Report: YouTube tinkers with e-commerce program

Video site has expanded e-commerce offering into Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, and appears to be experimenting with new click-to-buy links.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
Monty Python is no laughing matter here. Google is overlaying click-to-buy links inside videos. YouTube

Google is trying to expand YouTube's e-commerce profile by offering viewers in Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands click-to-buy products, something that it had offered only in the U.S. and Great Britain, according to Peter Kafka at All Things Digital.

Kafka reported Wednesday that in these countries YouTube isn't satisfied with just posting links to Amazon or iTunes at the bottom of the video page.

The company is now linking in the form of transparent overlays that appear within the videos. The links can only be seen while watching clips on YouTube and can't be found on embedded clips.

A YouTube representative was not immediately available for comment.

Expect to see an increase in this type of experimenting at YouTube as Google tries to turn the Web's No. 1 video site into the cash cow many once predicted it would become. Google has acknowledged struggling to generate significant revenue from YouTube.