Marketing programs from Microsoft and EA offer extra cash to YouTubers if they agree to present a positive image of certain games or hardware – these contracts were outed to the public this week, but YouTube personality boogie2988 argues that these companies are not outliers; they're the standard.
"These contracts are the norm with people who are networked and some people who are not," he says. "It is the norm for a large number of YouTubers – not all of them. Maybe not even half, but a large number of YouTubers."
This comes from boogie2988's video, "Microsoft Buying Positive Influence on Youtube," where he breaks down the reality of contracts between major companies and vloggers, as he sees it happening behind the scenes. Boogie2988 makes videos about gaming and nerd culture for a living – you'll probably recognize his "Francis" character – and he says he's personally taken "small checks" from companies after signing contacts, though he's avoided entering into anything he views as dishonest.
He says it's now clear that viewers don't fully understand how the YouTube marketing system operates and there needs to be more transparency.
"You need to take the things you see on YouTube with a grain of salt because of [these contracts]," he says. He continues, "It's not fair. It's not fair to you when YouTubers are not being open and are not being transparent about them getting paid."