YouTubers are getting paid by Microsoft to mention the Xbox One

Microsoft recently launched a promotion that offered Machinima video partners payment for publishing videos featuring the Xbox One. Reported by Ars Technica, participants were required to post a video that included a minimum of 30 seconds of footage from an Xbox One game, mentioned the Xbox One name, and were tagged “XB1M13” to be eligible for payment.

The line between traditional, paid advertising and organic editorial content on the Internet can sometimes be hazy. A recent stealth promotional campaign between Microsoft and Machinima highlights just how hazy that line has become, and how behind-the-scenes payments can drive ostensibly independent opinion-mongering on by users on services like YouTube. This weekend, word started leaking of a new promotion offering Machinima video partners an additional $3 CPM (i.e., $3 per thousand video views) for posting videos featuring Xbox One content. 

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