(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Microsoft has reportedly been paying YouTube users to promote the Xbox One since December.
The promotion came from a “stealth promotional campaign” between Microsoft and game streaming site, Machinima.
On Friday, an email sent to one of Machinimas’s top personalities was leaked, which promoted a $3 CPM bonus for every 1,000 views on an Xbox One promotional video, The Huffington Post reports.
According to the email, the video needed to have at least 30 seconds of gameplay or footage of any Xbox One game, a verbal mention that the user was playing the game, and a tag of “XB1M13”.
Video creators were not allowed to say “anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its games.”
If users mentioned the promotional agreement, payment would be canceled.
“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,” wrote Microsoft spokesperson in an email to The Huffington Post.
The Federal Trade Commission has guidelines concerning endorsements in advertising, specifically where 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.”
The campaign started on January 14th and goes until February 9th, or until 1.25 million views have been reached, which profits the user at least $3,750 in payouts.