If a GoPro is on your shopping list, there’s a good chance you’ll find one discounted soon. The annual Black Friday camera deals usually include offers on a range of GoPro action cameras and accessories. But there’s another factor to weigh up when searching for November savings – should you buy one with a GoPro Subscription?
At face value, the answer seems obvious. Buy any current GoPro model with a GoPro Subscription and you’ll get a big discount on the camera’s standard price. For example, the flagship GoPro Hero 11 Black is $200 / £200 / AU$270 cheaper when bough with a Subscription. And the savings could increase during the Black Friday GoPro deals.
We’ve created this guide to explain exactly what discounts you can get with a GoPro Subscription and whether it’s worth signing up for one during the Black Friday sales. We’ve outlined all of the key benefits of a membership, as well as any potential disadvantages to keep in mind when shopping during Black Friday.
As well as reducing the cost of a new GoPro camera, a GoPro Subscription also gives you unlimited cloud video backups, optional camera replacements and large savings on a range of official accessories. Our guide should help you make sense of these perks and whether they could represent good value for you – and if you can expect additional discounts during the GoPro Black Friday deals in 2022.
What is a GoPro Subscription?
GoPro launched its paid membership service as ‘Plus’ a few years ago, but only more recently did the action cam stalwart start pushing hard for Subscription sign-ups.
So what does a Subscription get you? The concept is simple: like Fitbit Premium or iCloud Plus, paying extra for a GoPro Subscription unlocks additional services, support and savings for your GoPro action camera.
These premium features are meant to enhance your user experience and make it easier to focus on filming the fun stuff.
How much is a GoPro Subscription?
A standalone GoPro Subscription costs $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$69.99 per year. There’s no option to pay in monthly installments, so you’ll need to stump up for the entire annual fee when you sign up.
Alternatively, you can buy a camera like the latest GoPro Hero 11 Black and choose to ‘save with a 1-year GoPro Subscription’. Tick this box at checkout and GoPro will bundle an annual membership in with your purchase, automatically applying the discount and giving you access to all the benefits of a GoPro Subscription. Easy.
What’s the catch? There isn’t one, really. Membership will automatically renew every 12 months. If you’re only in it for a one-off discount, you’ll just need to remember to cancel the subscription before it renews after a year, otherwise you’ll be charged the full annual fee. But the good news is that you can cancel at any time without a penalty.
What do you get with a GoPro Subscription?
1. Discounts on GoPros and accessories
GoPro promises savings on GoPro gear of up to 50% with a Subscription. That’s a tempting proposition, but it’s worth noting the ‘up to’ part of that promise: the half-price discount doesn’t apply to everything on the GoPro store. So which GoPro products can you save money on with a Subscription?
The biggest savings can be found on GoPro’s countless cases and mounts. Subscribers can claim a 50% discount on GoPro’s Floaty case for the GoPro Hero 11 Black (and the 10, 9 and 8 Black before it), for example. Similarly, members can pick up GoPro’s surfboard mounts or Super Suit dive shell for half-price.
A smaller but still significant discount of 30% is available on the Volta battery grip, which extends your GoPro’s battery life and doubles up as a tripod. That same saving also applies to the Creator Kit, which bundles the Volta grip with a Media Mod and Light Mod for a complete vlogging setup.
A huge range of other accessories are reduced by 20% with a GoPro Subscription. You can save cash on everything from the Suction Cup and Fetch Dog Harness to the Display Mod, Protective Housing and GoPro’s range of backpacks and sling bags.
What about the action cams themselves? For most people, the main attraction of a GoPro Subscription is the option to save money on a GoPro camera – and there are certainly discounts to be had. GoPro offers fixed-price reductions on every model in its official line-up. That means you can save on the Hero 11 Black, Hero 10 Black, Hero 9 Black and the Max, as well as the Hero 11 Black Mini and, for buyers in the US, the Hero 10 Black Bones.
