If you're a musician, singer, band, or instrumentalist, YouTube just rolled out a new suite of features that will make marketing your talents and finding new fans easier than ever. As of an announcement yesterday, YouTube is letting musicians sell merchandise, concert tickets, digital song downloads, and even custom goods such as meet-and-greets.
YouTube Gives Musicians New Store Options
YouTube has long been a favorite promotional tool for musicians--both amateur and professional. In fact, a good majority of the most-viewed videos in the site's history are music videos. But up until recently, musicians had to use annotations, descriptions, and in-video pleas to get viewers to make a purchase--sending traffic off-site to iTunes or another online shop.
Now that's all about to change, and it's going to get even easier for musicians to manage. Through partnerships with Amazon, iTunes, Topspin, & Songbird, YouTube is now giving musicians the ability to sell everything from t-shirts to concert tickets right from within the YouTube experience.
They even released a screenshot of what the new features will look like:
Now for the bad news: the new store system is only for music partners. That means there will be scores of singers (many of whom have exceptional talent) that won't get access to this because they're not partners. YouTube would probably tell you that anyone can submit themselves to be a Partner... but legions of YouTube channel owners would counter that YouTube still makes the final decisions, and the content creator doesn't have much say at all in whether or not they'll be approved.
But... most singers and musicians who are treating YouTube as a serious avenue toward popularity and revenue are either already Partners, or trying to work toward that status.
And for those that are... then this will definitely be a huge boost. And if it's integrated merchandise and song sales, then you can bet it's not going to be very long before there's also some tracking and analytics component. YouTube was already the best place online for wanna-be singers to start building a career. Now... it's a virutal one-stop shop that lets musicians share their music, create and promote music videos, and directly make money off their talent.