what is gopro subscription?
Many people seem to think so, as the service has been a huge success, the number of subscribers doubled in 2021, and by November 2022 there were over two million members. But what does a GoPro Subscription actually get you, and is it worth it? Read on, and we'll reveal all...
A GoPro Subscription will cost you $49.99/£49.99/AU$69.99 per year. You need to pay that money upfront at the start of the year.
However, if you're buying a new GoPro, a GoPro subscription won't cost you money; in fact, it will actually save you cash. A basic GoPro Hero11 Black sells for $399.98 / £399.98 with an included one-year GoPro Subscription or $499.99 / £499.99 without a subscription.
There are similar massive discounts when buying the Hero11 Black Creator Edition, Hero 11 Black Mini, HERO10 Black Bones, or the GoPro Max, for those taking up the GoPro Subscription deal. (Also note that if you're already a GoPro subscriber, you can still buy the cameras for a reduced price).
If you decide to continue for another two years, then that initial saving on your camera will basically be wiped out. That said, if you want to cancel your subscription after the first year, you're perfectly entitled to do so.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a GoPro Subscription, you can get "up to" 50% off some (but not all) mods, mounts, cases, 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.
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. The good news here is that it actually applies to up to three new GoPro cameras per year – current models come with a $100 discount for members if bought directly from GoPro.
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. And if you're buying a new GoPro, then a GoPro subscription is a no-brainer; well, at least in the first year, when it will actually save you money.
Whether you should renew it after the first year really depends on how much you use its other features. 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!
While cloud storage is still an integral part of GoPro’s subscription service, subscribers can also get worry-free replacements for damaged devices, as well as access expanded features in the GoPro Quik smartphone app.
However, the most compelling GoPro subscription perks are the discounts. Subscribers can save up to 50% on accessories in GoPro's online store as well as save up to £100 on a new GoPro action camera once their subscription renews.
Read next: The best action cameras on the market today
Buying a subscription through GoPro.com will set you back £50 per year, although you can often find it discounted or bundled in with a new camera. Alternatively, buying through GoPro’s Quik smartphone app also gives you the option to pay in £5 monthly instalments.
The subscription is renewed automatically after a year. You can, however, cancel the subscription at any point and continue to take full advantage of the subscription's benefits until the year runs out.
To make the cancellation process as straightforward as possible, GoPro provides clear, step-by-step instructions on its website.
If you simply want to know whether you need a subscription to use one of GoPro’s action cameras then the answer is a resounding no. All GoPro cameras, from the original first-generation Hero right the way up to the current flagship Hero 11 Black will work completely independent of a subscription. The GoPro subscription only comes into play should you want to take advantage of the additional discounts or services that it offers.
Some of the most tangible benefits of GoPro’s subscription are the hefty discounts available to subscribers in GoPro’s online store.
GoPro subscribers can save 50% on certain mounts, housings and replacement parts, 30% on mods and 20% on the latest generation of spare batteries. For a complete roundup of the discounts available, see GoPro’s official breakdown.
There are discounts available on GoPro's action cameras too. Upon renewal of an annual GoPro subscription, subscribers will receive a £100 discount on the purchase of a new GoPro Hero, priced £399 or above, or an £80 discount on a new GoPro Max.
GoPro's subscription used to be a little more generous in that subscribers could claim a £100 discount on any GoPro action camera up to three times per year. If you're an existing subscriber it may be worth taking advantage of this perk before it switches to the new single-purchase discount at the start of your next subscription year.
READ NEXT: The best accessories to buy for your GoPro
GoPro’s action cameras have always been pitched as go-anywhere devices with rugged shells and waterproof designs. However, should your camera take one knock too many, the GoPro subscription also offers users a camera replacement service.
While this is no doubt reassuring, there are a few caveats. The first to be aware of is that it’s technically a part-exchange service so you’ll be out of luck if you lose the camera entirely. Also note that replacements are capped at a maximum of two per year – or, two per year of subscription. And, if you dig into the small print, you’ll discover there are additional fees as well. Replacement Hero 9, Hero 10 and Max cameras cost £115, while a replacement Hero 8 will set you back £95. For a complete roundup of these prices, see GoPro’s official breakdown.
Cloud storage has always been a core element of GoPro’s subscription service, allowing you to safely backup all of your photos and videos online. Files can be backed up using your smartphone via the GoPro Quik app, using your computer via GoPro.com or over Wi-Fi straight from the camera. In fact, if you’re using a Hero 5 or newer you can set the camera to automatically backup your footage every time you charge it within range of your home Wi-Fi.
Files backed up to the cloud are stored at 100% quality, so there’s no degradation when you pull the photos and videos back down to your computer or phone for editing. It’s also unlimited, so you can store as many files as you want.
The only caveats are that they have to be GoPro files and so photos and videos shot with other brands of camera or your phone won’t work. There’s also no support for the prohibitively large files produced by the GoPro Fusion 360 camera.
The base version of GoPro’s Quik smartphone app is free and allows you to edit and share your GoPro footage on the move. Subscribers, however, can unlock a premium version of the app, gaining access to more advanced editing tools, themes, filters and royalty-free background music. An active subscription also allows the app to automatically backup your edits to the cloud.
