YouTube enters e-commerce PDF Print E-mail

Google`s video sharing site will roll out the “Merch Store” for its music partners in the coming weeks.

YouTube is adding new features that will allow its music partners to sell event tickets, merchandise and digital content via their video channels.

In a post on the YouTube blog, senior technical account manager Christian Weitenberner says: “We`re launching a feature called the Merch Store that will allow YouTube partners to offer fans merchandise directly on your channel.”

According to Weitenberner, the features are a result of partnerships with affiliates such as Topspin, Songkick, iTunes and Amazon.

“We`ll be rolling out the Merch Store to music partners globally over the coming weeks,” says Weitenberner.

In Google`s third-quarter earnings report last week, it was stated that 800 million people currently visit YouTube per month. Statistics released earlier this year also indicated that the video-sharing site was seeing three billion video views per day.

YouTube has reportedly declined to divulge any further information regarding how the sales will be split between the partners, but has confirmed it will take a share of the sales to cover costs.

Profit problem

Since acquiring YouTube five years ago, Google has struggled to turn the service`s popularity into profitability.

In July this year, Google CEO Larry Page said during the company`s second-quarter results presentation that YouTube still required more investment in order to be profitable.

As a result, Google has been implementing changes that have been slowly shifting YouTube from being a Web site to a more extensive ecosystem.

Last month, Google introduced simple video editing features in order to allow users to customise videos within YouTube. Earlier this year, an on-demand movie service was also launched by Google, through partnerships with Time Warner, Comcast, Sony and Lions Gate.

The latest announcement, of the addition of the Merch Store, comes just days after reports emerged that Google is looking to unveil its own online music store.

Earlier this year, the search giant launched a very limited music beta service after failing to secure the necessary licences for a fully-fledged download service. Google has now, however, revived talks with record companies and is reportedly looking to release a new service in a matter of weeks.

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