While editorial and advertising have always been separated like church and state at big media companies, editorial coverage can still be a big revenue driver for media and influencers. How? Affiliate programs that give a kickback to the outlet if someone goes on to purchase an item that was featured in the article.
In recent years, affiliate deals have been lucrative for media outlets and influencers alike. For instance, it was reported that influencer Jason Stone generated over $7 million in affiliate sales over just two years.
Amazon has been a big driver of this, so there was no surprise about the recent uproar when it announced it was slashing its rates - with sectors like Health & Personal Care down to just 1% from 4.5%, and Home down to 3% from 8%. For media and influencers now, affiliate deals are a lifeblood. And Amazon's reduction mean an opportunity for brands to support media and influencers through better-paid affiliate programs on their own direct-to-consumer sites. While it won't mean that media and influencers will automatically pick your product, such programs will help give brands a leg up against competitors who may not be considering such programs.
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Amazon’s affiliate program, called Amazon Associates, pays bloggers, website owners and digital publishers a referral fee when links from their online content drive purchases from Amazon. While the income generated can be a side hustle for small players just dabbling with the program, the revenue loss will be bigger for online publishers like CNET, Consumer Reports, BuzzFeed and the New York Times.