Microsoft and Machinima say YouTube advertising deal was a typical partnership

Original deal gave YouTube creators an additional $3 per thousand views for showing the Xbox One.

Microsoft and Machinima have issued a statement regarding an advertising arrangement that saw YouTube content producers make additional revenue for promoting the Xbox One.

The deal paid out an additional $3 for every thousand views a video received, provided it both mentioned the Xbox One by name and included thirty seconds of footage of the console's games. The video was also not to contain anything negative about the Xbox One, its games, or the Machinima network.

It also appeared that the YouTube creators were required to keep any details about the arrangement private, but Microsoft and Machinima say that this clause related to specifics about the deal, rather than the existence of the deal itself.

"This partnership between Machinima and Microsoft was a typical marketing partnership to promote Xbox One in December," said the joint statement. "The Xbox team does not review any specific content or provide feedback on content. Any confidentiality provisions, terms or other guidelines are standard documents provided by Machinima. For clarity, confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion."

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, a Machinima representative added that these deals usually require content creators to identify that their videos are being sponsored--but that this didn't always happen in the Xbox One promotion deal.

“That didn’t happen here and we’re evaluating why,” the company said. “All participants are being asked today to include our standard language going-forward. We apologize for the error and any confusion.”

Microsoft added that the company was not aware of any of Machinima's contracts, and that it asked the company to make sure disclaimers were added to any videos in the promotion to make people aware of the advertising deal.

The document originally stated that payment was limited to the first 1.25 million video views in the promotion, which means the deal would be capped at $3750. The promotion is said to have expired on January 16.

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Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor

Discussion

165 comments
peterdavid12345
peterdavid12345

It's a GREAT marketing, i personally think so :D. But in term of Moral and Illegal ... It's not good at all since we can't trust the people that's reviewing consoles, video games or any kind of products out there. And yes, alots of other companies do this too. I wouldn't be surprise if Nintendo, Sony and Valve would do the same thing for their Stuff. Just saying :P


I'm a PC gamer BTW and I don't like Xbone either but you guys need to chill out and seriously move on or stop bitching about it -.- !

kackarat24
kackarat24

Funny how MS has to pay someone to give positve feedback about their system. Sad really. My money is going the way of Sony and Nintendo this go a round

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

Who gives a shit about how they promote their products?! If you like XBox and its games, you'll buy it, if not then you won't. Get over it. They're not alone in doing this kind of promo stuff. At the end of the day, the only important thing is, is the product good and are there games I want to play available for it? At this point, both the PS4 and the XBone are too new to really get all worked up about either of them. Over time, I expect both will be good, successful products.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Just think, we're one step away from Microsoft offering the same deals to people who give positive reviews to their games.


..........Assuming it's not happening already.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

What a crock.  If this is typical then that just reflects the bankrupt morals of your marketing department.  Despicable.

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

It's not that different than a company hiring an ad agency to hawk their wares for them.  I don't know of a company that pays an ad agency to focus on the negative of a product and tell the world about it.

Ehggsz
Ehggsz

It's fine if you want to promote your stuff and pay people who are willing to give attention to your product, but, "The video was also not to contain anything negative about the Xbox One, its games..."  Isn't that a conflict of interest or something?  If I'm wrong, please explain.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

Payola. Short and simple. To the highest bidder go the best reviews and favorable 'news stories'. Thankfully Gamespot seems mostly immune. Keep up the honesty and I'll keep coming back.

kyuubi_clone
kyuubi_clone

"This partnership between Machinima and Microsoft was a typical marketing partnership to promote Xbox One in December," said the joint statement. "The Xbox team does not review any specific content or provide feedback on content. Any confidentiality provisions, terms or other guidelines are standard documents provided by Machinima. For clarity, confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion."

yeah, right MS. i'll just leave the ENTIRE agreement here for everyone to see you're not being truthful.

 here it is on pastebin.

http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv5

Wolfkcing
Wolfkcing

I wasn't surprised when I learned comapnies were paying for reviews on Amazon. Or to have their stuff listed higher on search engines but I am pretty damn surprised by this. 

I enjoyed the thought of getting views from other gamers on youtbube. Some entertaining. Some, at least, very informed. 

And like most people, I don't base my purchases off one source. It a bummer to learn that every one of them could be skewing there own damn persnal opinions for Mc Donald's dollar menu money. 

shadowkratos774
shadowkratos774

Hopefully people will realize now that the guy screaming bad jokes while playing videogames isn't exactly a good source of info.

2tonjunk
2tonjunk

Gamespot! My comment should not be pending. I gave out some good detail on how and who is doing this! Stop pending my comment. Do you have something to fear?

instigator81
instigator81

I know I make all my purchasing decisions based on youtube videos so this is a huge deal. 