The premium version of the Quik app is also available as a standalone subscription for £2 per month or £10 per year.
With the GoPro Hero 7 and newer you have the ability to live stream directly to your Facebook profile, Facebook page, YouTube or Twitch account. If you’re a GoPro subscriber you can also stream to GoPro.com where you can generate a private watch link that can be shared.
I’ve been a subscriber since the program launched. But I don’t personally find all of its features equally useful. Some I use often–others I’d don’t use at all. So here’s my take on the pros and cons of the GoPro subscription.
GoPro’s subscription program has gone through different names. It’s now simply known as GoPro or GoPro Subscription. Before that, it was GoPro PLUS.
Here’s a rundown of the key features and benefits you get with a GoPro Subscription.
Even the largest SD card and going to fill up eventually. And if you’re shooting with a GoPro’s high-bitrate video, that’s going to be sooner rather than later. And as reliable as memory cards generally are, they do fail sooner or later. So having a backup is just plain common sense.
Spare SD cards and dumping the data to a backup device, external hard drive, or computer are good steps for that. And the GoPro subscription adds another option: automated cloud backup.
You could, of course, backup your data to a different cloud service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. The advantage of GoPro’s cloud backup is that it can be automated from the GoPro app or even directly from the camera itself. And there are some useful sharing and editing features built in that work nicely with your GoPro footage.
Of course, that’s going to be more practical in some situations than others. Big video files mean you need a fast and reliable wifi connection to back them up in any practical way. That’s a given with any cloud-based backup service.
GoPro’s cloud service offers unlimited storage for footage captured on GoPro cameras (with the exception of the GoPro Fusion).
There are four methods to upload to the GoPro cloud backup, including directly from the camera itself with some models. You can find quick guides for them here.
If you already have an active GoPro Subscription, you can get discounted pricing on some of the newer models when you buy them through GoPro.com.
You can apply it to up to three cameras a year.
To see the discounted pricing, first sign in to your account and then go to the GoPro.com store.
It doesn’t apply to every model, but they’ve generally been offering the past few models (eg. HERO10 Black, HERO MAX, and HERO9 Black).
This is the feature I use most often, and in my case, it’s where the GoPro Subscription annual fee easily pays for itself.
GoPro sells its official accessories through its own store. They’ve even added some “lifestyle gear” as well, such as backpacks and hoodies.
With the GoPro Subscription, you can get up to 50% off accessories and gear you buy through the GoPro.com store. It doesn’t apply to everything, and not everything is the full 50% off.
You can apply it for a maximum of 10 items per year.
Be sure to sign in to your GoPro Subscription account to see the discounted pricing.
If you break your camera for any reason, you can get a replacement. But it’s not quite as simple or as cheap as that sounds at first.
Of the GoPro Subscription features, this one is, to me, the least clear. While it sounds straightforward enough, it’s not quite as simple as getting a new replacement camera whenever you want.
The good news is that it’s a no-questions-asked, or a “for any or no reason,” replacement program. So if you accidentally drive over your GoPro or flood it with water, you can get a replacement. But there are conditions and also costs to factor in.
For starters, it’s not free. The marketing materials say “Fees apply,” but you have to go hunting to find out what those fees are (you can find them here). They’re actually listed variously as a “Trade-in Fee” or a “Claim Fee.”
The cost varies by camera model. But all of them are a lot cheaper than buying a new camera through regular retail. 1
You can use it for up to two cameras per year while your subscription is active.
And it doesn’t apply everywhere. You can find the current list of eligible countries here.
In general, it’s a like-for-like replacement, so long as that model is in stock. So you can’t send in a beaten up HERO3 to get the latest and greatest HERO10 Black, for instance. (GoPro has in the past run an upgrade trade-in offer where you can do just that, but this isn’t that, and that type of exchange is not currently being offered.)
This is the feature I’m personally least likely to use. Some of the advanced features in the Quik mobile editing app are only available when you have a GoPro Subscription.
Those tools include:
You also need to have a GoPro Subscription to enable unlimited Mural imports and multi-clip edits of non-GoPro content.
The GoPro subscription is currently priced at $49.99 per year.
It’s billed annually, upfront for the coming year. GoPro Plus used to have the option to be billed monthly, but the current version of the GoPro Subscription is only available billed annually.
In recent years, GoPro has often offered deals on their new cameras that includes the first year of a GoPro Subscription. In those deals, the cost of the first year is built into the deal price.
You can sign up for a GoPro Subscription as a standalone transaction directly on GoPro.com.
Or it can be included as part of a special deal when buying a camera on GoPro.com. In that case, you’ll see the GoPro Subscription listed and priced as a line item, with the camera’s price discounted to compensate.
If you’re buying a GoPro as a gift and have taken advantage of one of GoPro’s deals that includes a 1-year GoPro Subscription, it’s easy to transfer the subscription.
This option is only available when creating a new account. Once you’re already activated the subscription, you won’t see the Transfer/Gift Subscription option available (which is why I haven’t been able to include a screenshot here).