YouTube Adds ‘Click to Buy’ Ads | New Affiliate Monetization Model

1 min read

YouTube may be the most trafficked video site on the Internet. But until now, that hasn’t resulted in any serious cash being made. But that all looks set to change thanks to various new efforts.

We all knew YouTube was way overdue to be turned in to the moneymaking behemoth Google needs it to be to justify the $1.65 billion price tag. But the roll-out and variety of revenue schemes is quite surprising.

Banners and Post-rolls

We’ve already seen the YouTube homepage getting huge banner ads, with the advertisers paying a premium for such a high value Web destination. Some advertisers are even getting very imaginative with YouTube.

Post-roll adverts have also been rolled out to a selection of videos. And now we have the latest effort to make the site pay for itself: YouTube ‘Click To Buy’.

Click To Buy

This latest monetization effort sees icons linking to and Apple iTunes appearing under music videos and videos containing footage of video games.

So if you’re watching Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend, currently the most watched video on YouTube ever, you’re just one click away from being able to purchase the song from iTunes or Amazon.

Media Companies

So far, only EMI and Universal have signed up for the music side of the scheme, with EA being the only games publisher to have initially seen the potential of the feature. But, Google hope to pick up many more media companies in the near future.

The effort isn’t only going to be limited to music and games publishers either, with the scheme eventually being expanded to include publishers of film, television, and print content.

Obvious Yet Inspired

It’s a brilliant idea, if not one that was blindingly obvious. The returns on each sale may be tiny but with the amount of viewers YouTube has, and the amount of videos containing some kind of reference to a product, this is guaranteed to make Google a serious amount of money.

There’s also the fact that people watching a video for a certain product are highly likely to be interested in purchasing said product. This way, they are just one click away from doing so.


The only problem, of course, is the age old one that user-submitted videos, which make up 96% of the site, aren’t eligible to be included in the scheme due to concerns over making money on copyright-infringing videos.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt may have referred to monetizing YouTube as the Holy Grail, but it seems his company is getting there slowly but surely. Maybe that huge sum of money won’t be wasted after all.