Apparently Microsoft isn't the only one paying YouTubers for positive videos of games. According to a new report on Ars Technica citing a NeoGAF thread showing EA's "Ronku program," the company has been paying a generous $10 to $15 CPM (cost per 1,000 views) for videos that tie into marketing buzzwords and specific game features for its various games.
The Ronku site located at ronku.ea.com describes the program as "an exclusive program powered by EA devoted to connecting top YouTube gamers directly with the people that make the games they love to play."
In a statement to The Verge, EA acknowledged the existence of the Ronku program and did not deny that it paid YouTube users to give paid testimonials, but it also said that participants adhered to FTC guidelines concerning disclosures related to paid endorsements.
But as Ars points out in its report, while some YouTubers that have been tied to the Ronku program have disclosed that they are "part of an EA promotion," not all paid testimonial videos carry the disclaimer.
No doubt EA would put that lack of disclosure on the content creators. At least EA didn't ask content creators to keep the relationship hush hush…
We will have more on this story as it develops.
Source: Ars Technica.