A few months ago while watching climbing competition videos on YouTube with the family, I finally broke down and began the 30 day free trial of YouTube Premium.
I now wish I had done it years ago.
Removing ads instantly changed my YouTube viewing habits. What was previously a pit of frustration waiting for horrible little clips to play turned into a wonderful experience of listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan concerts in the background, devouring guitar lessons, enjoying the funk covers of Scary Pockets, and more.
It made such a difference in the way I experienced YouTube, I can't imagine ever letting my subscription lapse. And in fact while I knew that YouTube was super important, its value just increased ten times over for me and I would easily put YT at the top of the list of the most important sites on the internet. Sure, there are horrible videos in there, but there are also so many important cultural videos that were previously inaccessible before. Not to mention instructional videos which are helping me out as well (as I try and finish rebuilding my deck).
Let me talk a little about the Stevie Ray videos mentioned above. I knew in the abstract these concerts were out there (and I probably have all the audio bootlegs of them), but if I had wanted to watch to them on YouTube I was interrupted by ads and would of course stop the video. Ads annoy me.
Now I can just let it play uninterrupted and if I hear something I could learn on my guitar I'll rewind the video and usually see exactly what Stevie is doing. Because of this I've had a number of aha moments, such as when I discovered Stevie using a quick slide on the intro to Ain't Gone 'n' Give Up On Love. I had no idea, I had always thought it was a bend. I'm now trying to introduce that technique into my own guitar playing.
There's a ton of little instances like that on YouTube. Did you know that John Mayer occasionally does impromptu guitar lessons on Instagram Live? Fans of his will record the streams and archive them on YT (because Mayer tends to delete them from Instagram right away). What a wonder it would be if Jimi Hendrix was still around and doing the same. And because of the algorithms that suggest new videos for me, I'm discovering great new guitarists all the time.
I could go on and on about the cool little things I've discovered, but if you haven't already tried YouTube Premium, you really should. The wealth of instructional videos and music on there is just incredible.