Mega-media platform YouTube is no longer content being just a place for music fans to watch and listen. On Thursday, the service debuted an integration with ticketing company Eventbrite that encourages YouTube users to buy concert tickets directly from music video pages — which, combined with a similar deal it forged with Ticketmaster in November 2017, means the streaming service now has partnerships covering 70 percent of the U.S. ticketing market.
In a blog post, YouTube said that fans who watch videos from YouTube Official Artist Channels will now see Eventbrite ticket listings for performances across the country below the videos, which will lead them to the purchasing page on Eventbrite with one click. The feature, available on both desktop and mobile, will surface shows at venues and festivals that are geographically closest to the user. A YouTube spokesperson said the integration applies to “thousands of artists” who participate in the official channels feature, but declined to comment on the terms of the deal or proceeds that YouTube will receive from Eventbrite sales.
The company’s deal with rival ticketing company Ticketmaster last year read comparably — concert listings appearing under video descriptions with direct links to Ticketmaster’s purchasing pages — and the addition of Eventbrite likely heralds more ventures into the concert space in the near future. Live events are the biggest money-maker in the music industry right now, and making it easier for fans to buy tickets for shows is advantageous for everyone who wants a slice of that pie. Just look at Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent company, which posted roughly $10 billion in revenue in 2017 — as much money as the two biggest record companies, Universal and Sony, combined. (Ticketmaster’s deal is not exclusive to YouTube; the ticketing company has integrations with major platforms like Spotify and Facebook as well. Eventbrite says it has more than 50 distribution partners.)
YouTube is in a good position to barter with other music companies because of its sheer size; the company says it has 1.9 billion users logging in every month, or one-fourth of the entire world. But despite its massive traffic, it’s not clear how engaged users really are with music on the platform — music videos’ share of traffic has been reported at both 5 percent and 27 percent with no definitive number available — or how many of them are dedicated fans versus people just using YouTube for free background listening. As Billboard pointed out during the Ticketmaster integration, Spotify has the ability to pinpoint artists’ most devoted listeners and market tickets to them specifically; YouTube’s approach here is more scattershot.
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“We’ll continue to add new artists and venues of all sizes to our list in North America as well as expand globally,” the streaming giant said in its blog post. “We’re excited to further the power of video discovery on YouTube to bring artists and fans together and continue supporting those connections through live shows.” Read: Expect much more teaming-up soon.