YouTube has unveiled a merch store that will allow artists to sell their merch directly from their YouTube artist pages. Fans will be able to buy "artists' merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and even unique experiences like meetups," according to Sunday blog post at the YouTube blog.
The offerings are made possible by a handful of partnerships: direct-to-fan provider Topspin will allow artists to sell merchandise, concert tickets and experiences; Songkick will provide concert listings; and iTunes and Amazon will provide music downloads. The Merch Store will roll out to artists over the next few weeks.
Will fans warm to the idea of purchasing items from a YouTube page, a place best known for free entertainment? We will find out, although artists should expect to go through a learning phase to understand how direct-to-fan sales best works at this new venue. In any case, the partnership with YouTube is a big win for Topspin and gives artists a storefront on the world's most popular streaming site.
To better explain Merch Store, YouTube is hosting a panel at the Mercury Lounge in New York on Thursday October 20 during CMJ. The company will share stories with artists who have had success on YouTube, including Dru Ha and Buckshot from Duck Down Music, Julia Nunes, Karmin, Portugal. the Man and Ryan Leslie. To RSVP for the event, go to the YouTube Creators blog.