Updated 04:36 AM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

Xbox One News: Microsoft Paying Off Youtube Users for Positive Videos About Console and Games?

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Is Microsoft paying off Youtube users to improve the reputation of the Xbox One? If a new report is accurate, the Xbox One may be getting a serious online image boost thanks to some video reviewers in Microsoft's pocket. 

Ars Technica reports that Microsoft, along with Machinima, offered popular Youtube video users money if they hyped up the Xbox One. Microsoft offered users $3 for every thousand views their videos accrued, all users has to do was include at least 30 seconds of Xbox One video footage and mention that they were playing the Xbox One, according to a leaked email. At first, this seems rather harmless. There's no qualification that users had to portray the Xbox One positively. However, one look at the user agreement for the promotion tells a different story. Microsoft reportedly instructed the users that they could not say "anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its games."

This is a big deal for many different reasons. For one, the original post for the promotion does not state that users have to be positive about the Xbox One. Secondly, users must keep this agreement confidential, which means that people watching this content would not know that the content creator was being paid to positively mention the Xbox One and influence their opinion of the machine. This agreement also violates FCC guidelines, which calls for transparency in situations "when there is a connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement."

As the promotion agreement states, the offer ends when the videos using the special video tag for the promotion reached 1.25 million views, meaning the total potential payoff from this promotion was $3,750. This seems to indicate that Microsoft is not investing much in this promotion, but nonetheless it shows they were invested in this promotion.

There are no reports of any other video game companies offering similar incentives. Machinima or Microsoft have yet to comment on the leaked email or positive review offer. 

The Xbox One has been very successful ever since the console was launched on Nov. 22. The Xbox One sold over 3 million copies in 2013, and fans have been very positive about the console, even without Youtube videos promoting its features and games.

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