In what is certainly likely to provide an added fillip to the music industry – TechCrunch reports that YouTube has decided to jump headfirst into the music merchandising business by enabling its community of artists & influencers to offer a range of premium merchandise to their fans from “a shelf just below the video”.
The story goes on to report that “Merchbar today carries more than 1 million items from 35,000 artists, making it one of the largest music merchandise aggregators worldwide.”
When there’s an opportunity for innovation, can Marshmellow be far behind?
We reached out to a few stalwarts from the Indian Music space to get their take.
Mandar Thakur – Chief Operating Officer, at Times Music
“Quite honestly I think this is a significant development. Merch has always been unavailable, or a bad retail business model; or not too much demand; or the fact that we were/are a song driven culture and not an artist-driven culture combined together to not have a viable merch business. Although now with the rise in non-film music; creators and artists who connect directly to their fans and don’t need a Shahrukh or Salman to sell their music – merch is, in my opinion, a valued opportunity and am glad YouTube is enhancing this opportunity”
Atul Churamani – Managing Director, at Turney Music & Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
“Its fantastic to learn about the association that is looking to promote sale of merchandise. In India the merch business never really took off despite some indie acts successfully selling T-shirts in particular. It needed a boost through marketing by a large entity and YouTube is the largest player in the music business! So this could be the start of the merchandising industry coming into its own which is definitely music to the ears!!”
Unfortunately, fans in India will have to wait a while since the feature is live only in the US. We have reached out to YouTube to get more details on the India launch date and shall keep you posted!