Seriously, “the ridiculous price they’re asking right now.” Either you are not aware of the €7 that Premium Lite costs, or you have a really strange idea of what the value of the products should be. It is precisely this mindset that gives companies like Google (including via YouTube) no choice but to trade in people’s data. It is precisely this mentality that ensures that there is less and less quality news (“I’ll read it on NU.nl”). And it is precisely this mentality that makes it so difficult for small producers to grow.
If €7 is too much to demand unlimited viewing of all content on the world’s largest video platform, how much is reasonable? How many hours of work does a 10-minute piece of content take, plus costs to Google for servers and maintenance. Let’s say we give producers 0.001 cents per second that people watch, then you can watch 100,000 seconds for 1 euro per month, or about 1,600 minutes or about 25 hours, which is just under an hour a day. Then the producer earns 0.6 cents per view of a 10-minute movie, so with 1 million views (main channel) 600,000 cents, or 6,000 euros. You can’t do anything at all. And YouTube doesn’t get paid yet. So 1€ is not enough, I think 7€ isn’t that bad at all.
Quality simply costs money. If you don’t want to pay that, don’t look. The idea that everything should always be free or even cheaper (and then in many cases you get angry even if there is a lot of ads and/or hassle with data) is really problematic.
What was said.
I agree with you that YouTube has changed, and I also realize that for some it’s not for the better. Shorts also drive me crazy (otherwise I’d take TikTok), and I’m probably in a pretty limited bubble.
On the other hand, for 7 euros per month, I follow a series of channels that publish high-quality content that is very interesting / relevant to me. And through these channels, I regularly come across new ones dealing with similar topics. If you like science, come to Kurzgesagt. It refers once to CGPGrey or Veritasium, and through them you end up in 3Blue1Brown or Numberphile, or something completely different.
If YouTube’s greatest value to someone is “discovering new types of content,” this probably won’t work well. However, I see a website that provides enough content about things I find interesting for €7 a month without ads, that I can look through it for an average of an hour a day, and that’s probably enough.
Note: My biggest personal inconvenience (even worse than shorts) is that I pay 7 euros and then have to deal with producers who will thank their sponsors or promote their own merchandise, so that I can watch commercials again. This is really something YouTube could do for me. For example (it’s just an idea), a €10 per month subscription where this is cut by an algorithm. And if you go around that gimmick as a producer and have more than X subscribers, your income will be deducted or something. Of course they have to get more of my money.