YouTube creators can now use its Merch Shelves feature to vend digital and downloadable products like ebooks and songs.
The ecommerce tool, launched in 2018 as part of YouTube’s deal with merch vendor Spring (formerly Teespring), was originally designed to allow creators to sell physical items like apparel. But more and more creators are selling virtual items, Spring says, especially in music, photography, financial, and education-related niches.
Spring anticipates that digital products will make up a whopping one-third of creator merch revenue by the end of 2022.
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Beta tests of the upgraded Merch Shelves showed fans are interested, too: culinary content creator Sarah Williams sold more than 2,000 copies of her ebook within the first week of launch, and fashion/lifestyle creator Sadie Aldis (1.01 million subscribers) sold more than 4,000 sets of customized settings for Adobe’s photo manipulation software Lightroom in less than six months.
“This was a great indication of the demand that exists for these kinds of products,” Spring says.
Spring CEO Chris Lamontagne adds, “This evolution is a significant moment focused around the ever growing digital product landscape, but critically, happening at the point of consumption. We are excited to be opening up the possibilities for a new wave of creators that can now monetize their skills in a way that they haven’t been able to before–with digital, possibilities are endless…and borderless.”
YouTube and Spring are launching digital product vending today. All creators eligible to use Merch Shelves should have access to the feature now.