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Monday, October 17, 2011

YouTube Introduces The Merch Store

YouTube online store image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
It was only a matter of time for this to happen, but YouTube has launched a store for selling songs, concert tickets and merchandise. Named "The Merch Store," it features some very strong 3rd party partners who will supply the infrastructure:
  • Topspin allows artists to sell merchandise, concert tickets and experiences
  • Songkick provides the concert listings
  • iTunes and Amazon provide the music downloads.

YouTube has also made a few changes to make it easier for indie labels to become YouTube partners and share revenue when their music is played, even with user generated content. You can get the signup form here.

I think this will be a great boon to artists and bands at all levels. Why? Because you can never have too many ways to distribute your product. Since so many fans use YouTube every day (they say 800 million!), your fans can now find your products within the YouTube infrastructure instead of having to navigate out to another site. It's much the same as with digital music. You don't trust your product only to iTunes, right? You spread it all around to any distributor that will have you. Same thing with merch, which is why The Merch Store should be a no-brainer for every artist and band.

One of the unknowns yet is the financial deal between YouTube, the affiliate partners, and artists. Hopefully we'll get more details soon.
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