At some point on your YouTube watching career, you have probably dug into the description of a video to tap on an Amazon referral link.
Whether you are into tech, photography, gambling, or any other hobby, most channels use those links as a means to generate extra revenue in addition to the money they make from ads. For its part, YouTube has been pleased to make most of its earnings off of ads and subscriptions, but that could soon change.
Based on Bloomberg, YouTube recently started asking some of its founders to label the products they feature in their videos. The company reportedly plans to link those things to shopping and analytics programs offered by parent Google.
Bloomberg says the company’s end goal is to remake YouTube into a one-stop shopping destination where you can peruse and buy almost anything you see on the stage. At the exact same time, it’s testing a new integration with the e-commerce platform Shopify.
A spokesperson for YouTube confirmed to Bloomberg the website is testing some e-commerce features. They told the publication creators will have control over what products are displayed on their station, but didn’t go on to share additional information.
Moving into e-commerce would make a good deal of sense for YouTube. Looking at tech alone, the countless hands-on and review videos you find on the platform would be the perfect time to convert views into purchases. During a recent earnings call, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company could turn unboxing videos into a shopping opportunity.
That’s something which would enable the company to grow YouTube beyond the $15 billion industry it had been at the end of last year.