In an effort to bring some sort of revenue to YouTube, Google has added “buy” links to songs on the site. The links point straight to the Apple iTunes Store and Amazon’s MP3 store. As of now, the links are only available for songs from Universal Music and EMI music; there are also links to buy Spore on related pages. Google hopes to expand the service to other labels and products.
The idea behind the links is users don’t even have to leave YouTube to buy the songs (although the links do open up new windows, either with iTunes, or Amazon MP3). The interesting part is that the songs don’t have to be on the labels’ official channels to have the buy buttons. The labels can choose to have the buttons displayed on any instance of the songs with YouTube’s Content ID system identifying images and songs that are uploaded by other users.
As and idea for ad revenue, it’s not clear if it’ll work all that well. Although, it could possibly work, especially if more music labels sign on to the program. YouTube could possibly become the middle man between searching for songs and buying them. Amazon and iTunes only offer 30 second song previews, while on YouTube, entire music videos can be seen. Even if you don’t like music videos, you can still put the window in the background while listening to an entire song. Perhaps it could lead to more than a few impulse buys based on listening to the music video once or twice.
Read [New York Times]