For the Hero 11 Black, the discount technically offered to subscribers is $200 / £200 / AU$270. However, when you account for the cost of the annual Subscription required to claim the saving, the real reduction on the standard price is actually $150 / £150 / AU$200. Which is still a solid saving, especially as you get all the perks of a GoPro Subscription bundled in.
You can also opt for the Hero 11 Black Creator Edition. That gets you the GoPro Hero 11 Black, together with a Volta grip, Light Mod, Media Mod and 32GB microSD card. The bundle is good value at full price, but Subscribers can save a further $170 / £170 / AU$260.
As for the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini, the saving for subscribers in real terms is a slightly lower $100 / £100 / AU$150. You can also save the same amount on a GoPro Max and a GoPro Hero 10 Black. We think that discount still makes it worth ticking the box to sign up: not only are you netting a useful saving outright, but you’re also getting all of those membership benefits for a full yer.
A Subscription also saves you $50 / £50 / AU$50 on a GoPro Hero 9 Black when you factor in the annual fee. The oldest and joint-cheapest model still sold by GoPro, we can’t see any harm in signing up to reduce its price a little further. But you might need to move quickly: if the GoPro Hero 8 Black is anything to go by, the Hero 9 Black discount may be disabled during Black Friday, either because stocks are low or because GoPro plans to officially discontinue the model.
Subscribers can purchase up to three discounted GoPro cameras per year. The savings are identical whether you’re signed in as an existing GoPro subscriber or you take out a new membership at checkout.
2. Unlimited cloud storage
One of the key features of a GoPro Subscription is unlimited cloud backup. Members can save all footage shot with a compatible GoPro camera to the cloud, in full original quality. Subscribers can do this ether via the Quik app on their smartphone, through the GoPro web interface, or by configuring Auto Upload.
Auto Upload will automatically save your latest clips to the cloud whenever your camera is within range of your home Wi-Fi and plugged in to a wall charger. It works with every GoPro model back to the Hero 5 and it means you no longer need to worry about manually offloading footage.
Given the potential size of 4K video files, the offer of unlimited storage alone is enough to consider a GoPro Subscription – especially if you regularly record high-quality clips and don’t fancy filling your hard drive. That said, it's worth nothing that the cloud storage does not support content captured with a GoPro Fusion.
3. Damaged camera replacements
A GoPro Subscription comes with the promise of ‘no-questions-asked camera replacement’. This sounds like a very good deal, especially if you’re planning to use your GoPro camera in particularly tough filming situations. But there are a few caveats to this offer.
If you read the small print, you’ll see that subscribers in certain countries (including the USA, UK and Australia) are permitted to "exchange up to two cameras per year for the same model". The offer covers the GoPro Hero 5 and every GoPro released after that, including the Fusion and Max. It also cryptically states that "fees apply".
Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that a “trade-in fee” is required to claim a replacement camera. For the Hero 10 Black Bones, the fee is quoted as $199. For every other model, right back to the Hero 5 Black, the fee is $99. So you won’t be getting a fresh camera for free – you can find all of the fees listed on GoPro's camera replacement page.
The camera replacement offer also doesn’t cover lost GoPro cameras, only damaged ones. You need to return your old, broken GoPro as part of the exchange – which you won’t be able to do if your action cam is somewhere in the sea. And GoPro will only replace cameras purchased directly from its website.
It’s worth remembering that every GoPro is built to be tough. That’s part of the appeal, after all. If you’ve seen the YouTube video of a GoPro falling from an aeroplane, landing in a pig pen and surviving to tell the tale, then you’ll know that damaging GoPro’s action cameras is no easy feat. So you may never even need to use this optional replacement offer. Then again, crack a touchscreen and you’ll be glad to have the cover.
4. Quick app premium editing
As part of a GoPro Subscription, all of the premium editing tools, filters and royalty-free backing tracks are made available in the Quik app. Unlocking these normally requires a separate subscription, which would otherwise set you back $9.99 / £9.49 / AU$14.99 per year – or $1.99 / £1.79 / AU$2.49 per month.
