You’ve watched the YouTube video, now buy the products. Google is opening a a physical store in London where YouTube stars will be able to sell their own merchandise.
Whether that’s an exciting opportunity or a scary prospect (given the presence of both the sublime and the ridiculous on YouTube), I’m not yet sure. But it’s certainly a peek into the future.
It’s possibly the one big aim of many vloggers (and bloggers), to turn their opinions/daily lives into a solid revenue stream and the usual approach is via clicks and ads.
But the Creator Store, which will open next month in the new YouTube Space at Google’s King’s Cross, London HQ, will take monetising content a step further. Google said that all of the revenue from product sales will go to the creators.
Some of YouTube’s most popular ‘artists’ will be able to set up mini stores and will also have access to the company’s recording studio as well as being offered workshops to improve their videos.
So what will we be able to buy from these omnichannel tycoons-in-the-making? Products created by real designers and branding teams working alongside the individual video stars. Think T-shirts, mugs, picture frames, books and just about anything you might find in a gift/souvenir shop.
While that may not sound like it’s going to drive design o product development forward and give us products that we simply can’t live without, it’s the concept that’s so much more important than the individual mug or T-shirt.
It’s the ultimate way for self-made stars to step up a notch and expand in the commercial arena with the backing of one of the world’s biggest businesses. It also expands the digital-meets-physical approach that’s so important today. And, in a world dominated by global giants like Google (and Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) it nurtures small-scale creatives, which surely can’t be bad.