Amazon and Its Affiliate Programs
Announcing steep rate cuts, Amazon rolled out to its affiliate programs that pay online publishers on products they recommend. This change means less income for online businesses around Amazon’s affiliate program. The world’s biggest business enterprise cut the affiliate rates as the company stocks reached all-time highs. After it notified it would be cutting rates, Income School posted a YouTube video titled “Amazon DECIMATES Affiliate Commissions”. The publishers that built Amazon affiliate programs to what it is today, are hurting.
Last month, Amazon rolled out steep rate cuts to its affiliate program, and publishers now make one percent commission. Those changes mean less income for creators, some of whom told CNBC the news of the cuts. This came around the same time as Amazon stock reached a market cap of over $1 trillion.
Amazon Declined to Comment on the Feedback
Thanks to increased demand for online shopping during the coronavirus, Amazon declined to comment on the feedback. A company spokesperson last month declined on whether the decision was a result of the pandemic. Amazon regularly evaluates its program offerings to ensure it is competing with the broader industry.
Changes have prompted some affiliate marketers to think beyond Amazon, such as Videos on YouTube. These are featuring alternative programs, like those from Target, or B&H Photo Video. Income School told many of those alternative affiliate programs that they don’t have the same robust catalog of products.
Doug Cunnington, an affiliate marketer said he would be considering other affiliate programs, such as eBay, since Amazon’s cuts will result in a big impact on his business. However, he said he’s trying this as an opportunity to branch out, and trying new affiliate programs. He’ll likely lean more heavily in teaching about other skills, like email marketing or podcasting.
But for those who might rely on Amazon’s affiliate program, this is a wake-up call. Especially for those who use this as a side hustle or who were leaning on this in order to quit a full-time job. For others, it’s kind of like your business is being destroyed overnight. This will impact online publishers, but the extent of the impact will depend on the types of products the business normally highlights.