Many an artist has risen to fame due to their presence on YouTube (ever heard of Justin Bieber?), and now the video-sharing site has made it even easier for bands to reap the benefits of their followings. The site has partnered with folks like Topspin, Songkick, iTunes and Amazon to launch a brand new Merch Store on artist channels.
The Merch Store will be available to all members of the YouTube partners program (those YouTubers who have applied to become part of the Musician’s Wanted program and subsequently earn income from their channels). The store taps into Topspin (the CEO of which was nominated for Hottest Music NILF) for merch, concert tix and experiences; Songkick (the co-founder of which is also a nom for being super hot) for show dates; and iTunes and Amazon for digital downloads.
Musicians will share revenue with the above partners to cover costs, but since YouTube realizes that indie musicians need cash (Top Ramen loses its luster after a while), the percentage of money given to Topspin and et. al with be relatively small. Also, any band that activates the merch store will get a free trial of Topspin, which is a pretty good deal.
As we said, tons of bands have huge followings — and have even been discovered — on YouTube. Kina Grannis, one of our nominee for Best Web-Born Artist, springs to mind. This new addition to the YouTube platform could means a nice extra source of income for those bands.
If you’re in the NYC area (you best be — it’s CMJ!) and want to know more about the Merch Store, hit up the Mercury Lounge on Thursday October 20 at noon for a special panel including O Music Awards nominee for Best Artist With a Cameraphone Portugal. The Man, Dru Ha and Buckshot from Duck Down Music, Julia Nunes, Karmin and Ryan Leslie. An RSVP form is available at the YouTube Creator blog.
Image courtesy of Flickr, freeloosedirt
By Brenna Ehrlich