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