YouTube Adds “Click-To-Buy” Links

Oct 8th, 2008 | By | Category: Internet TV, Video

YouTube has announced another option that it plans to use to make money off of its video library – “click-to-buy” links:

Today, we’re taking our first steps to providing YouTube users with this kind of instant gratification, by adding “click-to-buy” links to the watch pages of thousands of YouTube partner videos. 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, books, and movies — related to the content they’re watching on the site. We’re getting started by embedding iTunes and links on videos from companies like EMI Music, and providing product links to the newly released video game Spore(TM) on videos from Electronic Arts.

This is just the beginning of building a broad, viable eCommerce 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. And those partners who use our content identification and management system can also enable these links on user-generated content, by using Content ID to claim videos and choose to leave them up on the site.

There’s nothing revolutionary here – in fact, most people will wonder why it took them this long to include contextual sales links. 

However, the move will raise some new questions for the site.

Remember Stephanie Lenz, the woman that got sued because she filmed her baby dancing to His Royal Purple Badness’s Let’s Go Crazy? Will she, and others making fair use of copyrighted content, want to see their videos turned into advertisements?

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