Youtubers are turning into sales promotion shills

July 15, 2018

It seems that more and more popular YouTubers are turning their channels into sales platforms, and making what appears to be their usual content only for the sake of hot-linking to sales promotions on e-commerce sites like B&H and Amazon. Not only is this disingenuous, it might also be against the law, because the consumer is clearly being deceived. Let me show you two recent examples of that which popped up in my subscription feed these days.

Matt Granger suddenly recommending a great value portrait lens

It’s not so much about why Matt Granger recommended a good value Nikon portrait lens (he’s famous for being one of the biggest Nikon lens reviewers on YouTube), but more as to why now? - I’ll tell you why. It’s only, because Nikon is running a 50 USD discount for this lens for a limited time.

If you purchase it by clicking on one of his hot-links in the video description, he will be getting a commission.

Yes, Matt is mentioning all of this buried deep down in his video descriptions, but not really up front in the video:

Matt Granger is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Matt Granger is a participant in the B&H Photo Video affiliate program that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through our links.

If you purchase something from our affiliate links will get a small commission with no extra cost to you.

I’m not saying he’s not transparent (maybe not as transparent as I’d like), but what bothers me is that he’s now making content only because a brand has a sales promotion. That’s where I feel tech YouTube is starting to spiral downwards.

Sara Dietschy, a Sony fanboy, suddenly implying a switch to Fuji

I’m not subscribed to this channel, because I think the content is for the most part garbage, but she’s managed to get some attention in the tech YouTube community lately by collaborating with some larger tech YouTubers. That’s how I noticed her, and checked out some of her videos in the past. The below video was recommended to me by YouTube, so I decided to have a look. When I saw the clickbaity caption and thumbnail, I knew something was fishy.

The same story here: She’s making this video only because Fuji is running a big promotion on B&H for their X-T2 cameras (probably because the successor X-T3 is very close to the announcement).

The worst part is that she’s pretending she has no clue about the X-T2, and that she’s actually considering to get one - she’s not. She’s a Sony fanboy by her own choice (and also using that to shill for Sony in her other videos).

There are still alternatives

There are still tech YouTubers out there who are upfront about their promotions, like Zed Pro Media here in one of the recent videos. The whole video is about this current Fuji X-T2 promotion. There is an open discussion about it in the comments, and all the hot-links are in the description. This is how it should be done, it's very transparent.

1 comment:

  1. how dare you tell the truth about click-weasel kickback monkeys on youtube! Shame on you for exposing stranger danger and other make-a-buck asshats.


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