May 15, 2020
According to Business Insider, Amazon plans to cut commission rates for its affiliate program. Amazon previously cut ties with third-party firms like Skimlinks, Narrativ, and Rakuten that publishers use to drive traffic to multiple retailers. Skimlinks said that it's advising publishers to diversify their affiliate revenue, saying that publishers shouldn't rely on Amazon for more than 30% to 50% of their revenue. Amazon notifi...ed members of its Amazon Associates program that starting April 21, it would cut rates that publishers get paid when they drive sales to Amazon with product recommendations. The decision will cut commission rates for products like beauty items, headphones, and home improvement products. For instance, rates for furniture and home improvement items will fall from 8% to 3%, according to details of the program that Business Insider viewed (Insider Inc., Business Insider's parent company, also participates in Amazon's affiliate program). The move will impact big publishers like The New York Times – owned Wirecutter, BuzzFeed, Hearst, New York magazine, and Group Nine Media's Popsugar that invested in e-commerce to diversify their revenue away from advertising and subscriptions over the past couple of years. "If it's temporary, it's probably survivable, but affiliate is one of the easiest new revenue channels [for publishers] to stand up," said Jean Hellering, principal at Quantum Media, a consulting firm that works with media brands.