Mike Linksvayer on the sweet spot for listening to music on YouTube:
I’ve spent many hours listening to YouTube, not watching. There appears to be a sweet spot for long-lived (large catalog) bands that are unpopular enough to have never been on a major label or imitator (nothing gets taken down nor monetized) but popular enough that lots of their catalog is uploaded. The main problem with YT for me is that nobody has gotten around to uploading much or even anything from many great but too unpopular bands.
The Ex is an example of a band in that sweet spot that I’ve been listening to a lot recently.
There’s a dynamic similar to orphan works. For huge acts like The Beatles it’s well worth the time for somebody to issue takedowns. But for smaller acts like John Fahey or Bill Monroe it’s less likely that somebody will take the trouble.
Also, live performances of public domain compositions by acts on the level of Fahey or Monroe are out of reach of takedown requests. These recordings are spotty, but some are good enough.