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26 percent of big-time YouTubers admit to accepting money from developers, publishers

A recently survey conducted by Mike Rose and published by Gamasutra asserts that 26% of video game YouTubers with 5,000 or more subscribers on their channel have accepted money from developers or publishers.

The survey, which was completed by 141 total users, had those who responded divided into two groups: those with under 5,000 subscribers and those with more than 5,000 subscribers.

Out of the respondents with less than 5,000 subscribers, 98% said they’d never accepted money from a developer or publisher to highlight a game. Those respondents made up approximately 70% of the survey, or around 99 people.

Of the respondents with over 5,000 — approximately 42 people — 26% admitted to accepting cash from a developer or publisher. That’s about 11 people, all up. From the group of over 5,000 subscribers, two respondents wouldn’t divulge if they’d accepted money in the past.

“So clearly as you move up the subscriber scale, the bigger YouTubers are being offered cash for coverage or asking for cash to cover games, and at least a quarter of them are taking it,” Rose concluded as part of the survey. “However, that doesn’t answer whether the smaller YouTubers would partake in the act if they were given the opportunity.”

The survey has been successful in bringing the moral and ethical debate over whether to accept said cash to the surface.

“We — video creators — live in complicated times,” said one YouTuber who took to the expanded comments of Rose’s survey. “It is expected from our work to be free. Copyright holders don’t want us to monetize, no one likes ads, no one likes paid content – but we invest our free time into covering the games we love and want to share, basically giving free PR for the game itself. If a YouTuber asks for money for delivering great content, it’s not wrong – it’s compensation.”

Rose’s survey also found that 40% of YouTubers would have no problem with accepting money from developers or publishers, provided that transaction was made known to their audience. On the flipside, 50% of YouTubers were against the idea altogether.

You can read the full report and all associated comments here.

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist nearing twenty (TWENTY!?!) years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.