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YouTube Adds New Click-To-Buy Overlays To Music Videos

January 26, 2009 1:27 PM ET

YouTube has refurbished the click-to-buy links that help sell music on their video site, Coolfer reports. The site's new, cleaner overlay makes it easier for users to purchase music via iTunes or Amazon MP3. As evidenced by the still image from Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" above, the link pops up around the bottom of the video, but only for about 15-20 seconds. The new click-to-buy link is both less intrusive and more visible and "should help even more people take advantage of this program," YouTube said in a blog entry.

The new links will show up whenever a record company posts a video on YouTube, but also when uploaders use the Content ID tools to match the song with the appropriate artist. Thus far, EMI artists like Katy Perry and Coldplay have had the most success in terms of adding the click-to-buy links to their videos. The link also pops up for the Killers' "Human," so Universal Music Group bands are also in on the act, but the Killers' new video for "Spaceman," posted this weekend on YouTube, lacks the click-to-buy option. Songs by artists on the Warner Music Group do not contain the links as the video site and major label have been at odds the past few months.

YouTube is also plotting a way to expand the click-to-buy links to include video games and DVDs after experiencing some success turning Monty Python YouTube views into actual DVD purchases; sales of Monty Python discs were up 23,000 percent after the comic troupe launched their own YouTube channel.

Related Stories:

YouTube Hits The Mute Button as Royalty Fight With Warner Bros. Continues
Warner Music Group Pulls Videos From YouTube As Talks Break Down
Major Labels Consider Hulu Partnership, New Music Video Site as Alternatives to YouTube

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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