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Nintendo Still Wants A Cut Of Your YouTube Revenue

by Mike Futter on Jan 29, 2015 at 03:49 AM

Nintendo has piloted a new “Creators” program that will allow YouTube users to earn some of the advertising money featuring the publisher’s content (confirmed to be in the works in May 2014). There are rules, of course, and you’ll need to wait quite a while to see payouts on money from your content.

Nintendo says that YouTube users can earn 70 percent for registered channels or 60 percent for individual videos. In other words, you’d be licensing Nintendo’s content for 30 or 40 percent of the ad revenue. And the company says it can "arbitrarily" change these rates at any time.

Additionally, payouts can take up to two months via Paypal. In other words, Nintendo doesn’t pay you until it is paid by YouTube advertisers. 

Nintendo has an extensive, but not complete, list of its software eligible for this program available. Missing from the list are major titles like Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

The publisher also asserts that its previous rules regarding collecting monetization were part of YouTube’s terms of service. “In the past, advertising proceeds that could be received for videos that included Nintendo-copyrighted content (such as gameplay videos) went to Nintendo, according to YouTube rules,” the company writes.

For more on Nintendo’s past YouTube monetization policies, you can read our previous coverage.

[Source: Nintendo (1), (2) via Polygon]


Our Take
There is still much wrong with Nintendo’s approach here. First, I call into question the company’s assertion that its decision to monetize YouTube videos featuring its content is an edict from the video service.

As we’ve discussed numerous times, publishers and developers have no problem letting YouTube users monetize content. And, in those cases where there are some boundaries (like Ubisoft and Microsoft have set up), the money doesn’t go to the publisher first.

This is still not a good deal for YouTube content creators. This will likely alienate big name creators who make their living from commentary and Let’s Play videos.