YouTube Is Making It Easier for Musicians to Sell Merch

youtube merchbar marshmello music merch mobile
Marshmello / Getty Images

Finding your favorite artists’ and bands’ merch just became ten times easier. Merchbar, a popular online merchandise store, announced a partnership with YouTube to allow music fans to buy official merchandise from a shelf just below an artist’s music video.

This merch shelf feature will directly help video creators make more money outside of subscriptions and paid advertisements during a time when revenue from merch continues to be a vital part of an artist’s income—music merchandise sales in the United States have risen from $3.1 billion in 2016 to $3.5 billion in 2018, according to the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s annual surveys. The feature will also make merch shopping a smoother experience.

One artist already taking advantage of this opportunity is electronic music producer Marshmello. Aside from opting in for the merch shelf, the artist created his own soccer jersey exclusively for YouTube and Merchbar for the feature’s launch. Musicians who have an Official Artist Channel and a Merchbar store with U.S. fulfillment enabled can sign up for the Merch Shelf through YouTube Studio.

youtube merchbar marshmello music merch

As vinyl and CD sales drop and music streaming services and online video platforms rise, YouTube is finding ways to serve the artist community by helping them make money through merch. The launch debuts at a time when Google is putting more focus on YouTube Music, the streaming service offers music, videos and exclusive content such as live performances and remixes.

The merch shelf feature is currently only available in the United States (and not all U.S. YouTube users can see it yet as it’s still in the rollout phase), but YouTube plans to expand access to it internationally in the near future. 

“YouTube is the first platform to give everyone on earth the opportunity to explore the world’s creativity and our universal language—music,” Merchbar CEO Ed Aten said in a statement. “We’re honored to work with YouTube to bring people even closer to their favorite artists and provide new ways to express their love and identity.”

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