YouTube has partnered with Merchbar to allow artists with an Official Artist Channel to ‘surface’ their official merchandise and vinyl alongside their videos.
Merchbar is one of the largest music merchandise aggregator providers globally, carrying over 1 million items from 35,000 artists, and YouTube is rolling out another feature for musicians with ‘Official Artist Channels’ on its platform.
YouTube has signed a deal with Merchbar which will see artists able to surface their official merchandise and vinyl alongside their videos.
Official Artist Channels will display a shelf with the artist’s own branded merchandise, which can then be bought after clicking through to Merchbar’s website.
“Fans watching videos from their favourite artists on their YouTube Official Artist Channels can now see a shelf with the artist’s own branded merchandise and, with a simple click, access the artist’s merchandise on Merchbar’s website”.
To celebrate the launch, superstar DJ and producer Marshmello is one of the first to take advantage of this, having created a soccer jersey that will be exclusive to Merchbar and his YouTube channel.
“We’ll be rolling out this feature in the US first and are working to expand internationally in the near future,” explained YouTube.
YouTube noted in a blog post that in order to launch a MerchBar shelf on their platform, artists must operate an Official Artist Channel and a Merchbar store with U.S. fulfilment enabled. The feature, which can be enabled on YouTube Studio, is initially launching in the U.S. but will expand internationally “in the near future,” YouTube said.
Although, this isn’t the first time YouTube has worked with merchandise, nonetheless: the merch shelf is already a feature used by its non-music creators, but in that case, it also supports merch firms like Teespring, Fanjoy, Crowdmade and DFTBA.
“Merchandise drops have become an integral part of artists’ album campaigns and with this partnership, YouTube is giving fans direct access to their most favourite merch.
With placement below the videos on both mobile and desktop, the merch shelf is a tremendous opportunity for artists to drive awareness and get their latest gear in the hands of fans ”
Spotify also partnered with Merchbar to integrate its retail listings into the streaming platform in 2016. Although the move with YouTube now gives artists with Official Artist Channels the ability surface and sell both concert listings and tickets and merch directly under music videos, making it easier for fans to find the latest details about their favorite artist from a single source.