Affiliate Network

Affiliate Network

An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate programs. It allows website publishers to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are suitable for their website (and thus generate income from those programs), and allows websites offering affiliate programs (typically online merchants) to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all the publishers participating in the affiliate network


Traditional affiliate networks enable merchants to offer publishers a share of any revenue that is generated by the merchant from visitors to the publisher’s site, or a fee for each visitor on the publisher’s site that completes a specific action (making a purchase, registering for a newsletter, etc.). Most merchant programs have a revenue share model, as opposed to a fee-per-action model.

For merchants, affiliate network services and benefits may include tracking technology, reporting tools, payment processing, and access to a large base of publishers. For affiliates, services and benefits can include simplifying the process of registering for one or more merchant affiliate programs, reporting tools, access to product API’s and payment aggregation.

Affiliates are generally able to join affiliate networks for free, whereas there is generally a fee for merchants to participate. Traditional affiliate networks might charge an initial setup fee and/or a recurring membership fee. It is also common for affiliate networks to charge merchants a percentage of the commissions paid to affiliates, this is known as an ‘over-ride’ and is payable on top of the affiliates commission.

Performance network

In addition to the traditional networks, Performance networks also exist. Performance networks are typically networks that, in addition to performance based promotions also offer CPM- or CPC-based display advertising. Performance networks, on the other hand, are often so-called “Middle Man” who are themselves affiliates of merchants via the traditional affiliate networks.

Definition Courtesy of Wikipedia

Best CPS Affiliate Networks

TOP 20 Affiliate (CPS) Networks

These are the Blue Book Best CPS Affiliate Networks, as chosen by the advertisers and publishers of the world-wide performance marketing community. Blue Ribbon Panel

Rakuten Affiliate Network Now our 6-time winner, Rakuten Affiliate Network, part of Rakuten Marketing, receives enthusiastic support from both advertisers and publishers.
ShareASale/Affiliate Window As we went to press news came that Affiliate Window (part of zanox Group) has acquired ShareASale. Industry consolidation is accelerating.
eBay Partner Network eBay Partner Network is incredibly well-respected by people who know the performance marketing industry. A great network.
Avangate Avangate has been growing fast over the last few years and is our most popular “digital downloads” network by some margin.
Amazon Associates Amazon Associates remains the industry entry-point for many publishers. Their broad product offerings and ease of use make it simple.
CJ Affiliate by Conversant CJ remains a leading global affiliate network after almost 20 years, specializing in pay-for-performance programs driving results.
ClickBank Enormous and extremely popular, ClickBank is still the entry point to the industry for a large number of merchants.
LinkConnector LinkConnector has a terrific range of trusted brands. In combination with their focus on proprietary technology this is consistently pushing them higher in our list.

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