Microsoft Paid YouTubers To Say Nice Things About The Xbox One
It’s a really, really big no-no for a company to pay prominent members of the media for good, positive and ultimately biased coverage on any topic. That isn’t exactly what’s happened here, but Microsoft has been caught with their hand in a similar cookie jar.
According to a report by Ars Technica, the software giant and creator of the Xbox One apparently entered a deal with Machinima and its affiliated partners that saw various massive YouTube channels offer positive Xbox One publicity in exchange for payment. And before you think that this isn’t a shady business practice, the fact that partners were forced to keep quiet about the entire deal should convince you otherwise.
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According to the leaked document of the entire agreement, YouTubers were required to use at least 30 seconds of footage from an Xbox One game, as well as mention Microsoft and the console along with tagging the video with “XB1M13”., Video creators were also then barred from mentioning anything negative about the Xbox One or its first-party titles.
YouTubers were paid by Microsoft up until a video had received over 1.25 million views. Video creators were offered $3 per CPM on each video that followed these guidelines.
This is some seriously shady marketing by Microsoft, and while I don’t doubt that countless other companies do the same it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a pretty big no-no in our industry today. Especially with the significance of YouTube and the influence prominent YouTubers can have over the market.
Microsoft is yet to respond to any of these claims.