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danieltien

YouTubers are finally showing where their money comes from

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Posted · Original PosterOP

From Wired UK:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/transparent-influencers-youtube-instagram

 

Quote

This new breed of transparent influencer, which prizes openness, turns everything audiences have come to expect from the influencer industry on its head. There’s now a clear contrast between influencers who do the minimum – just sticking #gifted in a description box where viewers are unlikely to see it – and those creators who make transparency an active part of their online brand. As Quigley-Jones says, "A lot of the channels that have sprung up in the last two to three years have won from being super-transparent with their audience about how they make money."

 

The article focuses on mostly fashion/makeup influencers. Some thoughts:

1. Linus has been doing this disclosure transparency thing for YEARS in WAN show discussions and dedicated videos: LTT Honest Answers Playlist (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8mG-RkN2uTxJiNGHnLrb-i-XP6s3y87K)

2. The UK seems to have the most stringent requirements for disclosures; the FTC has some regulations in the United States, but they're pretty toothless--most recently evidenced by idiot vloggers like Ricegum and Jake Paul pushing gambling loot boxes by posting videos of them "winning" prizes pre-seeded by Mystery Brand.

 

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11 minutes ago, danieltien said:

Linus has been doing this disclosure transparency thing for YEARS in WAN show discussions and dedicated videos

All the Youtubers I follow are extremely transparent on these things, they either make it clear if something is sponsored or not or don't accept sponsored stuff at all. In general, all this transparency seems to be a thing amongst tech-tubers (or maybe I just don't watch any of those who aren't particularly transparent?)


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Shocking, people hate being lied to and appreciate when people are open and honest.

 

I get that youtubers are a "business" and we wouldnt expect to have the same level of openness from existing business. But in particular in an industry that is basically all marketing its nice to have someone be upfront and honest and say "Ive been paid to have this item on my desk." Because no matter what ANYONE says EVER, its impossible to remove yourself from bias. But if i know someone could be biased, i can make my own opinion on what they are telling me.

 

Instagram and Twitter are horrible for famous people who post photos of them LOVING some stupid thing, and never telling anyone they were given it free or were paid to do something.

 

Marketing laws need to get with the 21st century.


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I think it is getting better also due to things like Patreon and Floatplane, meaning content creators can be more unbiased because their money is coming from viewers, not sponsors.

 

I think most Youtubers I watch are pretty open about being given sponsored material or free review samples. The ones that are not, are in the wrong.

 

Which is not exactly the same as being totally "open to where their money comes from". I have not seen anyone be like: "25% of my revenue is Patreon, 50% is Youtube revenue and 25% is sponsors money. " I thought that is what the article was going to say, but this is not the case. And that is OK, I don't need to know the ins and outs of their revenue streams, that's private.

 

I just want to know if I am watching a sponsored piece of content, or an unbiased review.

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This is nothing new. Not hard to find a youtuber or an influencer on another platform that is open about this sorta thing.

I don't see a big deal if someone gets something free and doesn't mention it was free. They wouldn't promote it if they didn't like it. The real problem, and what is actually illegal, is promoting a product that you were paid to promote without telling the audience.

 

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Most Youtuber I watch right now aren't even sponsored...

There are those as well...

 

But some are too toxic...

Who wants to sponsor a hippie that cares only about his grass, is often with an open shirt in front of the camera, swears a lot and makes political stuff?


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Too little too late. Content creators are already in the business of twisting the way the present certain things, to afford them deniability while still being able to influence their audience to fulfil objectives of hidden long term deals.

 

This cancer is stage 3 in the media industry. As long as you have a sizeable audience that you can influence, there will always be organisatons willing to pay big $ to help push their agenda. And more often than not, they want to hide their association.


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It really started happening during GamerGate (yeah, that again) when PewDiePie was accused of shilling something without disclosing even though he has clearly stated relation with the vendor. It has exploded quite a bit back then and a lot of reviewers started declaring if it was gifted or self purchased much more clearly. I don't know when Linus started, but I've been around here for a while and he always openly states if it was gifted or sponsored or not.

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On 3/7/2019 at 7:43 PM, WereCatf said:

All the Youtubers I follow are extremely transparent on these things, they either make it clear if something is sponsored or not or don't accept sponsored stuff at all. In general, all this transparency seems to be a thing amongst tech-tubers (or maybe I just don't watch any of those who aren't particularly transparent?)

Same here. Linus, jayztwocents, gamers nexus etc


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On 3/7/2019 at 8:29 PM, danieltien said:

1. Linus has been doing this disclosure transparency thing for YEARS in WAN show discussions and dedicated videos: LTT Honest Answers Playlist (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8mG-RkN2uTxJiNGHnLrb-i-XP6s3y87K) 

On 3/9/2019 at 11:55 AM, RejZoR said:

I don't know when Linus started, but I've been around here for a while and he always openly states if it was gifted or sponsored or not.

 

Linus only started disclosing if something was sponsored or not when someone on this forum threatened to report him to the FCC. This was after it became law that sponsored/"native-advertisement" was against the law unless it was made apparent to the readers/viewers that it was an ad. Before the threat of legal action, Linus did not disclose if something was sponsored/gifted to him.

Trying to find the thread right now but it's been a while.

 

I don't think Linus is a good example of transparency. Also, a lot of people seem to think that products sponsoring Linus are endorsed by him, even though he has at several occasions been found to never having tried or used some of the services he promotes.

It's a shame that ads like video sponsors in his videos gets treated differently than let's say the Google ad sense ads, but they shouldn't.

 

 

Edit: Found the thread.

 

 

What's really sad is that people were fending Linus not disclosing and not being transparent.

Linus himself even jumped into the thread and said that people should just assume that if he doesn't explicitly say that he bought something for the video, then it's a sponsored/ad video.

 

This was in September 2019. So about 3.5 years ago.

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Pretty much every YouTuber that I watch that gets advertising or shit from third parties is fairly decent at actually disclosing that, usually in cheeky ways.

I know a lot of YouTubers can be shady as shit with that, though.


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