Google's gradually introducing revenue generating features in Youtube in order to capitalise on the world's biggest video website and get some return on investment on the USD 1.65 billion.
Under the new scheme, Youtube will unveil a new click-to-buy program for music, video and games (and possibly more) with the help of Amazon and (surprise) Apple iTunes.
Just like Google Adsense, relevant adverts will be displayed next to related videos and will allow watchers to buy and downloads songs from a particular video for example, without leaving Youtube.
Google is already collaborating with Amazon on Android but the newly found relationship with Apple is interesting since it opens the way for more affiliate partnerships with the iPhone manufacturer.
Also, since iTunes and Amazon have a number of overlapping product ranges (videos, music, audio books), it will be intriguing to see whose products and services will be displayed adjacent to the video content.
Google and the various media partners will share any ad revenues generated by the Click-to-buy functionality while it would be interesting to see whether Google plans to insert Click to Buy in the videos themselves to earn revenues on embedded content.
The feature will be available initially in Northern America and rolled out gradually by next year and more partners will be included over time.
A statement on Youtube's blog said that "Our vision is to help partners across all industries -- from music, to film, to print, to TV -- offer useful and relevant products to a large, yet targeted audience, and generate additional revenue from their content on YouTube beyond the advertising we serve against their videos"
Youtube pulled in more than 330 million visitors back in August 2008, making it the third biggest website on the web behind Google and Yahoo according to ranking website Alexa.