LG caught red-handed trying to buy favorable coverage from Hardware Unboxed

NumberSix

Posts: 31   +43
THE BEST that can come of this is that these big corporations STOP giving products to BIG YOUTUBERS and instead give products to SMALLER youtubbers who will appreciate them more.

Depends on how you define small in the grand scheme of things, Hardware Unboxed 787K subscribers, Linus Tech Tips 13.5M subscribers.

Personally I go to Hardware Unboxed before any of the "bigger" channels and have done so for the last 4 or 5 years.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,430   +2,762
TechSpot Elite
Just recently we saw that Linus called $600 3070 TI with 8 GB RAM in 2021 an 'absolute bargain'. Do note that it won't be available for less than $700-800 even in US and around $800-1000 in other countries. Considering the minor increase in performance but large increase in power draw and price calling it an absolute bargain was an absolute disgrace.

That being said, it got sold out in seconds. But so did 3090 so there's that.
*Sigh* Another person who doesn't know what "context" is (or never bothered to look into what he actually said).
He said they are a bargain IF you can get them at MSRP COMPARED to the current market. As the current market has all of the good cards closer to 2k or above (which makes the sub 1k MSRP price look like a bargain)...

And he's right. So I don't know why people are going out of their way to hate on him when he doesn't control the scalper market prices...
 

Irata

Posts: 1,538   +2,518
What a convoluted comment. It is the big channels that have the ability to stand up to these shady tactics. Small youtubers have no choice but to rely on the good graces of these companies, because just getting stuff is costly. Hence are far more likely to accept bribes.

Otoh, the big channels also have a lot of mouthes to feed and are more of a commercial operation.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 299   +189
Presumably, what happened here was that the company was honest, but some individual employees wanted to fulfill their sales goals or whatever, and tried to take shortcuts. This can happen to the best of companies - although it happens more often if the company, although being ethical, has the fault of putting high pressure on its employees to achieve things like sales quotas. This is how IBM got into a lot of trouble way back when - and it happens in other areas, like police writing traffic tickets.
 

Xex360

Posts: 91   +108
THE BEST that can come of this is that these big corporations STOP giving products to BIG YOUTUBERS and instead give products to SMALLER youtubbers who will appreciate them more.
Yeah it doesn't make sense, those big Youtubers have much more income and furthermore support of Patreon and the like. And to be honest they tend to do the exact same thing.
Better to send review samples shared between different small and especially normal people with normal test systems not the best not available.
To be fair to Hardware Unboxed they improved a lot throughout the years, and now they are doing a terrific job, with CPU scaling, a big number of games.
 

MrPhoenix

Posts: 8   +9
Yeah it doesn't make sense, those big Youtubers have much more income and furthermore support of Patreon and the like. And to be honest they tend to do the exact same thing.
Better to send review samples shared between different small and especially normal people with normal test systems not the best not available.
To be fair to Hardware Unboxed they improved a lot throughout the years, and now they are doing a terrific job, with CPU scaling, a big number of games.
Yeah no....I hard disagree. when I look up a review, I want to see what a products range of capability. why would a company send product to review to normal people, who aren't able to properly gauge the full scope of what it can do? that isn't how reviews work. A Product review (in the tech industry, anyway) is meant to be a full scale review process where it goes over every detail and feature. Companies will also want to get as much eyes on the product as possible, which is more likely when you send review models to bigger channels. Thats nothing against hardware unboxed, they do a fantastic job. They also certainly dont all do the same thing. a prime example of this is Gamers Nexus, who consistently do more comprehensive reviews using various different machines to get the most accurate picture of a product.

In regards to what happened here, as has been mentioned, likely what happened is the LG marketing team member who reached out to LG didnt want to risk a bad review so said what he said. Marketing in a company this big is very likely a separate department and it seems like not a lot of communication which fair enough. However, still an LG employee, still represents LG at the end of the day.
 

Alfatawi Mendel

Posts: 108   +172
What makes you think regular people are any better at it? For one, that's such small sample. Youtubers gather info from far wider sources than just a singular experience. Second, how can you know their biases? If you follow a particular reviewer, you come to what they like and dislike, and hence can form a pretty good judgment. For some rando - not so much. Was he having a bad day? Got unlucky with his piece of tech? Is a fanboy of some particular company or gimmick or feature? Is wildly misinformed, hence impressed with this product? Is really rich/poor, etc, which warps his opinion on the value? And so on and on.
Third, what about time, investment and methodology? A regular person won't just have put the time to make his review repeatable, comprehensive, with needed disclosures etc.
And finally, you don't think they already astroturf regular person review campaigns? How many fake reviews on Amazon are there from supposed regular people?
I don't really get this poo-pooing on the professional. Regular person is way overrated.
Simple reason. Regular person does not depend on reviews for their income. As for Amazon etc.reviews...It's well documented that they are not worth the pixels they display.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 234   +264
Some people are assuming that a tech reviewer’s value proposition comes from being the first to publish pre-launch reviews (hardware samples are key), I’m sure that is true for some however I tend to feel that the value proposition for HUB and GN is trusted, honest reviews with lots of data you can use to make an informed choice and that even if they need to buy a retail sample people will still watch their reviews after product launch. This is why I watch them, I don’t line up to buy things when they launch and couldn’t care less if a review comes a week later, I’ll still watch them. Obviously if they can get samples early that is the best of both world’s but if they compromised their integrity to do it, they would lose all the viewers who are looking for honest, data backed reviews.

