▷ YouTube is testing a new e-commerce feature for Shorts

YouTube Shorts surpassed 1.5 billion monthly users. But despite that, YouTube’s quarterly ad revenue was down 1.9% year-over-year, according to Alphabet’s quarterly report released last month. YouTube likely sees the new shopping features as a way to expand its revenue streams in an ever-shrinking ad market…

YouTube pilots its affiliate marketing system

YouTube recently launched a pilot program in the United States to embed product tags in short videos. It will begin allowing users to purchase products directly from Shorts, YouTube’s TikTok-like short video platform. Specifically, this feature allows creators to label products from their own stores.

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Users in the United States, India, Brazil, Canada and Australia can use the shopping tags and use them to purchase products directly within the YouTube app, according to The Financial Times. But YouTube has already announced plans to expand this to more creators and countries in the future.

The media explains:

🇧🇷 [YouTube’s] It is currently testing its “affiliate marketing” system – paying a commission to creators who sell products – with several US-based creators. YouTube, the merchant, and the creator each receive an undisclosed portion of the sale. 🇧🇷

With short videos, the challenge is that you can’t just insert in-between and mid-roll ads like you would with longer content, which makes direct monetization difficult. YouTube has already announced a new ad program that runs ads between short videos, with a percentage of all revenue generated shared with creators based on the performance of that content.

In addition to the new Buy Shorts feature, YouTube is also experimenting with an affiliate program in the United States. This allows creators to earn commissions by purchasing products recommended in their short videos and regular videos. The trial is still in its early stages, but the company plans to gradually expand the experience to more creators over the next year.

By the way, for the next year, YouTube has already announced its share of news for creators. They will be able to apply to your partnership program if they reach a new short film specific threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million short video views in 90 days. They will be able to earn 45% of advertising revenue from their videos.

YouTube isn’t the only digital giant betting on the future of shopping. TikTok and Meta have also invested in this medium. In fact, TikTok started testing the TikTok Shop in the United States last week. This is an in-app eCommerce feature to compete with Amazon and other retail giants during the upcoming holiday season. Users can now make purchases directly from the app.

Meta’s Instagram, on the other hand, allows creators to share products in live streams and in their shopping tab. Users can browse recommended products and make purchases. Brands, in turn, can make their profiles purchasable through product catalogues.

Up to 60 seconds of original audio in YouTube Shorts

As good news never comes alone, YouTube also announced that Shorts content can accommodate more than 15 seconds of audio at the creators’ request. Now they can use 30-60s of music for most tracks and up to 60s of original audio for short films and videos. The audio selector will display the amount of audio you can use from each music or video track (15s, 30s or 60s). This update will roll out gradually starting November 15, 2022.

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