Oh, Nintendo. At a time when the company should be doing everything in its power to capture a greater audience - heck, the audience it once had - it pulls a stunt that leaves its most devout fans upset. This week, some folks who produce "Let's Play" videos on YouTube began suffering a "Content ID" match on their content, courtesy of Nintendo, which means that they can no longer monetize their videos.
When a Content ID match occurs, it allows the owner of the content (or in this case, game), to monetize the videos for themselves by putting an ad at the start of the video. For those who produce Let's Play videos to earn a bit of extra cash, this directly impacts them. So now the argument is, does Nintendo truly own this content?
This could be a little hard to conclude upon at first. But picture HotHardware producing a video review of NVIDIA's latest and greatest GPU, and out of nowhere receive a Content ID match just because it involves the company's product. That means there'd be no return on HH's efforts, monetization-wise. Of course, it could be argued that something like that is much different than actual game or movie content, which is fair, but the fact is that in both cases, people are taking the product and talking about it, putting it through its paces, and so forth.
It doesn't immediately look as though Nintendo will backtrack. In an email sent to Game Front, it said:
"As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property."
It's not hard to see where Nintendo is coming from, but the fact of the matter is, these people are its biggest fans, and we'd imagine they're also Nintendo's biggest (free) advertisers. And for a company that's missing sales marks and even lacks the support of a major developer, you'd imagine it'd want to tread lightly.