May 7, 2019

Big Tech goes after affiliate marketing

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Affiliate link marketing could soon go from a friendly and useful revenue tool for publishers to one exploited by Google and Amazon for their own ambitions.

Why it matters: Affiliate links have become increasingly important for some publishers as advertising has become a less reliable revenue model.

Driving the news: Google is reportedly using publisher content with affiliate links to feed its own search and recommendation engine while also giving users ways to purchase the items through Google’s own retail partners, according to Fast Company.

  • This would mean that publishers’ recommendations help Google improve its recommendations and even give them credibility (results include mentions of which sites have recommended a product), but without giving publishers the revenue they would earn if a customer shopped through their content.

Amazon, meanwhile, is offering to pay major U.S. publishers like the New York Times and BuzzFeed to expand their content with affiliate links internationally, Recode's Peter Kafka reports.

  • The deals would reportedly entail Amazon paying the publishers upfront to produce this type of content. Exact details of the deals remain unclear.

Yes, but: Amazon’s approach is especially reminiscent of a recent string of deals internet giants like Facebook and Twitter have inked with publishers to get them to produce video. Many of those ended abruptly and not well for publishers.

The bottom line: "The money guarantee with remain for a short time & go away, then it will squeeze you on terms, as usual," tweeted Rafat Ali, founder of travel publisher Skift, about the news.

Go deeper: What Amazon knows about you

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.