YouTube to launch its 1st-ever official shopping channel this month

Google-owned YouTube is set to launch its official shopping channel in South Korea, becoming the first country to have such a channel, according to sources familiar with the matter. The new channel is scheduled to open on June 30 and will serve as a live commerce platform for companies, featuring livestreamed shopping content from approximately 30 brands at its launch.

A YouTube official told Yonhap News Agency that the platform is dedicated to creating an engaging, informative, and entertaining shopping experience for all users, particularly in Korea. The company plans to experiment with various YouTube Shopping features to optimize and deliver the best experience for its users.

In the previous year, YouTube introduced a shopping tab in its Explore section, enabling eligible creators to tag products during their livestreams or list products under their videos. This feature allows viewers to purchase the tagged or listed products directly.

During Alphabet's fourth-quarter earnings call in 2022, Philipp Schindler, the chief business officer of the company, expressed the company's focus on making YouTube more "shoppable" to support creators and generate more content, viewership, and opportunities for advertisers. Alphabet, as the parent company of Google and YouTube, sees great potential in facilitating shopping from creators, brands, and content that users love.

YouTube's revenue from ads experienced a 2.6 per cent decline year-on-year in the March quarter. Despite this decline, the company has observed growth in its Shorts feature, with increasing watch time and monetization. Philipp Schindler noted that people are engaging with and responding to ads in Shorts at rising rates.

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