Google is testing a new feature that has shopping links placed underneath YouTube videos, according to reports.
The company displays a recommended product along with its price, and clinking on the link will take a user to Google Express, a marketplace where they can complete the purchase. The feature has been seen under some Nike videos.
Google Express is attracting a number of retailers, and continues to grow, and earlier this year, Google also started testing shoppable ads in image searches. The move is seen as an attempt to continue to find new revenue streams for the company.
Sales of pixel phones and smart speakers have also continued to grow as well.
Google’s ad business is a big focus, despite a $1.7 billion fine by the European Commission for “abusive” advertising practices.
Google gets a piece of all the items sold through Express, although it’s still a nascent endeavor and pales in comparison to Amazon’s eCommerce revenue. Express reportedly made almost $1 billion in 2018, while Amazon pulled in around $141 billion in North America alone.
Later this month, Google plans to hold an event called Google Marketing Live, and it might divulge the idea behind the YouTube ads.
This isn’t the first time YouTube has tried similar sales tactics. In 2018, it started allowing creators to link to their own merchandise underneath the videos.
Google also has to tread lightly in the advertising department, as the EU will be watching very carefully to see if the company will continue to violate advertising rules.
The fine hurt parent company Alphabet’s net income, dropping it from $8.3 billion to $6.6 billion. Alphabet made $8.9 billion in Q4 of 2018.
During the company’s Q4 earnings call, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said the Q1 hardware segment’s results were due to pressure from other companies in the smartphone sector. The company said Samsung, OnePlus and other Android manufacturers are giving Google serious competition.