I used to spend my “Free entertainment time” doing a variety of things. Reading. Playing video games. Watching movies. Etc.
Now I mostly just watch stuff on Youtube.
Youtube Red is a great thing. I subscribed initially because it also includes Google Play Music, and I was looking to get back into a streaming music service. I use Google Music quite a bit…but Youtube Red is my new entertainment mainstay.
With Red, Youtube feels like it did way back in 2005. You can just wing around, from content to content, with no pauses or stops or gaps. It’s waaaay easier to get lost in an endless rabbit-hole of videos, just clicking on related clip after related clip. Video after video after video.
I also find myself actually using the “Watch Later” feature. If I’m starting to lose interest in the video I’m watching, since I have the attention span of a flea sometimes, I’ll go through the related column on the right side of the page and add several videos to my Watch Later list. Then, I’ll actually go through and watch those videos…later.
I never used this feature before I had Red. Not having ads constantly interrupting the experience makes Youtube significantly more enjoyable for me. I don’t mind going through and “clearing out” videos from my Watch Later list, because it’s a simple, painless process. I can get the content I want right now, without waiting.
I’m not good at waiting.
But all of this does have a dark side, of sorts. Without ads, there are no natural pauses. There’s nothing external to tell your brain, “Hey, maybe don’t keep watching videos for the next hour.” When a new video can happen right now, I’m much less likely to quit watching. I’ve also been watching much more content from my favorite providers/channels I subscribe to. Which means that my favorite creators are making much more money off of me, at the expense of my free time. So I guess that’s good?
I’m loving it though. I’m having a blast with Youtube, which is not something I would have said before. I enjoyed it before, but I considered it a more… functional part of my life. I’d watch clips that friends posted, I’d watch movie trailers, and occasionally I would watch stuff from a creator I liked. But then I’d stop. My average session length was probably around fifteen minutes. Now, I can easily spend a couple hours in one go.
Youtube Red is great, and the addition of Google Play Music makes it a stupidly good value, if you like listening to music. Together, this subscription package is the one I use the most out of the, like, four that I pay for right now. It has changed my entertainment life for the better…even if I spend more time on Youtube than I sometimes intend to.