Adding an annotation to a YouTube video that directs viewers to a non-YouTube destination requires a multiple-step process wherein creators have to prove, as part of YouTube’s merch annotations program, that the destination contains products that they actually own. For example, it used to be that links within Karmin videos could only send viewers to the Karmin iTunes music selection, Karmin collectible wares, etc.
Now, it seems, YouTube is moving away from those strict regulations. Subblime announces that it has been whitelisted by YouTube to enable creators and MCNs to link to other people’s boards on the Subblime platform.
Subblime provides creators an additional revenue stream by giving them a cut of sales from their selections of favorite things, and recently introduced their Showroom to give creators additional perks and possibly line them up with new sponsors. Founder Adam Winnick says all of these efforts and the new merchandise whitelisting are part of an effort to “help creators make more money in a way that keeps them on YouTube in a sustainable way.”
But Winnick also sees the ability to link to any Subblime board as a sea change: “YouTube is serious about developing an ecosystem to support creators and I believe we are just the beginning. It’s nice to have a head start, but ultimately we have to continue to innovate and deliver value to our core customer, the YouTube content creator. For them, growing their top line without diluting their greatest asset — their relationship with their audience — is what they need most.”