Publishers And Merchants Endorse New Revenue Generator

According to a survey of 500 publishers and 100 merchants by VigLink affiliate marketing is “carving out a piece of the digital advertising pie.” Publishers ranked affiliate marketing ahead of display advertising in revenue generation abilities.

Large publishers, (with over 100,000+ unique monthly views,) make the majority of their money with display advertising, though with Google AdSense is second, and affiliate marketing ranks third. However, 34% of publishers, (with fewer than 5,000 unique monthly views,) rank affiliate marketing as their number one way of generating revenue, says the report.

  • 77% of publishers acknowledge that the revenue they generated from affiliate marketing programs increased or stayed consistent from 2015 to 2016
  • 73% of merchants reported that the amount of revenue generated from using affiliate marketing programs met their expectations
  • One third of publishers reported that revenue generated from affiliate marketing met their expectations

Managing expectations is important when new publishers are being introduced to affiliate marketing, especially for those who are used to earning sizeable revenue from their display efforts, says the report. One reason publishers’ expectations of affiliate revenue is not being met could be due, in part, to declining pageviews. Time spent online has shifted from publishers’ sites to social media.

However, of the publishers surveyed, 9% had generated more than $50,000 in 2016. Along with publishers’ increasing their revenue, merchants are reacting by increasing their budgets. 85% of merchants stated that their affiliate marketing budgets increased or stayed the same from 2015 to 2016. As of right now, 65% of merchants state that affiliate marketing accounts for 5%-20% of their revenue, most of which is incremental, says the report.

  • 91% of merchants plan to increase or keep their affiliate marketing budgets the same in the future
  • 86% of publishers expect their use of affiliate marketing program to increase or stay the same in the future

The report says that overall the survey disclosed mixed results from both publishers and merchants, but there are clear benefits to using affiliate marketing that drives continued publisher engagement and merchant budget allocation.  


  • 65% Of publishers say another top benefit is that it generates additional revenue
  • 76% of publishers like affiliate marketing programs as they make monetizing their site/content easy
  • 45% of publishers say a benefit of affiliate marketing is that it does not disrupt the user experience
  • 28% reported there are no drawbacks to affiliate marketing


  • 84% of merchants using affiliate marketing say it increases sales.
  • 76% say it increases web traffic
  • 62% say they’re unable to control the quality of content where products are mentioned
  • 29% have not experience that drawback
  • 67% of merchants tryst affiliate marketing insights enough to use it to influence overall marketing strategies

Concluding, the report says that, with the shifting online media and content landscape, including the proliferation of ad blockers and alternative media consumption platforms, expectations are a much heavier focus on user experience and transparency in the coming year.

For additional information about Affiliate Marketing from VigLink, please visit here.


1 comment about "Publishers And Merchants Endorse New Revenue Generator".
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  1. Thom Kennon from Free Radicals, May 26, 2017 at 6:34 a.m.

    Self-serving sponsored 'research' press releases masquerading as trade pieces are iffy enough. But this one raises a seemingly dumbfounding survey design error: Google AdSense is, predominantly, display since it is actually the majority of GDN (Google Display Network). So, when listing the top 3 referror channels, how is #2 AdSense, appreciably different from #1 display advertising. Isn't #2 a bigfat subset of #1? 


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