As reported earlier there’s a potential union between Google and the four major record labels – EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal which was suggested to be a new rival to iTunes. However, as we’ve just discovered, Google-owned clip site YouTube is expanding again and branching out into the music downloads, merchandise and ticket sales business via a new feature called the Merch Store. Could this be the real purpose of the potential partnerings?
Partners, music makers and industry labels will be able to sell their gear through the popular video community which sees traffic on average of 800 million viewers per month – many seeking the latest music videos from a favourite singer or group. Goods up for grabs will include band t-shirts, CDs and digital tracks as well as tickets to upcoming gigs and special experience packages, with YouTube taking a small cut of the profits and TopSpin providing the ‘table’ as it were.
YouTube has not disclosed the exact percentage of what it’ll be taking. The ticket selling side will be handled in partnership with SongKick, so as with most online ticket sellers we can expect a significant slice going towards booking fees.
Merch Store will tune up in the next few weeks and allow artists to have a more influencial presence through YouTube, which has proven to be the platform for many a successful music artist in the 21st Century. Soon we will be able to discover the band, watch the videos, buy the t-shirt and book the tickets all in the one-stop merch shop. It’s a exciting time to be an internet savvy music fan!