Machinima admits it paid YouTube bloggers for positive Xbox One coverage

Xbox One gamepad

Recently, news broke that Microsoft has been paying popular YouTube personalities for positive influence of the Xbox One. Video bloggers (or vloggers) from the popular gaming channel Machinima who featured at least 30 seconds of gameplay footage and used the now notorious tag XB1M13, were being endorsed. Since this sneaky revelation, confessions and outrage have flared on YouTube and Twitter prompting an inevitable public response from both Machinima and Microsoft.

The promotion was first made public by Machinima’s UK community manager on 14 January, when he offered Machinima video partners US$3 per thousand video views for posting positive Xbox One content.

deleted tweet

The tweet has since been deleted

In a recent statement to IGN, Microsoft says that its relationship with Machinima was a “typical marketing partnership to promote Xbox One in December” and denies any knowledge of this stealthy marketing tactic:

“Microsoft was not aware of individual contracts Machinima had with their content providers as part of this promotion and we didn’t provide feedback on any of the videos. We have asked Machinima to not post any additional Xbox One content as part of this media buy and we have asked them to add disclaimers to the videos that were part of this program indicating they were part of paid advertising.”

In response to Kotaku, Machinima on the other hand, has taken responsibility for this so-called mishap:

“We execute large network wide activations routinely and, where part of a promotional campaign, typically require channel partners to include certain language in their video content relating to the promotion. That didn’t happen here and we’re evaluating why. All participants are being asked today to include our standard language going-forward. We apologize for the error and any confusion.”

The Xbox One Release Video Campaign legal agreement has been leaked and states that those entering the agreement “may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in [their] Campaign Video.” The XB1M13 tag currently has 7 340 video results on YouTube, making up a concoction of biased entertainers, rants and emotional confessions with one vlogger discussing how this distasteful agreement made him a whore.



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