[Update: Microsoft claims they had no knowledge of Machinima's contract for the Xbox One]
“It's not that bad”... “Every company does it.” “Sony does it, too™". Those are just a few of the many excuses that have been exercised to justify the gross misuse of consumer trust in the YouTube viewership market. Microsoft and Machinima's XB1M13 campaign was budgeted for only $3,750 to hit 1.25 million potential viewers, but the duo managed to include more than 85 possible users under the MCN, with a total of 78 channels broadcasting the campaign to reach a total estimated subscriber base of more than 11 million viewers.
This information comes courtesy of another damning post to out the information and metrics housed within the XB1M13 campaign, where NeoGaf user Aquamarine rolled out the details based on information provided by Machinima's Poptent proxy.
Of course, before getting into the nitty gritty, let me refer all you new readers to this article here. It informs you of everything you need to know before you proceed any further. Vets, move on ahead.
So after doing a complete roundup of the users and channels under Machinima, the total channel count for those participating equaled 78. A complete list of users and their subscriber numbers were listed thanks to Aquamarine, which you can view below (just in case anything happens to the original post.)
The total potential subscriber viewcount of the campaign reached a maximum estimate of 11,789,990.
Can you believe that? Nearly 12 million people potentially exposed to the indoctrination of believing that the Xbox One and its games are good, positive, great things... with zero negative criticisms, as per the outline in the Machinima agreement.
Now keep in mind that this is not to name and shame, but to make aware to all those who visit YouTube under the impression that they're getting unfiltered, personal opinions of content creators without purposed weight of corporate influence or bias for monetary gain.
While Machinima and Microsoft have brushed off this instance as nothing more than a standard business venture, Ohh Word reached out to Machinima once more and received an even more damning quote about the unethical institution of paid-for endorsements taking place without proper procedure applied to disclosure, stating...
“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.”
This comes quick on the heels of a possible movement toward involving the FTC to investigate the case, especially after it was revealed earlier today that EA put well over a quarter of a million dollars into promoting their content throughout the fall of 2013, with the same sort of non-disclosure clauses in place for content providers.
This whole thing will hopefully encourage enforced regulations of paid-for endorsements from content creators who have become very popular on YouTube.
You can check the list above to see if one of your favorite YouTubers under the Machinima multi-channel network is listed, which will let you know whether or not you may have been unknowingly indoctrinated by stealth-marketing.