Amazon has a promotion for some US based publishers: Expand Abroad. We will make it worth your time.
The world’s dominant e-commerce company is in talks with major US publishers, including the New York Times and BuzzFeed, about deals that will reward them to expand their international presence, specifically on consumer-oriented shopping sites.
Amazon already pays online publishers who refer shoppers to the company via “affiliate links” built into their site, but it believes the business could grow exponentially if US publishers had more readers. outside America.
Currently, publishers are paid when a shopper clicks on a link on their site, heads to Amazon and eventually buys something. But sources say Amazon is proposing various deals that would give publishers cash up front in order to expand their international sites or open up new markets.
If any of the deals are completed, it would mark a new chapter for Amazon: While other tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, had previously paid publishers to create certain types of videos or other content, Amazon had not. . In this work before.
It’s also an indication that despite Amazon’s dominance of online commerce, it still believes it needs help attracting shoppers to its giant site. While Amazon is where shoppers go to find a specific thing — it’s increasingly challenging for Google in the search results race as shoppers head straight to Amazon to search for a specific item — affiliate links can drive shoppers to things that Amazon is particularly interested in selling. Or one that shoppers might not have known they could get on Amazon.
It’s unclear how much money Amazon is talking about — although it’s enough for many publishers to take it seriously — and which markets the company is most interested in. It’s also unclear: whether Amazon will rely on publisher expansions or whether it expects to get paid through the revenue generated by affiliate links.
Amazon is specifically interested in publishers who have created important affiliate link units and will pay them to create those groups. This includes BuzzFeed, which has made e-commerce an important part of its revenue strategy and has hired a team of writers to create shopping-friendly content; The Times, which bought Wirecutter shopping guide for about $30 million in 2016; and New York Media, which has turned New York Magazine’s “strategic” shopping division into a meaningful part of its online business mix.
Representatives for Amazon, Buzzfeed, The Times and New York Media declined to comment.
Affiliate links aren’t a new idea (Vox Media sites are involved, too), but they’ve taken on added importance for publishers struggling to compete against Facebook and Google for online ad revenue.
Here’s how it generally works: The publisher mentions or recommends a specific product and includes a link to Amazon or another shopping site where the consumer can go to buy it. If a shopper heads there directly from the publisher’s site, the shopping site will reward the publisher by giving them a percentage of the total “basket” of merchandise that the shopper ends up buying.
Industry sources say these percentages vary by publication, shopping location, and merchandise type, but can average about 10 percent for publishers generating real volume.
Publishers I’ve spoken to about Amazon discussions say they aren’t comfortable with the thought of taking money from Jeff Bezos and his company (again, it’s not a new idea for a tech company to funnel some of its massive resources into a media company). But they understand that taking money from a giant tech company means that you have to realize that the company’s tech needs and strategy can change, which means they can’t expect Amazon to guarantee it forever.
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