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October 8, 2008

YouTube Links to Online Music Stores

YouTube started to add links to iTunes and Amazon MP3 for music videos from EMI Music and Universal Music. "Click-to-buy links are non-obtrusive retail links, placed on the watch page beneath the video with the other community features. Just as YouTube users can share, favorite, comment on, and respond to videos quickly and easily, now users can click-to-buy products -- like songs and video games -- related to the content they're watching on the site," announces Google Blog.

YouTube hopes to add this option for other types of videos and to offer an alternative way to monetize videos. "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."

For now, the links are only available in the US, but they will be added internationally if this experiment turns out to be a success. YouTube shows ads only next to the videos uploaded or claimed by its partners, which account for 4% of the videos hosted by YouTube.


  1. It seems like they're sending the message that it's ok to post copyright violating content on YouTube.
    What happens if I upload 9 music videos which get ads from the record label and iTunes links and everything, but the 10th video gets me banned? Is that fair?

  2. In a post from August, Google said that there are about 300 Video ID partners.

    "Our partners [monetize] 90% of all claims created through Video ID. This has led directly to a similarly significant increase in monetizable partner inventory, as our Video ID partners are seeing claimed content more than double their number of views, against which we can run ads."

    Obviously, not all content producers will partner with Google and there are still 10% of the videos created by Google's partners that are taken down.

  3. 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

  4. Makes a lot of sense to me, and I think artists/rightsholders could stand to make a lot of money from purchase links, in concert with YouTube's recently released content identification tools.

    I can't tell you how many times I have watched some random YouTube video and then read comments below it to the effect of "Awesome song in your video, where can I get it?"

    I know this has been a tough concept for the music industry to wrap its head around, but such uses of their music represent a massive free advertising opportunity for them.

    Rick Astley could be considered to be the poster child of this concept.

  5. wow good work from youtube

  6. Thanks for providing free music video songs...
    music videos online

  7. Wow nice post!! I like the post.Thanks for posting and keep blogging..
    Make Music Online


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