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Xbox One YouTube paid promotion “typical”, Xbox team “does not review” content – Microsoft

Tuesday, 21st January 2014 21:34 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Microsoft and Machinima have responded to concerns over a paid Xbox One promotion that came to light yesterday, describing it as nothing out of the ordinary and denying any skullduggery.

Both companies issued an identical statement on the matter, which was published in full by The Verge:

“This partnership between Machinima and Microsoft was a typical marketing partnership to promote Xbox One in December. The Xbox team does not review any specific content or provide feedback on content,” the companies said.

“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.”

The promotion raised hackles among YouTubers and fans when it was revealed yesterday that the companies were offering a $3 CPM bonus for videos mentioning Xbox One verbally, including footage of Xbox One games, but omitting any negative coverage of Machinima or Xbox One.

Some coverage of the promotion described it as “stealth marketing” and took particular umbrage over the secrecy that seemed to shroud it, making it difficult for users to determine what was independent comment and what was paid promotional material – especially as the terms were not readily available online until leaked, and Machinima staff deleted a tweet related to it.

Thanks, GamesIndustry.

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8 Comments

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  1. Xbone

    This attempt totally backfired. Machinima made a fool out themselfes (tho they are garbage for a while, just like the xbone)

    “”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"For 100bucks, I will delete this message and my account”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"

    #1 6 months ago
  2. TheBlackHole

    To be fair, they are right. T&Cs are just there to protect the company so they aren’t forced to pay some cretin who uses the ‘promotion’ to get paid for slamming Microsoft.

    It’s pretty standard practice. But of course MS are the industry’s whipping boys at the moment, so whatever.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Sylrissa

    Being paid to promote a product, even being paid to give only a positive opinion isn’t anything uncommon and is allowed, however much I disagree with it.

    However hiding the fact that it is a paid promotion to your audience is downright illegal and against disclosure laws including FTC regulations

    #3 6 months ago
  4. FoureyesZero

    Microsoft and machinima are so boned what they did is against the law.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. KAP

    Xbox fanboys are already defending these shady practices. Smh
    Microsoft clearly are getting desperate, paying Youtubers for positive reviews on console/games just show you how much hot water they must be in. Then to make things, more strange is Gamers on here are saying its common for them to do it.

    Ok so let’s keep them doing this shit then yea… I hope to god Total Buscuit and AngryJoe rips M$ a new one for this!!!

    #5 6 months ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    @5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjObpd5U33U not a rant by Totalbiscuit, but a new video on this subject illuminating the matter, and a wider look, examining where the line lies.

    #6 6 months ago
  7. The_Red

    Actually most Youtubers (Including Boogie and Northernlion) have come forward and have confirmed that while the promotions themselves are typical, the “Non-disclosure” part is NEW to the MS/Machinima contract. Also Northernlion said that even previous Machinima contracts didn’t have that illegal part.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. sho0ok

    @KAP if you think Sony don’t do the same thing you are sadly mistaken. The problem with Microsoft that they get caught. Also it’s better to pay money to Youtubers to promote good games than promoting shitty games (killzone…?). In the end everyone benefits from this even gamers cuz they buy games that fanboys told them not to ;)

    #8 6 months ago