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

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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