In recent years, GoPro has been moving from a hardware-only camera manufacturer to a hardware+subscription company. And you can see why. As much as subscriptions aren’t every user’s cup of tea, for the companies that offer them, there’s a lot to like—it’s reliable, recurring income from existing customers. The trick is to offer users enough value that they keep renewing their subscription.
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.
GoPro Subscription Features & Benefits
Here’s a rundown of the key features and benefits you get with a GoPro Subscription.
NB: I’ve done my best to make sure that what I have posted here is accurate at the time of writing, and I’ve gathered the information from GoPro’s official documentation spread across various places. But it’s possible for GoPro to change terms, features, prices, and fine print without notice. So I recommend checking the information on GoPro.com before buying a GoPro subscription. To make that easier, I’ve tried to include direct links to where you can find specific current information.
Unlimited Cloud Backup & Auto Uploads
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.
Discounts on New GoPro Cameras
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).
Up to 50% Off Accessories at GoPro.com Store
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.
No-Questions-Asked Camera Replacement
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.)
Unlock Premium Editing Tools in the Quik App
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:
- Speed Tool for slo-mo, fast + freeze
- Premium filters for snow, water + more
- Premium GoPro themes
- GoPro Originals Music
You also need to have a GoPro Subscription to enable unlimited Mural imports and multi-clip edits of non-GoPro content.
How Much Does a GoPro Subscription Cost?
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.
How to Get a GoPro Subscription
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.
How to Transfer a GoPro Subscription
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.
- Sign in to your GoPro.com account that you used to make the initial purchase.
- Go to My Account.
- Then choose the Transfer/Gift Subscription link.
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).
How to Cancel a GoPro Subscription
- Sign in to your account on GoPro.com.
- Go to
My Accountand then the
- On the right side, you’ll see a summary. At the bottom of that, there’s a
Things Worth Knowing
- The GoPro Subscription automatically renews, but you can cancel at any time (see above for information on how to do that).
- You can find the official GoPro Subscription fine print here.
- If your claim is covered by the regular GoPro Warranty, it will be handled as a warranty claim and you won’t be charged a Trade-in Fee.