At the end of the day their business succeeds or fails based on the size of their repeat audience and its willingness to pay (such as patreon subscriptions etc).
 

brucek

Posts: 813   +1,130
TechSpot Elite
I'd rather hear from a regular person that had time to share unscripted thoughts about it.
Monitors are a particularly dangerous product type to do this with. Your average person gets a new monitor maybe every few years and is blown away that his new toy is maybe a little bigger and a little brighter and that his windows desktop looks great.

Meanwhile when you actually see detailed criticism of that (or any other) monitor, you realize that every monitor ever sold has been a matter of tradeoffs, that they are all far from perfect, and that the particular imperfections that might annoy you the most are highly individual and highly sensitive to use case. You need a professional who knows what to look for, who has the right equipment to measure it, and can be objective for a general audience vs. their own individual particulars.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 234   +264
Monitors are a particularly dangerous product type to do this with. Your average person gets a new monitor maybe every few years and is blown away that his new toy is maybe a little bigger and a little brighter and that his windows desktop looks great.

Meanwhile when you actually see detailed criticism of that (or any other) monitor, you realize that every monitor ever sold has been a matter of tradeoffs, that they are all far from perfect, and that the particular imperfections that might annoy you the most are highly individual and highly sensitive to use case. You need a professional who knows what to look for, who has the right equipment to measure it, and can be objective for a general audience vs. their own individual particulars.
I enjoyed Vincent from HDTV Test on youtube get stuck into Apple. Apple called their XDR display a professional reference display, so he compared it to professional reference displays and found some serious shortcomings for that segment. Meanwhile most PC reviewers thought it was amazing but that was for more general PC use.
 

Xex360

Posts: 91   +108
Yeah no....I hard disagree. when I look up a review, I want to see what a products range of capability. why would a company send product to review to normal people, who aren't able to properly gauge the full scope of what it can do? that isn't how reviews work. A Product review (in the tech industry, anyway) is meant to be a full scale review process where it goes over every detail and feature. Companies will also want to get as much eyes on the product as possible, which is more likely when you send review models to bigger channels. Thats nothing against hardware unboxed, they do a fantastic job. They also certainly dont all do the same thing. a prime example of this is Gamers Nexus, who consistently do more comprehensive reviews using various different machines to get the most accurate picture of a product.

In regards to what happened here, as has been mentioned, likely what happened is the LG marketing team member who reached out to LG didnt want to risk a bad review so said what he said. Marketing in a company this big is very likely a separate department and it seems like not a lot of communication which fair enough. However, still an LG employee, still represents LG at the end of the day.
I have to disagree with your view, besides few reviewers most are incompetent like we saw recently with LTT, the same goes to most big YouTube channels they simply don't have the skills or don't care.
The issue is they give them those products instead, they could only send review units for exposer then pass them to other normal people who do proper reviewing, as a lot of times reviewers even good ones such as GN or HU cannot review the games "normally" e.g Battlefield there is a huge difference between SP and MT, the game basically eats CPUs on 64 MT. Another example are phone reviews, most are awful no one is doing proper performance analysis except for Gary, the others again don't have skills. And then the focus on only high-end but rarely they question the value proposition, currently everyone is complaining about the 3080ti yet the same doesn't happen in this area.
Doing this will ensure good reviews from reputable channels such as HU, exposer from less reliable yet big channels such as LTT and the like, and small Youtubers to help them grow and help normal conss
 

Austinturner

Posts: 234   +264
I have to disagree with your view, besides few reviewers most are incompetent like we saw recently with LTT, the same goes to most big YouTube channels they simply don't have the skills or don't care.
The issue is they give them those products instead, they could only send review units for exposer then pass them to other normal people who do proper reviewing, as a lot of times reviewers even good ones such as GN or HU cannot review the games "normally" e.g Battlefield there is a huge difference between SP and MT, the game basically eats CPUs on 64 MT. Another example are phone reviews, most are awful no one is doing proper performance analysis except for Gary, the others again don't have skills. And then the focus on only high-end but rarely they question the value proposition, currently everyone is complaining about the 3080ti yet the same doesn't happen in this area.
Doing this will ensure good reviews from reputable channels such as HU, exposer from less reliable yet big channels such as LTT and the like, and small Youtubers to help them grow and help normal conss
By letting the reviewer keep the product it is more likely to appear in ongoing benchmarks and reviews of competitor products. Also given the cost of manufacture is pretty low and the manufacturer would probably end up eating the shipping cost it probably makes little sense to have the samples sent back just to send out again. Also if you make a good product, reputable reviewers are more likely to boost your sales but rolling the dice on unknown small reviewers is riskier.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,980   +5,757
I have an irrational (??) dislike of "LG" products.

