Coming Soon: YouTube Clickable Product Placement?

YouTube Amazon and iTunes Links

So YouTube’s introducing small iTunes and Amazon affiliate links under videos from selected partners. If you’re familiar with YouTube’s annotations feature, you can see what’s up ahead: clickable product placement in videos.

That placement is subject to change after testing, according to Bakari Brock, YouTube’s business affairs counsel, who also mentioned further integration such as the ability to click to buy sunglasses that someone was wearing in a video.

Right now, YouTube annotations link only to other YouTube pages — but expect that to change as YouTube finds more ways for content producers to monetize clips. Perhaps that’s the whole reason YouTube restricts annotation links: external linking is reserved for future product placements.

Until now, product placement has been more a tool for brand awareness than actual conversions. Clickable product placement in videos would change all that. With Hollywood enthusiastically embracing product placement (as recently parodied in the Ericsson/MySpace/Mac scene from Zohan), clickable product placement would bring more YouTube revenue for content producers, and less takedown notices from content producers.

What would that mean for you, dear reader? It would mean less of your favorite clips getting yanked off YouTube. 🙂

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