The many faces of YouTube

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This is a guest post from Anca Rusu, a music buff who, when not listening to YouTube, is working with the amazing team at IndigoBoom, the digital distribution platform for artists & labels. 

YouTube is like… one giant supermarket meets round the corner independent record store meets farmers market, the junk shop and the British Library. It’s a paradox full of crap and sublime, wiggly kittens, laughing babies, sneezing Pandas, oldies, goldies and those bits you were singing along at your 6th birthday anniversary. You thought nobody had them, but there they are, out of nowhere to haunt you forever. You can even choose the resolution. It’s like a bottomless magician’s hat constantly feeding an insatiable audience. You already know all this. Unless you live on Mars.

And, on top of everything, did you know that YouTube is also the website that plays the most music? Almost like a radio. Which reminds me: I love radio! It’s just that I like being my own DJ. I know, I’m in a bit of a pickle here. In the 90s I used to obsess about late Sunday night radio shows playing Van Der Graaf and the like with a significant amount of conversations in between. I liked the ‘talk’ just as much. The inexperienced teenager in me needed to be initiated into music by charismatic older guys shrouded in smoke in dimly lit box reminiscing about Woodstock. That’s radio, right? Music you can’t control plus some shticks in between that sometimes are the reason for listening, right?

Time passes, things change, but nothing has drastically changed the way I consume music. It’s still in big gulps. For years I rummaged through shows in several languages, I discovered the online radios, the alternative, the live stream, the mainstream. I made playlists in several programs and I forgot them all. I got excited and I lost contact just as soon. For a good couple of years now I end up more and more on YouTube. I’m not sure why I lost contact with the other and got stuck in here. It just feels comfortable. I could blame it on the (too) many hours/day I spend online. Or maybe it’s just the lack of pretentiousness.

I love music, but I don’t have the time and the energy to select, to add favorites, to buy, to install, to control, etc. I only have time for listening to music. Nothing else. Whatever I do, I need something ringing in the back of my ear, and I need it to be one click away. I type a name I heard or read about. I listen (hardly ever watch). If I like it, it will end up in a private playlist. No fuss, another click away. The chances of not finding what you’re looking for are very small. If a musician ends up in my playlist more than once, it’s time for the next step: buying the album and making sure it stays in my mp3. The next step? A concert, if I’m lucky.

But that’s just me, at this moment in life. I’m probably insignificant, one of the many ‘likes’ pushers with no power to change statistics. Since you’re asking, yes, if life’s too short to safely remove USB, then it’s even shorter if I skip the add. Like millions, I’ve developed advertising blindness. But I found my radio. It’s (still!) free and I even get to be my own DJ. And something tells me that there are numerous strange other ways to employ this bottomless magician’s hat. What do you make of YouTube? Literally.

Author bio: Anca is a music buff and when she’s not listening to YouTube she’s working with the amazing team at IndigoBoom, the digital distribution platform for artists & labels.

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.