Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Merch where it matters most


We’ve heard from many of you that creating awesome content on YouTube is becoming (or already is) your dream job. Besides advertising revenue, we understand that being able to sell merchandise is important in helping you achieve this dream. Over the past year, we launched the Merch Store and rolled it out to help partners promote their related merchandise.

Today, promoting merch on YouTube got a huge power-up. We are announcing that all verified partners in good standing will be able link to their merch directly in their videos, including merchandise sold in various online stores. That’s right, next time you are wearing that new t-shirt you made for your fans, you can place a Merch Annotation that links to your products right in the video.

The process for creating Merch Annotations works the same as for making other Annotations, so see the Help Center for instructions. Merch Annotations will allow you to link to any of your products on the following retail destinations: Google Play, Shopify, District Lines, Cafepress, Spreadshirt, Topspin, Jinx, Songkick, and iTunes. We’ve added more retailers than were available through the Merch Store and will be adding even more in the next few months.  Please note that we require that your Merch Annotations only link to your own licensed merchandise.

Going forward, YouTube will be focusing its merch-promotion tools on Merch Annotations, so we’ll be sunsetting the Merch Store today.

A final tip on using Merch Annotations successfully: as much as you want viewers to buy your merch, you probably also want them to watch your videos, too! YouTube search is optimized for watch time so you are rewarded for the more time your viewers spend watching your videos. So be thoughtful about when to keep your fans watching videos versus sending them to buy your merch. Talking about your merch in a video is also a great way to let fans know which products you are promoting and more importantly why they matter to you.


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Christian Weitenberner, partner product manager, recently watched “The Guild Season 6.”