YouTube has linked with iTunes and Amazon.com in an e-commerce partnership designed to eventually incorporate movies, TV and books. For now, however, it will target musicvids and videogame content from EMI, Universal Music Group and Electronic Arts.
Under the venture, YouTube users can click to buy products related to the content they’re viewing on the site. Katy Perry’s video of “I Kissed a Girl,” for example, is accompanied by two buttons to download the song on Amazon or iTunes, while a YouTube preview of EA’s “Spore” contains a link to buy the game at Amazon.
Venture is part of YouTube’s ongoing attempt to wring coin out of the popular site, and to reassure Hollywood the site can bring them revenue in addition to piracy headaches. Netco expects to add other content as it rolls out the platform on a larger scale in coming months.
Google-owned YouTube also places ads next to vids, but has yet to unlock revenue commensurate with its traffic.
YouTube has been courting Hollywood heavily to get more of its content online, but still is viewed more as a promotional vehicle by studios and networks than as a distribution outlet. However, Hollywood’s resistance to the unauthorized clips that proliferate on the site has softened somewhat in recent months, with companies like CBS and Lionsgate now sharing in ad coin placed next to the content, and Hulu allowing clips with embedded Hulu ads to stream on YouTube.
And Lionsgate earlier this year agreed to make clips from several hundred of its pics and skeins available on the site in a bid to sell more tickets and DVDs.
YouTube’s e-commerce platform is launching Stateside, but will expand overseas in coming months.