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Summary:

Yesterday the YouTube team announced via their blog that they would begin incorporating “click-to-buy” links which direct users to iTunes or Amazon.com alongside videos of select YouTube partners.  According to the blog, the links are intended to help scratch that “I love this song/game, I wish […]

Yesterday the YouTube team announced via their blog that they would begin incorporating “click-to-buy” links which direct users to iTunes or Amazon.com alongside videos of select YouTube partners.  According to the blog, the links are intended to help scratch that “I love this song/game, I wish I could buy it right now!” itch that viewers tend to get when viewing streaming content.

Should users really dig the new in-game video for “Spore”, for instance (and not be too put off by the DRM issues), they can click on the “Buy this item” link to open a link to the purchase page for the game at Amazon.com.  Music videos featuring this link (like Katy Perry’s aggressively omnipresent “I Kissed A Girl”) will direct you to the song in the iTunes store, providing Apple yet another revenue stream.

While YouTube receives a cut from each sale made using its new links, but that commission is unlikely to affect Apple’s bottom line.  EMI and Universal, the two labels partnering with YouTube for the initial launch of this, will foot the bill for the video site’s share.  If this latest step towards monetizing YouTube is successful however, expect to see all parties to walk away with a lot more money.

With Apple’s encouragement and a positive response from YouTube visitors, the other major music labels will likely follow EMI and Universal. Unobtrusive revenue generating measures like this one tend to resonate with consumers who would otherwise be put off by more confrontational sales tactics.  Big enough numbers could even attract other media corporations (such as prodigal son NBC), like TV networks and movie studios, to enter the fray and offer links to their own iTunes content.  Similar integration on a handheld platform, like the iPhone between apps, seems like a reasonable next step.

Will this affect your media buying habits?  Did you impulse buy “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel when you saw Say Anything and hate the prospect of similar bad decisions becoming an everyday part of your YouTube viewing experience?

  1. This seems like a great decision for all parties. The copyright-holding companies who would otherwise feel that music videos, TV shows, etc. found on YouTube infringed on their properties and cost them revenue can now use that very same platform to generate revenue. As a result, they will perhaps be more willing to distribute their media this way in hopes that you’ll buy it, making YouTube users happy as well because they will be able to access their favorite media and easily purchase it without even having to leave the site. This essentially legitimizes YouTube.

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  2. It would be really compelling if YouTube opened up the platform so that anyone with a Google Account could embed YouTube videos on their site and make referral commissions via contextually served links/ads served straight to the video.

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  3. NowScene already has this capability plus we show links during indy bands videos to purchase MP3s from Amazon.

    -Randy
    Founder http://NowScene.com

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  4. i dont know how much this will be accepted in my country anyway…….. if we talk about copyrights well, i think that´s fair enough to say.

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  5. Your blog is very interresting for me, i will come back here..

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  6. Does anyone know how to add the link to itunes to the video?

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  7. Great read!

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  8. Im trying to find out HOW to add the itunes link to my video!
    They dont seem to have made it very clear to the public how to do this, I mostly see it on big videos by companies like Universal and Sony…how do us smaller artists do it? We didn’t seem to get that memo! Can anyone tell me how to add the itunes link to my youtube video? Thanks CC xxx
    http://www.youtube.com/laydecrystal
    Cheers ;o)

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  9. it is good site to buy songs

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  10. Well apart from Youtube being really hard to contact, I actually have a record label and many of the artists i rep have film clips on youtube.

    I want to have a link just like itunes that directs people to my web site to be able to make a purchase not just itunes or amazon!

    Please youtube one day will you allow independent record labels the same respect as itunes and amazon…???

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