A Quick Glance Of Affiliate Marketing History

Affiliate marketing is a business strategy in which an affiliate or a business agent is rewarded for every customer or visitor that is brought in by the affiliates efforts. The idea of affiliate marketing has been around for almost two and a half decades. Its practical use has been different over the course of its history. The concept was conceived and was patented by William J. Tobin, who was the developer of the gift company PC Flowers & Gifts. He launched his site on the Prodigy network, a network that provides a number of services to their subscribing customers. Tobin also developed the idea of paying a small commission to their hosting system for all the sales PC Flowers and Gifts made, since they were the ones sending customers to the store.

PC Flowers and Gifts ran its service from 1989 to 1996. In 1993, the company was generating about six million dollars per year. After that, they left the Prodigy network and became independent, eventually merging with the company Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores in 1998.

One of the most successful businesses to use affiliate marketing is the music business. CDNOW, an online music retailer, launched their affiliate program, BuyWeb. The purpose of the program was that music sites on the web would be able to review albums and put it on the BuyWeb page. BuyWeb would then link directly to the CDNOW store where you could buy the album being reviewed. This also attracted the attention of the record company, Geffen Records. They wanted to sell their music on the web and asked CDNOW to link from their pages into Geffen’s artist pages. If a customer bought something from Geffen’s page, CDNOW would take care of the orders.

The company that made the affiliate marketing programs famous, however, was Amazon.com. In 1996, Amazon.com was just a bookstore. They launched their affiliate program which allowed them to place banners or links on other book sites that would lead to Amazons stores where you could buy the book you had been reading about They also applied for a patent for this program in 1997. They received it in the year 2000. CDNOW was bought by Amazon.com in 2001 and took over their music service and therefore expanding from being a bookstore to the site it is today.

Today, when blogs and social networks have become a large part of our daily internet experience, these types of affiliate marketing have also grown considerably more substantial. They can generate enormous incomes for popular blogs by just putting a few banners on it. The wonders of technology!

Affiliate marketing today is most popular in the fields of gambling, adult, and retail sectors. It is projected that finance, travel, and mobile phone sectors will receive a boom expansion. Entertainment and services relating to the internet such as broadband sectors will follow closely. It is also predicted that marketers as well as advertisers will continue to use this tool extensively.


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