Pilgrim117
Pilgrim117

So Microsoft gave the choice to youtubers to promote the Xbox One for money. These Youtubers were free to do as they wanted. It was their choice to promote it for money, they were not forced into it. It's called publicity.

evil_snuggles
evil_snuggles

You guys are crazy trying to get the m$ disciples To see there god m$ has sinned .These are the same xfanBoys the who defended DRM, no used games sell and Always online. This small potatoes as one of Microsoft evil plans. I was expecting brainwashing people or putting microchips in people's brains to make them play Xbone. The xbone zealots will never see M$ doing anything wrong or unethical. nope Sony did it first or SONY too or every company does something like this. when I run a red light in my car and get pulled over by the police. I say officer the guy in front of me ran the red light first get him not me. They always Lets me go no tickets or punishment ever time. Always point out everything someone else is doing wrong that's the xboiz way that excuses everything that you do wrong . Lol lol lol;-)

DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

You mean this kind of stuff is normal? All hope is lost!

beuneus12
beuneus12

old news

where are the games!?

toecutter00
toecutter00

Oh, we all know it's a typical practice in the gaming industry, M$ and Machinima. However, that doesn't make it any less illegal.

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

funny how once this story got out microsoft is finding any excuses it can find. it even put blame on machinima for its wrongdoings to look like the good guy. what a load of bs. typical microsoft behavior, however, so i wouldn't expect anything more coming out of their mouths. not once have they said that perhaps it was inappropriate, misleading or dishonest behavior to manipulate the public in buying into their products. i will never give another dime to that company unless i have no other choice (windows os etc.). amazing how one of the most innovative and relevant companies in the world at one time has fallen so low. so low, in fact, that they need to bribe and pay for positive press to sell their products. sad indeed.   

RossRichard
RossRichard

Wow, gamers sure are touchy. It's not like they tried to destroy personal ownership of the things we buy or anything.


Oh, wait....

Paul2004
Paul2004

A "Typical" ad deal involves paying gaming channels not to criticize the Xbone in exchange for some cash ?, at a time when both consoles were being compared and evaluated by them ?...doesnt sound all that typical to me. Normally i wouldnt care about such things (Company's like to advertise, we get it) but they have tried to conceal this and the terms make it sound suspicious...if they criticize the Xbones features in one of those ad vid's then they dont get paid so how can they remain neutral with news and reviews ?.
They might want this to go away quietly but somethings just dont add up ;).

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

Microsoft, Xbox One is a piece of shit....I know that regardless of what gaming media, youtubers or whoever tell me otherwise and This is from a person who if you caught me 2 years ago would have said they would have bought Microsofts next console after 360. I dont like the fact that Xbox One is this shitty and Microsoft is trying to push it on people the way they are so underhandedly. Drop the Kinect, put out different types of games than just First person shooters, dont add unnecessary fees in there and maybe Ill get one at some point. But at the moment Ps4 is just so much sexier than Xbone...sorry the truth hurts.

Talavaj
Talavaj

Relax people ! Bribing for positive reviews is a completely typical deal ! 

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Meanwhile Nintendo is pulling all of their free advertising off of YouTube.

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

oww ok MS so basically you've been paying off youtubers for years and now that you have been caught doing so its now just " whoops we forgot to tell them it was sponsored by MS sorry about that"  its good to know your corruption have been going on for years and not just this instance as all credibility you have is now under a lake of disappointment. i bet you there are at least a few people that bought the xbone purely because of a trusted youtubers comments that were paid off to do so. i can honestly say i dont know any youtuber i can trust anymore for just an honest opinion. i could guarantee if people showed they were sponsored by MS that not a single word that they said would of persuaded anyone to trust their opinions, when we look for info on game reviews and such we look always for people who dont have fixed opinions.   

Darth_Starwind
Darth_Starwind

@kackarat24

If you honestly believe that Sony and Nintendo don't do the same thing then you are just kidding yourself. I don't think less of these companies for it. Its a business tactic nothing more and nothing less. Hell, just the other day I saw an advertisement for a company that will pay people to provide your product, company, etc., positive feedback on review websites. The average Joe can now use the same tricks of the trade as the big corporations now.

Lacerz
Lacerz

@Shadowdanc3r

Absolutely not the same thing.  It would be like Ford paying Consumer Reports to give the Focus the highest rating.  That's why the practice is prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission, and why Microsoft is trying to get as far away from the issue as they can.

Now if the fact that the YouTubers endorsing the Xbox One were paid by a marketing firm/YouTube Channel host hired by Microsoft to market the Xbox One was disclosed in the videos, then they would have been just fine.  That's not what happened though, now is it?

Lacerz
Lacerz

@Ehggsz

Almost, but not quite.  Requiring the promoters to not saying anything negative about your product is fine.  Not allowing the promoters to disclose that they are being paid to endorse the product is where Microsoft ran afoul of the law.

Wolfkcing
Wolfkcing

@EhggszI'm with you. I'm fine with sponsors. Well. As much as most people can be. We know events and websites need hosting. I'm fine when Rev3 games takes a moment to plug their sponsors. I'm even find when youtube personalities pitch shows at us for t.v shows so long as it's obvious. I find it as annoying as when celeberties seem to think putting their face on something will make me care about a cause or product more or less but I get it. 


