The Hidden Truth Behind Xbox One’s YouTube Campaign


Over the weekend we’d confirmed that Microsoft and popular YouTube channel Machinima had launched a covert campaign to bolster the amount of Xbox One content on YouTube. For all intents and purposes, the agreement seemed like everyday business; people pay for advertising everyday. The basis of the agreement seemed simple enough. Show 30-seconds of Xbox One footage, verbally mention it, tag it with XB1M13 and receive fair compensation for doing so.

Well, more details have surfaced. The full XB1M13 agreement has surfaced on Pastebin and some of the verbiage within is shocking. To receive the promotional compensation rate, YouTuber’s,

“may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its Games”

Now this situation becomes less about marketing and promotion, and more about paying someone to speak positively about your product; a bribe. What’s more, personalities are forbidden from disclosing that they’d been compensated for the positive remarks,

“You agree to keep confidential at all times all matters relating to this Agreement, including, without limitation, the Promotional Requirements, and the CPM Compensation, listed above.”

Now the onion begins to unravel. As we mentioned when we first brought this to light, the promotion was a small one by Microsoft’s standards. The whole of the campaign was only set to cover 1.25M impressions, but this could be the tip of the iceberg. If the campaign was deemed a success, who knows how many more would be lined up in the future.

In my opinion, there’s no spin needed, this seems to be an outright purchase of positive buzz for Microsoft’s Xbox One console. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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