Watch the YouTube Video, Buy the Product

YouTube’s Content ID service, something we’ve covered in the past, gives publishers two options for handling unauthorized videos: the material can be removed from YouTube or it can be turned into advertising/revenue opportunities.

An article in today’s New York Times shows which option Google prefers — Content ID can now be used to associate “click-to-buy” links with video clips:

Music labels could choose to place the e-commerce links next to their own videos or on videos uploaded by users, whose images or soundtrack they identified using YouTube’s Content ID system, which allows content owners to find unauthorized material on the site.

Click-to-buy links are shown below the video player on YouTube pages. It’s unclear if this functionality will be integrated into videos embedded on external sites since this would require some sort of revenue share between the content owner, YouTube, the retailer and Web sites that publish embedded clips.

Links are currently limited to iTunes and Amazon products and are only viewable by U.S. visitors. YouTube says expansion plans are in the works.

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