium editing tools
The GoPro Quik app makes it easy to produce slick-looking auto-generated highlight videos, and also works well as a decent content feed. And so it's great that a GoPro Subscription comes with unlimited cloud storage in Quik.
That’s handy because, with the launch of the Hero10 Black, the Quik app has become an integral part of the GoPro ecosystem. For example, you can now cable up a GoPro to your Android or iOS phone, to transfer your videos straight into the Quik app.
Quik is hardware-agnostic, so you don’t actually have to own a GoPro camera or subscribe to GoPro’s service. You could, for example, use it for videos taken on your smartphone as well as your GoPro or any other footage transferred to your phone from another action camera, mirrorless camera, or DSLR camera. It’s all stored in Quik's ural feature, a kind of ‘best of’ area that’s backed up to the cloud automatically at full capture resolution.
A standalone subscription to Quik costs US$9.99/£9.49 per year or US$1.99/£1.79 per month, largely for the 25 filters and 18 royalty-free music tracks, but also for a suite of editing tools as well as tools for slo-mo, fast and freeze. As a GoPro subscriber, you'll get everything for free, though you will have to log back into your account to access content on the cloud.
GoPro subscription benefits #5: discounts
With a GoPro Subscription, you can get "up to 50% off" some (but not all) mounts, cases, mods, batteries, and lifestyle gear sold via GoPro.com. The full list is here, but as a rule of thumb, the full 50% discounts apply largely to protective housings and roll cages, replacement parts like doors, fingers, and lens caps, and mounts, such as a Hand & Wrist Strap, Suction Cup and Surfboard Mounts. Spare batteries carry a 20% discount, as do bags and cases. Mods get a 30% or 20% discount.
Meanwhile, lifestyle products, such as GoPro's Mezcal floating sunglasses, Weekender 30-litre backpack, and all clothing, are offered at a 20% discount. You can get discounts on a maximum of 10 items per subscription anniversary year.
Of course, the most significant discount you can get with a GoPro Subscription is the one you'll get on a new GoPro camera after your first year – current models come with a $100 discount for members if bought directly from GoPro.
GoPro Subscription: verdict
A GoPro Subscription and the Quik app together are an ecosystem designed to take away a few pain points of owning and heavily using a GoPro, specifically through no-fuss replacements and cloud storage for all of your videos. The 50% discount in the first year, make it a service that is worth trying and see how much you actually use the features
Whether you should renew it after the first year really depends on your first-year experience. The big incentive to renewing is that you get a $100 discount on a new camera in your second year - which will obviously pay for the subscription if you are thinking of getting a second GoPro, or upgrading your first.
The important thing is to put the date for renewal in your calendar right away, so you don't forget to cancel if you decide to do so (these are the detailed cancellation instructions, if you need them)!
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