Last year, YouTube debuted a feature that let viewers shop products directly from a livestream. It'll take that feature a step further later this year by allowing creators to co-host live shopping streams across two channels, it announced at its annual Brandcast event. It also unveiled a new "redirects" feature that will let YouTubers work more closely with brands.
YouTube said the features will be a way to help creators and advertisers make more "meaningful connections" with their audiences. The first allows two channels to go live and cohost together, "uniting their communities in a single live shopping stream," YouTube said. The other is called live redirects, letting creators start a shopping livestream on their own channel, then redirect to a brand's channel for fans to keep watching.
With the new features, YouTube is taking live shopping to a new level in order to take on terrestrial shopping channels. It's not a coincidence that it hosted Brandcast at the so-called "Upfronts" sessions used by TV channels broadcasters to promote new content to advertisers, rather than the digital equivalent, NewFronts.
While most broadcasters flaunt original programming at Upfronts (the first live version in three years), YouTube focused on live shopping, short-form video and high-profile creators like Mr.Beast, Patrick Starr and Marques Brownlee. It also noted that the Media Rating Council accredited YouTube again for content-level brand safety, making it the only platform with the rating. As mentioned, the co-hosting feature will arrive sometime in 2022, but there's no word yet on when we'll see the brand redirects feature.