Google-owned YouTube is set to launch its official shopping channel in South Korea for live commerce later this month. This will be the first time that YouTube has opened an official shopping channel in any country in the world.
According to people familiar with the matter, the new channel is set to open on June 30 and will provide a live commerce platform to companies. At launch, it plans to livestream shopping content with about 30 brands.
A YouTube official told Yonhap News Agency that “YouTube is committed to building an engaging, informative, and entertaining shopping experience for all users, including in Korea.” They added that the company may experiment with a variety of YouTube Shopping features from time to time as they continue to work hard to optimize and deliver the best experience for their users.
Previous Shopping Features
Last year, YouTube rolled out a new shopping tab in its Explore section. This allowed eligible creators to tag products in their live streams or list products under their videos. Viewers could then purchase those products.
Alphabet’s Plans for YouTube
During Alphabet’s fourth-quarter 2022 earnings call, Philipp Schindler, the chief business officer of the company, said that Alphabet will focus on making YouTube more “shoppable.” This is part of their efforts to foster more creators, which will lead to more content and viewers, and ultimately more opportunities for advertisers. Alphabet is the parent company of Google and YouTube.
Ad Revenue and Growth
YouTube saw its revenue from ads falling 2.6 per cent (year-on-year) in the March quarter. This was the third quarter in a row that its ad revenue has decreased. However, the company is seeing growth in Shorts as watch time and monetization is “progressing nicely.” According to Schindler, “People are engaging and converting on ads across Shorts at increasing rates.”