YouTube Premium is the only streaming service I pay for — and I couldn't be happier

Youtube TV with remote
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

I feel like the odd one out, but I don't really find enjoyment in big movies and grand-in-scale TV shows. Sure, I like a few things from time to time, but overall, Netflix, HBO Max, et al subscriptions are lost on me, except for one that I can't live without. That honor goes to YouTube Premium.

In fact, YouTube is basically the one thing besides Plex that gets runtime on my TV. Netflix only gets opened by accident when my wife or I inadvertently hit the annoyingly large and sensitive Netflix button on our Shield TV remote. I haven't been on Hulu in years, I've never even touched HBO Max or Peacock ... you get the idea.

The sheer amount of streaming platforms — each requiring a subscription — with content spread piecemeal across them leaves me overwhelmed. I'm pretty stingy with my subscriptions. I personally only pay for two, YouTube and Spotify, and my wife has a couple of her own. But we keep a tight rein on our spending for the most part, and we've classed all but a handful of subscriptions as non-essential. Neither of us enjoys TV or movies all that much.

But quick YouTube videos that feed into our naturally short attention spans? Pure gold. Whether I'm catching up on gaming or tech, or she's watching something that suits her fancy, or we're watching comedy and Reddit videos, YouTube is our ideal platform. For me, it's because YouTube predates the other streaming services of today, and has thus played a role in shaping my viewing habits. I don't like videos that exceed 20-30 minutes, which is shorter than a lot of the best TV shows' episode runtimes.

We might subscribe to Netflix for the next season of The Witcher, or I might decide to keep my Prime subscription so that I can cynically watch The Rings of Power, but on a recurring monthly basis, YouTube is it. My free time is very limited, and I have yet to find a streaming service other than YouTube that entices me to spend time with it. I typically would much rather read, write, play video games, or study.

I wish I liked the hit TV shows, or had the time to watch any of them. The only show I've watched in its entirety is The Wheel of Time, and that's only because I adore the books that it's based on and I'm morbidly curious how much of a train wreck the rest of it will be. Plus which, it's a singular eight-episode season at time of writing.

We all have our own preferences and I'm glad that people who enjoy TV and movies have a smorgasbord of things to choose from. But I'll be sticking with YouTube Premium and its $11.99/month subscription for the foreseeable future (or $17.99/month for the family plan, which is what we do), and I couldn't be happier about it.

Note: With rumors that YouTube could be restricting 4K access to Premium subscribers only, the service could be an even better deal! 

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Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.