The quality often ranges from below Ed Wood-type works to studio quality materials, depending on what it is.Surprisingly, a lot of the personal videos of individuals often do have something to say that are actually worth watching and listening to.
There's been a serious and somewhat harsh crackdown on copyright infringement over the past couple of years; expect to click to see a video, such as an Abridged Series, only to find there's no audio, but the video is still intact (for the moment) along with a large amount of rage in the comments section, and maybe a Samaritan posting a link to some foreign site unaffected by American law (or it's another site forcing you to take a survey to watch a video that's dollar lawsuits from entertainment companies, which leads to videos being taken down under the DMCA unless someone contests they're to be Fair Use (or not even infringing copyright), even if this includes in mistakingly removing videos from official music channels (on at least two occasions) in the process.
Yes, Prior to Google's purchase of the company in November 2006, You Tube was a much smaller place.
It hosted communication between individuals, who used it visually in otherwise the same manner as they had previously used Usenet or IRC.
This has led to the phrase "Watch it before it gets taken down" for any rarely seen copyright show or movie.
The end result is that many people who rely on parodying or reviewing copyrighted works (which has been long-recognized as fair use) have largely jumped ship to more creator-friendly sites such as Revver or (before they were shut down).