What is the YouTube ‘Merch Shelf’?

YouTube is an ever-growing platform achieving 122 million daily active users and, like every social media platform, is regularly bringing out new features to keep their audience enthralled.

What is the YouTube 'Merch Shelf' - Shelton Associates - Marketing Consultancy Sheffield


At Shelton Associates, we are always on the lookout for new ways to help our clients sell their products and YouTube Merch Shelf is certainly one we’ve had an eye on for a while-it’s all about Creators Merchandise! So, we’ve put this Blog together to let you know what this new trend is all about!


What is Creators’ Merchandise?

This type of merchandise usually consists of clothing or other goods, such as phone cases, drinks bottles and pencil cases, that can easily display a Creator’s logo or branding and that can be produced on a large scale. Often the same logo/branding/design is replicated onto multiple products.


What is the YouTube Merch Shelf and where does your merch appear?

If you are a Creator, the Merch Shelf is a section below your videos with links to your merchandise (up to 30 products) that are available for viewers to buy, however the merch shelf may not show for all videos – for various reasons, such as your video’s audience is set as ‘Made for kids’ or there is a copyright claim against your video. Originally YouTube’s ‘Merch Shelf’ was only available to music channels, however now it is available to other Youtube Creators.

YouTube Merchandise Shelf - Under Video

The YouTube ‘Merch Shelf’ showing under a Creator’s video.


Your merchandise will also show under the ‘Store’ Tab on your Channel, as seen below.

YouTube Merchandise - Under Store Tab

A Creator’s merchandise showing under the ‘Store’ Tab on their Channel.


(If you have more than one merch product, the default order of these is automated, but you can change this – either for your entire channel or specific videos).

Another interesting feature of YouTube Merchandise is that you can ‘pin’ a merch product in a Livestream so that your audience can buy a product during the livestream. You can also add a link to your merch shelf in the Description of your video, meaning that users can preview your merch whilst watching your video. The final place where your merch can be displayed is on the end screen of your videos.


But how does it work technically?

YouTube merchandise uses third parties to supply your merchandise, such as Spring and Suzuri – these can also be changed at any time if you wanted to swap supplier.

This is an excellent way if you are a channel with a large audience to increase brand awareness (through people wearing/using items with your logo on!), whilst also earning money that is extra to your monetisation earnings.


Am I eligible for YouTube Merchandise?

Sadly, not all Creators will have access to these features:

– Your Channel must have been approved for monetisation.
– Your Channel must be based in a country where the YouTube Partner Programme is available.
– If your Channel is a music channel, it has to be an Official Artist Channel.
– If your Channel is not a music channel, it must have over 10,000 subscribers.
– Your Channel’s audience must not be set as ‘Made for Kids’, and does not have a significant number of videos set as ‘Made for Kids’.
– Your Channel does not have a significant number of videos that violate YouTube’s Channel Monetisation Policies.
– Your Channel has not received any Hate Speech Community Guideline strikes.

The YouTube ‘Merch Shelf’ is also not available in some countries, but fully available in:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

Additionally, as with most things posted on social media, your merch must comply with various YouTube and Google Shopping policies.


How flexible is YouTube Merchandise?

The Merch Shelf is fairly flexible, in the sense that you can turn on Merch features on your channel, pause your Merch shelf for an individual video, pause or turn off the Merch features for your channel and, as mentioned above, change your supported merch retailer at any time.


Is Merch Shelf for me?

So, whilst the merch shelf may not be for all businesses, it could definitely be worth considering if your business is customer-facing and your audience has a strong brand affinity to you – the more people wearing/using your products, the more people who are going to know about you!


Need help with YouTube or Youtube Ads?

We are a UK-Based Marketing Consultancy specialising in Marketing Training/Marketing Consultancy & helping Small to Medium-sized Businesses grow through digital platforms, such as YouTube. Get in touch here or give us a call on 0114 236 7727


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