Or then, maybe it's the fact the CDs they pack with their DVD drives amount to nothing more than LG advertising. (Which well, is somewhat akin to malware).
 

Homerlovesbeer

Posts: 148   +154
THE BEST that can come of this is that these big corporations STOP giving products to BIG YOUTUBERS and instead give products to SMALLER youtubbers who will appreciate them more.

What..... So LG and other companies can pretty much guarantee favorable reviews? The smaller YouTubers would be easily bullied into doing a favorable reviews or allowing their review you be examined and edited prior to publishing.
 

Xex360

Posts: 91   +108
By letting the reviewer keep the product it is more likely to appear in ongoing benchmarks and reviews of competitor products. Also given the cost of manufacture is pretty low and the manufacturer would probably end up eating the shipping cost it probably makes little sense to have the samples sent back just to send out again. Also if you make a good product, reputable reviewers are more likely to boost your sales but rolling the dice on unknown small reviewers is riskier.
I agree with your logic as it makes total sense to the company. But where I totally disagree is in calling reviewers reputable, most of incompetent and do a very poor job "reviewing" products, I believe the word we should use is famous and their fame is definitely not because they are competent, with some exceptions.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,980   +5,757
I agree with your logic as it makes total sense to the company. But where I totally disagree is in calling reviewers reputable, most of incompetent and do a very poor job "reviewing" products, I believe the word we should use is famous and their fame is definitely not because they are competent, with some exceptions.
The quality and mental capacity of YouTube viewers has to be taken as a large part of the issue as well. After all, there are people who would sit there for half an hour, watching some douche taking something out of a box, ("unboxing" videos are pervasive), wouldn't likely fully understand a true scientific testing, numeric results, and empirical conclusions procedure anyway.
 

Xex360

Posts: 91   +108
The quality and mental capacity of YouTube viewers has to be taken as a large part of the issue as well. After all, there are people who would sit there for half an hour, watching some douche taking something out of a box, ("unboxing" videos are pervasive), wouldn't likely fully understand a true scientific testing, numeric results, and empirical conclusions procedure anyway.
D*** you!!! I totally missed this point, you're totally right, sometimes I inadvertently click on the trend/explorer part of YouTube and lose hope on humanity, how can millions of people waste their time watching junk like that.
Off to see a psychiatrist...
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,505   +1,732
TechSpot Elite
Hmm, Not sure what you mean here. I don't think the HardwareUnboxed review has anything to do with appreciation. Tech reviewers are mean't to do a completely unbiased review of product. Im sure they are plenty appreciative of the position they are in to be able to review product. I don't see that being relevant in this case.
I know EXACTLY what he means. He thinks that ethics don't matter and that these manufacturers should only give samples to the smaller YouTubers that they can CONTROL. This is because he thinks that companies should be able to lie to people. That belief is a common symptom of Anti-Social Personality Disorder (aka psychopathy). His near-constant mentioning of his "RTX 3090 Computer" falls neatly in line because it shows narcissism which often goes hand-in-hand with ASPD.

I think it's about time everyone realised that QuantumPhysics is nothing more than a troll. When's the last time he offered anything of value to the conversation? I can't remember a single time. However, I'll bet that the number of troll posts that he's made numbers in the hundreds. Add to that the number of posts he's made that are the opposite of true (and/or the opposite of knowledgeable) and it becomes clear that he's just a pox on this forum. NOT having him on ignore is a sign of masochistic tendencies and can result in the lowering of one's IQ. You know what to do.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,505   +1,732
TechSpot Elite
What makes you think regular people are any better at it? For one, that's such small sample. Youtubers gather info from far wider sources than just a singular experience. Second, how can you know their biases? If you follow a particular reviewer, you come to what they like and dislike, and hence can form a pretty good judgment. For some rando - not so much. Was he having a bad day? Got unlucky with his piece of tech? Is a fanboy of some particular company or gimmick or feature? Is wildly misinformed, hence impressed with this product? Is really rich/poor, etc, which warps his opinion on the value? And so on and on.
Third, what about time, investment and methodology? A regular person won't just have put the time to make his review repeatable, comprehensive, with needed disclosures etc.
And finally, you don't think they already astroturf regular person review campaigns? How many fake reviews on Amazon are there from supposed regular people?
I don't really get this poo-pooing on the professional. Regular person is way overrated.
I believe in Tim and Steve (heh, that rhymes!) because I came the exact same conclusions that he did when I worked for Tiger Direct. Value for money is what's most important to the consumer because the point of diminishing returns tends to be in the upper-mid tier which is more than enough for their purposes. I always tell people "Never buy the most expensive stuff unless its for commercial purposes because no matter how much you blow on something, there's always something around the corner that will just crush it." because you're not purchasing an asset, you're purchasing a liability (goes down in value, not up) and the smart man limits his liabilities as much as possible.
 
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poohbear

Posts: 634   +552
Good on you for refusing their bribes. This is common place in Korea and other countries, so its great when they encounter some integrity!