I’ve seen the future of Youtube and it is…. a marketplace?!

October 8, 2008

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

There was an under-the-radar post to a oogle blog that caught my attention because it mentioned Youtube and ecommerce in the same post. I read it a couple of times and then this really got me thinking:

This is just the beginning of building a broad, viable e-commerce platform for users and partners on YouTube.”
 
Ever since the ‘will it blend‘ videos hit, the intersection of ecommerce+video has been an interesting idea, but most conventional wisdom was around enhancing your product descripitions with video.  
 
Youtube has an interesting opportunity to turn that idea on its head.  Make the videos the centre of attention and then hang ecommerce off the videos vs. the other way around.
 
They have two interesting examples already. In this one, we can see a video of the video game spore and then right there (red box is mine) at the bottom is a link to buy spore from Amazon.

Youtube1

 

Next, here’s a video for a song and right below the song are links to buy the mp3 from Amazon or iTunes.
 

Youtube2

 

Imagine the next logical step. You have some widgets to sell and Youtube provides a match-making service where you either upload a video with your products attached or you find a popular video and work with the producer on a X% rev share if they’ll link to your offer for that product.
 
I’ve often thought that advertising isn’t how facebook, myspace and youtube will ultimately make their $, they will instead need an ecommerce-based revenue model and it’s interesting to see Youtube take this step. 
One piece of the puzzle that fell into place for me with this announcement – Ben Ling who started Google Checkout at Google left for facebook (where he started their ecommerce initiatives) and then recently went back to Google for an opportunity in Youtube (weird as he’s an ecommerce guy not a video/ad guy).  It all makes sense now…  Good job bling!
 
 
SeekingAlpha disclosure: I am long eBay and Google