What bothers me is the idea that the primary reason I go to gamer with a channel can be skewed based on cash coming from the people that would do well for you to never hear of the problems with the product. I mean, I might as well go to the company for all information on a game or believe every word on the back cover of a game I've never heard of.

Lacerz
Lacerz

@Pilgrim117

The contract clause preventing the youtubers from disclosing the relationship is against the law.  Microsoft broke the law.  Whether you think it's a big deal or not, what Microsoft did is illegal.

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@Pilgrim117 true if the agreement was to be allowed to be shown but because its not the money then becomes probable cause as no endorsement of MS were shown on the videos thus forcing that opinion no matter if there own or one influenced by agreement to be biased and a false representation even if they were contested by the people themselves as they would be admissible. so you can claim all you like its was freewill but due to the fact that money was exchanged or to be exchanged for a service they no longer be classed as freewill at all. 

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@evil_snuggles Oh STFU.  The gospel according to PHONYs:  Kutaragi 3:16  For SONY so hated Nintendo that it sent their only illegitimate Son, PlayStation, to collect child support that they may not perish but have eternal revenue.

17  For SONY did not send its Son into the market to condemn the market, but to spite Nintendo through it.

18  Whoever buys anything PlayStation is not condemned, but whoever does not buy anything PlayStation stands condemned already because they have not believed in the brand name of SONY’s one and only Son.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@neowarrior121 There are some sure fire ways to detect shills 

a) The difference in power between the xbox one and PS4 is minimal

b) You can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p

c) Labelling anyone concerned with Microsofts "Kinnection" with the NSA as tin foil hat wearers.

d) Micro transactions are great and if you don't like them don't buy them

e) Having to pay twice to use Netflix on your set top box is no big deal

f) The xbox one is revolutionary

g) Paid reviews where you don't declare clearly that you've received payment is the same as advertising  

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@Lacerz I didn't say it was the same thing.  From the information given this was not a bribe but an incentive.  The problem I see here is if a YouTuber decided to capitalize on that by sacrificing their integrity and the integrity of their channel by expressing admiration for a product they didn't like, if in fact they didn't like it.


If the only YouTuber in question here is Machinima well, maybe they found a staff member or members who were excited about things X1 related and had him/her/them cover such things.

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@pcty @toecutter00  umm dude it is illegal, you're basically paying people to lie. it is know as bribery and giving false representation of a product is whats happening. people were giving whats meant to represent non bioase opinions but did not tell how they are influenced by the endorsement/payment that MS and Machinima were doing.

Winzent
Winzent

@de-astroturfer@neowarrior121

a) True ^^

b) You can, there is a great GS artical on it!

c) Wasent it the FBI that hacked cams?

d) I dont ^^

e) Its your money = P

f) Says everyone about ther pet console ^^

g) Only this is illegal, advertisement arent ...

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@pcty @neowarrior121 @toecutter00 well there is a lie here, ok it may not be a direct lie like in a sense of me saying to you im a billionaire and i own half USA (obviously a lie) but overshadowing false pretences thats there only positive thing about an xbone would be a lie in a sense that there cannot only be positive things about anything in this world. to go further to say that MS is paying for suposably unbiased opinions that are actually biased and not shown to the audience (or better to say paid to not be shown due to the arraignment of the agreement) thus the false representation and the breaking of the law.  i an courtroom it would be seen as bribery, people can also claim compensation if they can prove that the decision to by the console was due to the direct nature of the false representation, but that would be very hard unless you had say video everdance of you being influenced, with a timestamp and backed up by that days newspaper, you agreeing to buy the console from a youtube video with the tag in plain visible site with no endorsement of ms, and finally you going to the store to buy that product. then you could sue MS for at least the cost of the console or either future if you can provide evidence of emotional, psychological or physical pain for millions or doctors fees.    

pcty
pcty

@neowarrior121@pcty@toecutter00 "you're basically paying people to lie"

Not necessarily true. The contract states that they can't say negative things about the XBO or it's games in order to receive the payment for every thousand views, they don't ask the youtuber to lie that only implies that if the youtuber don't follow those he won't received the $3 for every thousand views.

toecutter00
toecutter00

@pcty The part of the agreement that specifies that they are not to make no mention of the agreement is what is illegal. It's now come out that EA is doing it, too (surprise).  This is going to be big and it's going to reach beyond just M$.

pcty
pcty

@toecutter00@pctyI don't approve this kind of practices, too. But I think it is just to soon to say that MS commited something illegal. We don't know the full extent of the contract.

pcty
pcty

@toecutter00@pctyYes, that is exactly why they would be the first to be contacted if a there was any kind of violation.

toecutter00
toecutter00

@pcty Really? Because it's kinda their jobs. M$ isn't some local mom & pop, brick and mortar, down the street, y'know.

pcty
pcty

@toecutter00@pctyI don't see the FTC coming at Microsoft.

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

@pcty @toecutter00 
I know but most people think that because something is not illegal, it makes it okay.