Chicago (IL) - Apple and Google have concluded a deal that promotes the purchase of iTunes videos: Links to iTunes videos have begun appearing next to certain YouTube videos. Apple has played with this strategy before and put iTunes links in some social networking sites as part of the iTunes referral program.
At this time, it appears that both companies are testing the new feature as there are very few iTunes links yet published on YouTube; and while we have not received a confirmation from either company it seems that those videos are music videos only - such as the new Kanye West video.
Only U.S. users are currently exposed to the iTunes-YouTube promotion. Apple previously ran similar programs on some popular social networks, but it is unclear whether this campaign is a sign of a partnership or simply an extension of Apple’s affiliate program.
A closer relationship, however, should come as no surprise. The two companies have an executive relationship as Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt is a member of Apple’s board of directors. The two companies have also collaborated in the past. For example, Google is the default search provider for the iPhone Safari browser, Apple has integrated a dedicated Google Maps solution into the phone as well as customized access to YouTube.