YouTube has just become the next site to hop on the social commerce bandwagon with the announcement that they are launching a new feature called the Merch Store through which YouTube partners can offer merchandise directly from their channels. The store will be rolled out over the coming weeks, starting with music partners. Through the Merch Store, fans will be able to buy anything from digital downloads, concert tickets, meetups, t-shirts and more.
On the YouTube blog, YouTube Senior Technical Account Manager Christian Weitenberner writes, “Whether you’re the main event, the opener or jamming from your living room, we want to give you the chance to find an audience and make music your career on YouTube.” Prior to this launch, music partners were able to link out from their page to their personal websites and e-commerce stores, iTunes and other sites where fans could purchase music and merchandise, but offering this stuff directly from a musicians YouTube channel will make it much easier for fans to find and buy merch from their favorite YouTube artists. Merchandise will be available through a number of affiliates, including Topspin, Songkick, iTunes and Amazon.
It isn’t clear whether YouTube will be opening this feature to non-music partners, but I’ve got a feeling that if it goes well we’ll be seeing t-shirts, and other goods for sale on all the big YouTube partner channels. Check out the screenshot below and let us know what you think of this new feature.
For partners looking to learn more about this new feature, YouTube will be hosting a panel on October 20 at Noon ET in NYC at the Mercury Lounge. Musicians that have found success on YouTube, including Julia Nunes and Karmin, will share their stories. Find out more and RSVP on the YouTube Creator Blog.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.