Free Things Always Hurt – „Was nix kostet ist nix wert“.

Today, I want to delve into a transformative experience I recently had after subscribing to YouTube Premium. This subscription led me to reconsider my entire media consumption strategy. This article serves as a way for me to organize my thoughts, and perhaps, inspire you to think differently about your own consumption habits. Imagine this: A marketing professional feeling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) about ads. Sounds absurd, right? But that’s exactly what happened two days after I made the switch to an ad-free experience.

My Evolution Away from Media Clutter:

  1. Abandoned cable TV a decade ago.
  2. Deleted my personal Facebook account in 2015.
  3. Embraced Spotify in 2016 to replace radio and curate playlists.
  4. Stopped posting on my private Instagram around 2020; also deleted WhatsApp.
  5. Removed my professional Xing account early in 2023.
  6. Subscribed to YouTube Premium later in 2023.

Unbeknownst to me, these steps were incrementally freeing me from the grip of advertising, leading to a surprising emotional response when I finally cut off YouTube ads.

The Erosion of Tolerance for Ad Interruptions:

My patience for intrusive ads has reached an all-time low. From the early days of cutting the cable cord to today, the landscape has changed drastically. Streaming has offered us tailored, instant entertainment, making traditional TV seem like a never-ending stream of commercials. It’s glaringly clear when I visit my parents and encounter their TV habits: they tolerate what I consider to be an unbearable ratio of ads to content.

The Power of Algorithms:

Platforms like Spotify and YouTube have revolutionized our consumption habits. Spotify introduced me to new music and the world of podcasts—a fantastic supplement to long-form YouTube content. Yet, despite the advantages, algorithms can be a double-edged sword. They streamline our experiences but can also lock us into bubbles of comfort.

The Dilemma of Ads:

Ads have been a constant companion in my YouTube and Instagram feeds for various reasons. YouTube’s increasing number of unskippable 30-second ads frustrated me, propelling me towards an ad-free subscription. The change has been profound; my mind feels liberated from distractions, offering a more enriching, streamlined experience.

The Cost of Freedom:

While the expense is substantial—about €100 per month including Spotify, YouTube Premium, and my home internet connection—I find it’s a small price to pay for autonomy over my „me time.“

The Paradox of a Marketer Advocating for an Ad-Free Life:

You might find it paradoxical that someone in my field is encouraging you to go ad-free. But remember, I’m discussing personal time, the moments that should feel rewarding and enriching.

As I explore new paid platforms like Nebula, I remain aware that this freedom comes at a cost. But the peace of mind and control are well worth it to me.

Free things always hurt.

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