Whether this represents added value will depend on how much you use the Quik app to edit and compile clips. It’s certainly an easy way to tweak videos for social media and the premium tools give you greater options for accessible creativity. We've put together some more in-depth thoughts on GoPro Quik, if you want to know more about the app's premium tools.
5. Private live-streams
If you’re using a GoPro Hero 7 Black or later, you don’t need a membership to live stream to YouTube, Facebook or Twitch in 1080p. But your streams will be visible to anyone who follows you on those platforms.
A GoPro Subscription changes that, allowing you to broadcast directly from the GoPro website. You can then share a unique link to your private stream with friends, family and your favorite fans. This makes streams easier to share and access directly, while keeping the audience limited to those with the link.
Will a GoPro subscription be cheaper during Black Friday?
With the annual Black Friday deals starting to arrive, is it worth waiting for the sales before buying a GoPro with a Subscription? While it’s too early to be definitive, the answer is most likely yes.
If previous years are anything to go by, we’d expect to see solid discounts on all of GoPro’s current range, including the GoPro Hero 11 Black, Hero 10 Black, Hero 9 Black and Max. We’ve outlined which cameras we think you should watch out for in this guide to which GoPro should you buy during Black Friday.
The best deal last year was on the GoPro Hero 10 Black with an accessory bundle, including a spare battery, tripod and 32GB microSD card. The total price with a subscription dropped to $399, a saving of $260 against the official price.
It’s possible we’ll see GoPro’s latest models similarly discounted this year. That said, GoPro has already dropped the price of several cameras, well in advance of the Black Friday deals. It could be that additional discounts are limited to certain models. We think the Hero 9 Black could offer excellent value if bought with a GoPro Subscription during Black Friday, for example.
We wouldn’t expect to see the cost of a Subscription itself reduced. More likely is that members find themselves treated to greater savings on GoPro equipment, standalone cameras and bundles in its current range.
Any savings offered to subscribers in addition to the discounts outlined above only makes a GoPro Subscription more worthwhile. We wouldn’t expect the deals to be reserved for new subscribers either, given that GoPro wants existing subscribers to continue claiming their allocation of three discounted cameras per year.
So for the best GoPro Black Friday deals in 2022, there’s a good chance you’ll need a Subscription. If you don’t already own a GoPro camera, we recommend waiting a few days or a week to see what savings GoPro has in store. You can then sign up for a Subscription at checkout to claim any discounts on offer. That also means your membership will only start when you order a new camera, so you’ll be able to make the most of it before it renewing or cancelling after a year.
For those who already own a GoPro camera, you can make a case either way: wait and see what offers GoPro’s got planned, or sign up now to start enjoying the perks of a Subscription. You'll still be able to benefit from exclusive deals down the line either way.
Is a GoPro subscription worth it?
There’s really no question: a GoPro subscription is worth it if you’re planning to buy a new GoPro action camera.
Besides all the added benefits of a membership, the outright savings make it a no-brainer. With discounts of up to $150 / £150 / AU$200 available on GoPro’s latest action cameras (after you’ve factored in the cost of a Subscription), there’s significant money to be saved by signing up.
What’s more, you can cancel the annual Subscription at any time before it automatically renews after a year, so you won’t be locked into a long-term contract. Of course, GoPro is hoping you won’t do that – and there are several reasons why you wouldn’t.
A Subscription isn’t cheap at $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$69.99 per year, but for unlimited cloud storage and automatic backup of full-quality videos, plus private live streams, access to the Quik app’s premium features and up to two damaged camera replacements per year (for a fee), it’s not a bad deal. Especially when you factor in the rolling offers, including the ability to buy three discounted GoPro cameras per year.
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Formerly News Editor at Stuff, Chris has rarely been able to resist the bite of the travel bug – so he now writes about tech from the road, in whichever Wi-Fi-equipped café he can find. Fond of coffee kit, classic cars and sustainable gear, if there’s one thing Chris loves more than scribbling, shooting and sharing his way around the world, it’s alliterative triplets.