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Quick Take: YouTube Moves Into Social E-commerce With Ticketmaster Partnership

Photo of Zach Fuller
by Zach Fuller

YouTube has announced a partnership with Ticketmaster that will allow its video property to connect users directly with concert tickets. The deal is non-exclusive and similar to a previous coalition between Ticketmaster and Spotify. Nonetheless it represents one of the most opportune moments for Google to begin diversifying away from advertising revenue (still 89% of the company’s total year-on-year revenue for Q3 2017), and into the world of direct social e-commerce.

Of the big four, Amazon and Apple hold something that Facebook and Google do not: credit card details and a regular billing relationship. While Facebook and Google dominate in terms of behavioural data capture, upstarts in the digital economy, such as Spotify and Netflix, are in a better position to up-sell to consumers directly rather than deal with the multifaceted and, often volatile, revenues of the ad-market. However, many within tech have felt that the move into commerce by social and search entities was simply a matter of time – with payments companies such as Stripe betting their business models on allowing individual merchants to trade via such networks.

With Amazon now making tentative movements into the media and advertising worlds – Google’s core territory, the search giant will be eager to diversify its revenue by getting directly into consumers’ wallets, rather than simply monetising their attention. YouTube remains a crucial asset, being both the de-facto largest music streaming service and the byword for user generated content online, though Facebook is fast encroaching on this USP. Whilst it has tried to move into Netflix and Amazon Prime Video’s premium content territory via YouTube Red, adoption of the service has been slow. Positioning itself between recorded music and the experience of live is therefore a favourable manoeuvre for Google, and one that will likely pique the interest of Facebook as it attempts its own diversification tactics.

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