Nintendo to Start YouTube Affiliate Program to Take Some, Not All, of Fan Channels’ Money

nintendo-bannerNintendo has had a hell of a time figuring out how this whole YouTube thing works. Last year, they started cracking down on Let’s Play videos on YouTube by using the video website’s ContentID system to claim revenue from those videos. They also claimed that they were dropping story mode from the upcoming Super Smash Bros. on Wii U because the cutscenes would end up on the internet so it defeated the purpose.

Now, Nintendo, in their great benevolence, have decided to meet Nintendo fans halfway. Rather than take all the ad revenue from the people who help promote their games on YouTube, Nintendo has announced a new YouTube affiliate program that will see both parties splitting the ad revenue.

The plan doesn’t seem to completely eliminate the current ContentID matching practices on Nintendo but a partial measure. Nintendo will supplement the claims of the ContentID system with a supplemental affiliate program that allows for content creators to apply for revenue from their video to be split with Nintendo rather than taken entirely by Nintendo.

In a statement to Polygon, a Nintendo representative said:

“Nintendo has been permitting the use of Nintendo copyrighted material in videos on YouTube under appropriate circumstances. Advertisements may accompany those videos, and in keeping with previous policy that revenue is shared between YouTube and Nintendo. In addition, for those who wish to use the material more proactively, we are preparing an affiliate program in which a portion of the advertising profit is given to the creator. Details about this affiliate program will be announced in the future.”

So all yesterday’s announcement truly tells us is that 1) Nintendo still doesn’t understand the full power of YouTube; and 2) they realize, at the very least, people who make these videos can have a big influence on the purchasing audience. If they completely cut out YouTubers’ cuts of ad revenue, they’ll stop making Nintendo videos and move on to more profitable video making ventures.

The worst thing is that Nintendo isn’t even willing to share with all Nintendo content creators but only those who they approve. That cuts out some content creators before they even start because Nintendo could cut out anyone who could or is criticizing the company. Of course, that’s assuming that they actually have a plan for this affiliate program and aren’t just saying things to win back support.

Source: Polygon


About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on May 28, 2014, in Games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Youtube’s the real problem because they allow this to happen. It’s not You tube anymore–it’s big business tube.


    • I think there’s plenty of blame to go around. Unfortunately, I’ve been short on time to write so I missed out on my usual points when comes to YouTube so you get victimized by a long reply now that I have a couple of spare minutes.

      YouTube’s a victim of a haphazard solution to an outdated set of copyright laws. Their Content ID and DMCA strike setups are a slapdash solution to keep them from getting sued out of existence by big business who think YouTube should bear some responsibility for keeping copyrighted materials off its website and the courts agree with big business. Given how politically charged everything is in America, big shock.

      How many examples have we seen of people abusing DMCA strikes or Content ID to make money or silence criticism and so on? YouTube puts in an automated system that works well enough that they aren’t getting sued into oblivion so they don’t see the need to fix it. People abuse that system because there are no checks and balances in place to keep it from being abused. Even the appeals process for those who are victims of abuse is geared toward business. Okay, I can see the BusinessTube remark comes from when I write that out.

      The problem is that YouTube took the cheap and easy way out to cover their ass and created a system that does nothing for the content creators but plenty for business. As such, Nintendo can abuse the Content ID system to their heart’s content to make money and play off this affiliate program as working with YouTubers even though it effectively has a layer of censorship in there as they have to approve an ad revenue split. If someone at YouTube would get off their ass to adjudicate what is a transformative piece of work when an appeal to a Content ID or DMCA claim is made, it would make things better for content creators and content consumers. Sadly, that would take money and effort, two things lacking in YouTube’s copyright department for a number of years.


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