Retailers - and thousands of website publishers - reap dividends as affiliate model comes of age

London, 4 October 2006: The UK market for affiliate marketing will grow 60% in 2006, breaking through the £2 billion mark to an estimated value of £2.16 billion, according to research published in E-consultancy’s Affiliate Marketing Buyer’s Guide this week.

What is affiliate marketing?

A system whereby an advertiser shares revenue with other websites (known as affiliates) which feature ads and content designed to drive traffic to the advertiser’s site. Affiliates receive commission on sales (or leads, or sign-ups).

The UK Affiliate Marketing sector, which has more than tripled in size since 2004, has made huge strides since it was first used by marketers ten years ago.

Online businesses increasingly see this as an invaluable way of generating extra sales by using networks of websites as a virtual sales force to broaden their reach.

Origin of affiliate marketing

It was only 10 years ago since, according to internet legend, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos became the first to embrace affiliate marketing after chatting with a woman at a party about how she wanted to sell books about divorce on her website. The idea – which is central to how affiliate marketing works - was that she should link her site to and receive a commission on book sales as the affiliate.

Where is affiliate marketing now?

Now, just a decade later, affiliate marketing managers are commonplace within online businesses, with a number of well established networks acting as intermediaries and facilitating the relationship between retailers and thousands of publishers of all shapes and sizes.

E-consultancy analyst Linus Gregoriadis said: “Affiliate marketing has gone mainstream as companies with an online presence increasingly embrace this as a cost-efficient and low-risk channel to market. In the last few years this sector has gone from something very niche to something of strategic importance within businesses.”

E-consultancy editor Chris Lake added: “The affiliate marketing landscape is changing very quickly as online retail goes from strength to strength. An important change has been the way that the affiliates have now become more well organised and professional, reflecting the evolution of e-commerce generally. ”

A free Affiliate Marketing research report is available to journalists. Please email for details.

Headline market trends in 2006

• Affiliate marketing networks seek to differentiate themselves through service and specialisation within increasingly competitive marketplace.

• ‘Super affiliates’ lead the way in move towards ‘Affiliate 2.0’.

• Rise in number of merchants using affiliate marketing for lead generation and brand building activity.

• Wider adoption of hybrid payment models, with some publishers charging advertisers on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis and cost-per-mille (CPM) basis as well as cost per acquisition (CPA).

About this report

Our 2006 Affiliate Marketing Networks Buyer’s Guide assesses the UK marketplace for Affiliate Marketing, with a focus on the networks.

The report contains an overview of market trends and profiles of those companies offering related services.

Which affiliate marketing networks are featured in the buyer’s guide?, AffiliateFuture, Affiliate Marketing UK, Affiliate Window, affilinet UK, Brand Conversions,, Clash-Media, Commission Junction, DGM Affiliates, Online Media Group, Paid on Results, PrimeQ, Silvertap, Smart Quotes, TradeDoubler, Webgains, Zanox.
Download E-consultancy’s 2006 Affiliate Marketing Buyer’s Guide today.

Report URL

Media contacts:
Linus Gregoriadis, Analyst, E-consultancy
(e: t: 0207 681 4051)

Chris Lake, Editor,
(e: t: 0207 681 4052)

About E-consultancy
E-consultancy is the UK’s leading online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. It also publishes buyer’s guides and has a directory of 100,000+ third party internet marketing white papers.

Since moving to a paid-content model in 2003 E-consultancy has amassed thousands of paying subscribers, more than 40,000 registered users and 150,000+ unique users sessions per month. Its weekly newsletter is sent to 20,000 users. Subscribers pay from £149 per year to access the exclusive and highly practical content, which helps internet marketers get the most out of their websites.

E-consultancy has more than 100 events lined up for 2006, including roundtables and monthly Supplier Showcases, where six suppliers pitch to an audience of pre-qualified buyers (typically between 100-150) in a Central London venue. E-consultancy also provides a range of public and in-house training programmes, such as seminars and workshops.

Other recent E-consultancy reports

Published on: 12:00AM on 4th October 2006