YouTube Inks Shopify integration deal amid wider adoption of merchandise

Photo credit: Alexander Shatov

YouTube has signed a partnership deal with e-commerce giant Shopify, allowing artists and others to promote and sell merchandise on their channels.

The Google-owned video-sharing platform announced its pact with Shopify (which finalized a Spotify deal last October) via an official release today. Representing one part of a broader initiative to support merchandise on YouTube, the tie-up will make it “easy for creators and merchants to showcase their products on their YouTube channels and content,” the officials said.

Open to channels with more than 1,000 subscribers as well as all “official artist” channels, the Shopify integration seems relatively straightforward, according to the video guide provided by YouTube. The stock of items displayed on each participating creator’s uploads will be synced to the global Shopify account at hand, preventing customers from purchasing products that are not available.

Additionally, YouTubers in the United States can allow their fans to check out entirely on the video-sharing service, the company revealed, specifically stating that “viewers can complete their purchases without leaving YouTube.” The option could prove particularly important for members of the music community, especially when presenting live shows and celebrating new releases.

In regards to YouTube’s aforementioned broader merch support initiative, the platform also relayed that starting next week, it will be launching “a new shopping destination within the Explore tab that will feature a relevant, shoppable content for viewers in the United States, Brazil and India”. Leaders expect to add more countries to this shopping destination later in 2022.

Going forward, it will be worth tracking the business by-products and artist compensation of the Shopify YouTube integration.

Despite the dominance of music streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music, YouTube remains the go-to option for accessing ultra-popular tunes, including “Baby Shark” (nearly 11 billion views on YouTube, 440.16 million streams Spotify) and Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (7.91 billion YouTube views, 1.42 billion Spotify streams), which are the most viewed videos on the platform.

Additionally, all but two of YouTube’s top 30 videos (by views) are songs; the total counts several heavily played nursery rhymes as tracks. It stands to reason that merchandising on the platform could sell well simply because of the traffic that reaches downloads — and that which reaches rediscovered tracks like Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” which reached 101 million. views on YouTube.

On a smaller scale, integrating YouTube Merch can make it easier for artists to capitalize on fan interest (arising from live shows, announcements, etc.) and more effectively convert finite excitement into sales. .

At this point in 2022, YouTube has expanded the availability of its “Super Thanks” feature, embraced NFTs for creators, rolled out a dedicated hub for songwriters and producers, and unveiled a seasonal listening recap to compete with Spotify Wrapped.

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