Online Affiliate Marketing Spending Continue to Grow to $3.3B in 2012

JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, has found that affiliate marketing continues to play a key role in online marketers’ ability to reach and acquire customers.

In 2008, online marketers have spent $2.1 billion on affiliate marketing fees, with US online affiliate marketing spending reaching $3.3 billion in 2012, as indicated in a new report US Online Affiliate Marketing Forecast, 2007-2012, published by JupiterResearch.

According to the report, affiliate marketing remains a highly attractive endeavor because it is performance based, presenting low risk and requiring low initial investment. Over time, marketers tend to work with affiliates that drive the most traffic to their sites, resulting in a small number of affiliates driving the majority of traffic and sales.

Because affiliate marketing is so heavily intertwined with the search engine marketing industry, Google is the one wild card that might affect the overall growth of the industry. Google’s dominance over SEM forces affiliates to be sensitive to Google’s Quality Score, which prevents lower-quality affiliates from buying paid search.

“Strong affiliates that have quality content and responsible marketing practices succeed within the changing search environment and reap the benefits of a growing ad arena,” explained Patti Freeman Evans, Online Retail Analyst and lead author of the report for JupiterResearch.

According to David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch, “To date, an alternate way to generate traffic from search has not materialized. However, the development of niche outlets such as blogs and social networking sites does provide balance to the consolidation of top affiliates.”

JupiterResearch provides unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on their business.