By Fruzsina Eordogh
Google launched one of their most innovative features for YouTube in a long time yesterday, via a quiet blog post: the ability to buy products from how-to, style, and presumably in the future, other videos with retail components.
The tech works, writes Google Shopper Team member Danielle Tomassini in an official blog post, by enabling “shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing how-to videos and featured products to finding which retailers carry them, check availability, compare prices and make a purchase, all with fewer clicks than today.”
The new feature, powered by the third-party “engagement technology company” Gloto, is being called a “channel gadget” and appears to be in the testing phase: only Unilever has signed on, and they are experimenting with their brand TRESemmé. Only consumer good clients will get this gadget as part of a “premium offering,”and Google says it will not take a cut of the profits made from the goods sold through the gadget.
If the experiment is successful, it would be an efficient way to sell other make-up products and clothing on related style videos. Michelle Phan, who is currently the top-most-ranked beauty guru at the #21 slot, has estimated earnings of 6 figures to 1 million in revenue off YouTube alone on her 180 million views. If Phan received commission for various products sold through her video — be they a lipstick or a scarf — it would be another, successful high revenue stream for her.
Moving out of the how-to section on YouTube, this service would be a cash cow for all those video game commentators at Machinima and other tech reviewers… and even all those cooking shows, selling cooking supplies and wares. Can you imagine if the Yogscast, Toby Turner, PewDiepie, Captain Sparklez or other top-ranking YouTube video game commentators also sold video game wares? Why stop at hard physical goods! Why not sell airplane tickets or rooms at hotels, too?
Google’s “channel gadget” could even dethrone Amazon as the web’s biggest marketplace.