Tuesday, June 15, 2021

My YouTube conversion

When I first began streaming as my sole source of TV, back in 2011 when I cut cable, my primary sources for watching TV were Hulu and Netflix. I also was an Amazon Prime subscriber, but never watched it. I was an Amazon Prime subscriber for the shipping benefits, and had been for years, before they launched their streaming video. Amazon Prime Video was a later add-on and I never really watched it.

So, apart from Hulu -- called Hulu Plus at the time because Hulu was something a little different; yes, streaming was different back then -- and Netflix -- that was a lot cheaper back then -- I didn't watch much else.

Well, that's not exactly true. I probably spent 40% of the time watching Hulu or Hulu Plus, 40% of the time watching Netflix, and 25% of the time split among several small services or services in their early days. And yes, I know that adds up to 105%, but I watched a lot of streaming TV back then. Also, I just made those numbers up, but they feel about right.

Today, that's no longer the case. I still subscribe to Hulu, as it's now known since they merged Hulu and Hulu Plus. I dropped Netflix some time back. I found that I never watched it. I do watch a little Amazon Prime Video, but still not a lot, and not as much as I used to watch Netflix (back when I watched Netflix).

The various apps that made up the made-up number 25% are pretty much taken up by Pluto TV. Well, not entirely, but I do watch a lot of Pluto TV. I love Pluto TV, as I've mentioned before. But, more than any other app, is one I used to never watch: YouTube.

No, not YouTube TV. I've subscribed to YouTube TV in the past, but I don't maintain a subscription. It's not of that much value to me. No, I'm talking about regular old YouTube. The one with the cat videos.

Actually, you can find a lot of cat videos on Pluto TV, if that's your thing. It's not mine. Sure, I'll watch a cat video every now and then, but it's not a regular thing for me. No, I watch other stuff on YouTube.

I used to not, because it was a bunch of cat videos. If you were using YouTube 15 years ago, you know what I'm talking about. But, it did become more than that just a few years after Google bought it. Now, it's one I watch a lot. Educational videos, Brits solving Sudoku puzzles, bad movie reviews, and much much much more.

If I want to watch a TV show or a movie, I probably won't do the YouTube thing. But, if I want short form videos, it's YouTube.

Ten years ago, I never would have thought that. I was still stuck in the "nothing but cat videos" mindset. Now, I watch it more than anything. I don't usually count it as my most-watched app, even though it is. I'll still tell you it's Hulu, because that's my most used app for real TV. For mindless junk, even fun or educational stuff, I know that I watch YouTube more than any app.

When did I become aware it was my most-used app? As I wrote this. I will only admit it now. When I post this, I'll go back to lying to myself and saying "Hulu" as my most watched app. But you and I know the truth.

It's the dirty little secret about my Streaming Life.

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