Among hundreds and thousands of YouTubers, some earn so handsomely that they are like celebrity YouTubers whose high income motivates other content creators. The group of high earners has developed such good understanding and deep relationships with their followers that they have become powerful influencers in their own right. Since their outreach impacts their income, the content creators are always trying hard to expand their outreach by creating more exciting and compelling content that helps them earn more from the traditional sources of revenue. However, it needs considerable effort and a good understanding of what the followers expect to maintain a decent income level. The task is far from easy, and there is no certainty about success.
Against the above backdrop, YouTube realized that the enthusiasm of YouTubers could take a beating due to dwindling income, and making a comeback could be tough without any certainty. To keep up the enthusiasm of content creators even if they hit a roadblock, YouTube offered some other income options to YouTubers by allowing them to sell YouTuber merch on the platform. For more than two years, YouTube started providing content creators who have already created their brand and have a solid fan following with more opportunities for earning. Creators can now sell merchandise on the platform and generate additional revenue while using the opportunity to popularize the brand further.
Merchandizing is not new for content creators
For years YouTube creators depended on their creative talents and marketing abilities to earn more from the platform. Selling merchandise was one of the branding techniques that some creators have been using for years. For example, many YouTubers used T-shirts printed with the brand images for promoting their brand, and some even started selling branded merchandise to gain more mileage in branding and earn some extras. It was part of the business model for those YouTubers. However, what existed as a practice among a few YouTubers is now available for all content creators on YouTube because they can directly sell the merchandise on the YouTube platform itself. Hence, the term YouTube merchandising is different from the merchandising that some YouTubers practiced earlier.
The scope of merchandising on YouTube
The advent of YouTube merchandising could signify that the platform might be eager to move towards e-commerce someday. To facilitate selling merchandise on the YouTube platform, YouTube has roped in Teespring, a merchandising website that will handle the merchandising activities on YouTube, starting with 20 products. Users will have the liberty to choose some product from the range of products and request its customization. It will help content creators to create their line of products, be it printed T-shirts, backpacks, mugs, or something else like bracelets, books, stickers, and posters.
YouTube is now a virtual store but not for all users
YouTube will claim a share of the revenue earned by content creators who can start a new online business without any additional investment and extra efforts. YouTube has set some qualifying criteria for content creators who can sell YouTube merchandise to augment their earnings. The first requirement is to enroll in the YPP or YouTube Partner Program that lays the foundation for revenue sharing. They must have the vision to start the business and select the products that their followers would find interesting. The second qualifying factor is that only content creators who have a subscriber base of at least 10,000 would be eligible to take advantage of the arrangement of selling merchandise on the YouTube platform.
Whether to choose merchandizing depends on the creators’ vision and their goals of earning from content creation, and it will not be attractive for all.
The working modality of YouTube Merchandize
As told earlier, a part of the sales proceeds will go to Teespring, the e-commerce suite hired by YouTube to allow content creators to take to merchandising on the platform. The amount retained by Teespring from the sales proceeds is fixed for the type of item, while the seller or content creator can set whatever price deemed fit. However, there is an incentive for selling more as the retention amount or base price goes down with higher sales which should meet a specific target. If the seller achieves the target, Teespring reduces the base price of the product, thereby increasing the earning of the seller.
YouTube, too receives a small percentage as commission from those sales according to the contract with Teespring. However, most often, YouTube passes on the benefit to content creators in some ways.
Since the product range offered as merchandise on YouTube consists of some standard products that enjoy high popularity, selling the products is easy. However, product selection is still important because only those products that the followers like will sell. Therefore, the success of selling products depends mainly on product selection which should be relevant and exciting to the audience.