YouTube, which has over 800 million monthly visitors and three billion daily video views, recently announced a new feature: Merch Store. The new service will allow YouTube’s users to download music, purchase merchandise, and buy concert tickets through YouTube’s partners. Christian Weitenberner, the senior technical account manager for YouTube, said the following of the new service in Sunday’s YouTube blog post:
“Fans will be able to buy artists’ merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and even unique experiences like meetups. These features are made possible through affiliates like Topspin for merchandise, concert tickets and experiences; Songkick for concerts; and iTunes and Amazon for music downloads.”
Although YouTube indicated they will be compensated for the merchandise and ticket sales that originate on their site, the company declined to provide details of the financial agreement between YouTube and its partners. However, they did indicate that the musical artists will receive the same percentage of revenues whether the sale originates through the Merch Store, affiliates, or another channel. In addition, YouTube indicated that the site will only take a small percentage of the sales revenues in order to cover the costs associated with the new feature.
On October 20th, YouTube will be co-hosting a panel in NYC with artists who have found success through YouTube. The panel will provide artists and potential partners with more information on the new service. YouTube said they will be rolling out the Merch Store and announcing global partnerships over the next several weeks.
In the past, YouTube has been a platform for artists to deliver music videos to their fans. However, since artists have not been able to sell tickets, music, and merchandise through YouTube, the usefulness of the site was limited. After the Merch Store has fully launched and developed effective partnerships, YouTube has the potential to become a central hub for music artists.