Still looking for that one, killer way to monetize, YouTube has announced a click-to-buy feature on select videos. They are starting with the most logical place, music videos. Videos from select partners (EMI Music and Capitol Records are two) will include links from iTunes and Amazon (see image at right.) Click the link, purchase the song.
They will also include click-to-buy links for trailers of the upcoming Spore video game release on videos from Electronic Arts.
In the future, YouTube plans on selling everything from books to movie tickets from partner videos. The exciting part of all this? Get in good with YouTube, become a partner and start sharing revenue. Or, if you manufacture a product, when that product is featured on other videos, even user-generated content, have the ability for viewers to instantly buy your product. From the YouTube blog: "And those partners who use our content identification and management
system can also enable these links on user-generated content, by using
Content ID to claim videos and choose to leave them up on the site."
It's early, but this is a pretty exciting development - both for users and businesses of all sizes. Stay tuned.