Nintendo To Begin YouTube Affiliate Program

by Mike Futter on May 27, 2014 at 07:15 AM

Update: Nintendo has provided Game Informer with a statement confirming its intention to create an affiliate program.

"Nintendo has been permitting the use of Nintendo copyrighted material in videos on YouTube under appropriate circumstances," a representative told us via email. "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."

Original Story:

Last year, Nintendo made waves by initiating YouTube “Content ID” matches on videos portraying the company’s games. This diverted monetization from the video creators to Nintendo, and was heavily criticized by the Let’s Play community.

At the time, Nintendo claimed its move to capture all video monetization was to ensure that that material “is shared across social and media channels in an appropriate and safe way.” Now, a two-part message via the company’s Japanese Twitter account signals a shift in policy.

A translation of the two tweets indicates Nintendo will be working with YouTube to create an affiliate program to share revenue with authorized content creators. Specific details are not yet available. We’ve reached out to Nintendo of America for more information, and we’ll update should we receive a response.

[Source: Nintendo on Twitter (1), (2)]


Our Take
Nintendo is taking a step in the right direction here, but it is far from the open policy taken by publishers of all sizes, including Devolver Digital, Deep Silver, and Ubisoft. Based on what little we understand right now, it appears that YouTube creators will need to be part of the affiliate program in order to monetize. This would give Nintendo some control over content, and it could choose to remove those creators it later disapproves of for whatever reason.