Posted October 8, 2008 2:02 pm by with 23 comments

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Yet another monetization tactic from YouTube: click-to-buy. Through partnerships with companies like EMI and Electronic Arts, YouTube is adding links to iTunes and Amazon (DRM free) to download music and video games, with more options to come.

The links appear below videos from participating partners (such as this perennial classic from OK Go):
youtube click to buy links

And Google says there’s lots more to come:

This is just the beginning of building a broad, viable e-commerce platform for users and partners on YouTube. Our vision is to help partners across all industries — from music, to film, to print, to TV — offer useful and relevant products to a large, yet targeted audience, and generate additional revenue from their content on YouTube beyond the advertising we serve against their videos.

The beginning looks like a good move with music and video game downloads, since these are established download arenas. Print, though, might be a bit more of a leap, unless we’re talking soft copies.

The click-to-buy program will be available to YouTube partners who use their content identification and management system—including on original UGC. You just have to use Content ID to claim the videos and leave them up on the site.

RWW says that music owners will also be able to put the click-to-buy links under UGC that uses their music without permission. (I doubt that the content producers would get a cut in that agreement.) But wouldn’t that mean, then, that they were granting permission at least tacitly?

  • Hmm. I don’t understand Google.

    They change the face of the web with distinguishable ads but with this YouTube thing, they blend the ads like Yahoo/AOL have done. I think Google should make the ads more recognizable and probably will increase the purchases in the long run.

    It maybe ‘subtle’ but it’s a trust factor.

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  • I guess this is to appeal to the music industry. I don’t really see it working as the links will only be on videos inserted by the industry itself, which are ads in them selves.

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  • Jordan McCollum

    No, as mentioned above, they can put the links on UGC videos featuring (pirated) copies of their music—and well-done music videos are pretty popular forms of entertainment, online and off.

  • Quick reply, thanks.
    Oh, is that what UCG is? Silly me – user generated content!
    will it be an automated thing – meaning Google knows what the music is?

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  • Well I was hoping to beat YouTube to the punch on making an announcement. I have been developing this on my site It seemed only logical for YouTube which is now becoming the place for artists to get exposure, to incorporate links for people to purchase MP3s. I show a link to Amazon next to every live music video I display. Works pretty well. But because the video title also contains location information. I inform my customers to click the link then remove any extra text from the artist information for better results. But I will make improvements in the future.

    More power to YouTube’s success with this. I certainly believe in the concept since I developed this too. More improvements in the future since this the site is still early stage. But I wanted it documented that I did this first before YouTube made their announcement today.

    -Randy O

  • Ive actually read a few good reviews of this move so far. It seems to be receiving a warm welcome

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  • I genuinely hope that after so many failed attempts at monetizing that this works for YouTube.

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  • they have started to open up their brains … but still a long way to go.

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  • They really failed miserably with Adsense on Youtube, this is a nice move by Google.

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  • PS3

    That makes perfect sense to me. The first place I go if I want to hear a new tune these days is You Tube, seems naturally to then have a link to somewhere I can buy it. Advertising is not always a bad thing!

  • I did notice in Marketing Pilgrim’s last post that YouTube is going to implement a new form of advertising but I didn’t know it was going to be done now! After taking a look at it I don’t think it’s bad at all. The ads are just blended in and I don’t find it annoying. Good move Google! 🙂

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  • Google too seems to be very high on innovation in the recent past. In fact, the whole industry seems to be and it is quite difficult to keep track of all that is happening.

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  • I was expecting this from them after they had been sucking at earning from Google Ads!

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  • This is a very smart partnership for all parties involved. I think this will be huge for driving sales.

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  • This is a great idea because I know a lot of people who discover music from youtube now they can purchase it

  • It seems as if more and more ways of making money are being discovered each day. Soon we’ll be paying and getting paid for almost anything on the net. Great concept by YouTube though.

  • Great marketing concept, smart move by Youtube that is going to benefit everyone associated with Youtube.

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  • Well, I must say I was wondering how will they make a comeback from the big purchase recently but this is a clever way for Google IMHO..

  • MGA

    Music application is the only advantage that makes myspace a bigger social network than facebook. In my opinion, it is a wise approach for youtube to offer such service!

  • I think it decreases the illegal mp3 downloading.

  • First place I go to find tune or video is You Tube, seems naturally to then have a link to somewhere I can buy it. And this is a very smart partnership.

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  • Google too seems to be very high on innovation in the recent past. In fact, the whole industry seems to be and it is quite difficult to keep track of all that is happening.