Those YouTube Promo Plans Are A Lot More Common Than You Might Think

“This happens every day on YouTube.” Boogie, a popular gamer and personality on YouTube, is right.

He’s talking about the Xbox One promotional contract that YouTubers were recently offered to sign in exchange for extra cash. But in the world of making YouTube videos, these kind of promos are actually a lot more of a common occurrence than you might think. Boogie’s been offered his fair share of them — some more deplorable than others, he says, though he doesn’t go into too many details about what they were exactly.

But it’s something of a necessary evil, he continues. With copyright issues and the struggle to remain relevant amongst the sea of other YouTubers trying to get their Let’s Plays noticed, a cushy bonus like a few extra bucks per thousand views could feel like a good deal. And so Boogie warns to take the videos you see with a grain of salt, because these kinds of deals are fairly widespread within the community. And despite many of these contracts necessitating a disclosure of the agreement in the descriptions of these videos, not every YouTuber is as open about the deals they make, Boogie says. They might not tell you about the free games they got along with their promise to its publisher to cover them.

It’s not just an offer made to networked channels — as in, channels associated with a larger network like Machinima — either. Boogie is just one example.

Considering the increasing relevance of video coverage of games — many of that coming from less the traditionally professional outlets like these YouTube channels — it’s important to keep educated about how these things work. And, as you can see, it’s not quite the black and white moral ground that we may think. At least that’s how Boogie has come to understand it.


  • Yeah myself and 3 others got a free MW2 for hosting a mini MW1 comp with four xbox’s at Belmont cinema’s as part of GAME’s MW2 midnight launch.

    we got to play mw2 on the giant cinema screen as well…..awesome night 😀

  • If Xbox wants to throw me a free xbone i will fight the console wars on there side………..since I buy all the games they will probably make a profit from giving me an xbone……….in conclusion give me an xbone.


    Hey sony………your loyal PSwarrior would be glad to continue the good fight……if I had a ps4. Since I buy all the games they will probably make a profit from giving me a PS4… conclusion give me a ps4.

    • But there is regulation in other outlets to prevent the worst of it. See the cash for comments scandal with Alan Jones, for instance.

  • its advertising and i get that – i just wish as “francis” says, people were up front and transparent about it. put a disclaimer at the front of the video saying the review was on a supplied game or something.

  • This is pretty common. Wrong? Maybe ethically in parts, so long as one is upfront about it I don’t have a problem with it. A good friend of mine has a very well known MotoVlog channel on Youtube and he often gets companies to try out their products. Not only is he upfront about them contacting him, but he often gives both the positive and negatives on the products as well.

  • I thought the centre of the controversy was the NDA clause stipulating that the signee couldn’t even mention that the agreement existed. I accept that personalities will get approached to advertise products for money, and that’s fine as long as they disclose that they’re being paid to say it.
    But when the contract includes “you cannot say negative things about our product or any of its games, and you cannot tell anyone that you aren’t allowed to do so,” that’s when the shitstorm starts. That clause would be illegal in many countries, including the UK, Australia and (most recently) America for a reason – I don’t doubt that Microsoft had some legal monkeys write that clause very carefully…

    Edit: Or not… apparently Microsoft has scrapped the program and are requesting participants to put disclaimers to the effect of “this is paid advertising” on their videos to bring them in line with FTC guidelines. Which is something, at least. Maybe this will make more youtubers more transparent about these types of promotions in the future…

  • I have a friend who works for a game review website, he reviewed some Ubisoft game a few years ago, it was an average game but he gave it a less than average score.

    Ubisoft contracted the site making threats saying the review wasn’t on par with other reviews and that the site has to up the game’s overall score or they won’t receive any future review games. So they redone the review and gave the game a higher score to make Ubisoft happy.

  • I’m amazed this blew up the way it did.

    Are people genuinely surprised by this? More so, do people honestly believe the only MS and EA have done this?

    I’d almost go as far as to say even Nintendo has done it, but Nintendo don’t know what the internet is so I doubt it.

    • Because a large part of the gaming and pc community look for any opportunity they can to shit on MS while blindly ignoring the faults of the thing they worship.

  • Unless the sponsor wants something particularly egregious I can’t see the issue. Start your video with “This video was brought to you by the letters K and S and by the Microsoft XBox One.” then roll on with your Youtubery.


  • What’s this I see, a time when instead of ripping into MS for some minor thing, people are actually defending them? And what more, people actually acknowledging the One as a good system? Is it a sign that the Internet is going to be useful again?

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