An affiliate network helps web and app publishers to monetize their inventory by providing a variety of options, as well as all necessary tools for running campaigns (tracking links, creatives etc.). For advertisers, affiliate network services and benefits include payment processing, ad tracking technology, ad campaign reporting tools, as well as access to a vast database of publishers. Affiliate networks work on a CPA (Cost per Action) based model which means that they can effectively deliver a 100% fill rate for publishers. Some publishers, known as ‘affiliates or ‘media buyers’ will create or buy traffic using advertising specifically to promote campaigns from a network (rather than just to monetize existing inventory).
According to Wikipedia the definition of an affiliate network is:
“an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate marketing programs”
There are two characteristics that describe the variety of affiliate marketing programs, that are interconnected into a network, the best – types of offers and commissions. In today’s affiliate marketing the most popular types are game offers, casino offers, app offers, dating offers and nutra offers. The most in-demand commission types are CPA and CPI.
Since the late 90s digital affiliate marketing has grown to a big industry, in 2016 US-based retailers have spent $4.7 billion on affiliate marketing. According to estimates by 2021 the affiliate marketing industry will grow to $6.8 billion. Not surprisingly, given the size of the sector, there are a lot of different affiliate marketing companies operating in various market segments.
According to the Awin affiliate network data, of the total revenue generated on this affiliate network in Q1 2016, almost 40% was attributed to mobile devices. One of the trends that we can observe for the affiliate marketing of today is that many social media influencers include affiliate links to the photo and video content description they share with their big followers crowd. In recent years, many of the highest paying and most lucrative affiliate programs have been related to the app sector (for example promotions for app or game install campaigns).
This list of affiliate networks is focused on the companies that have a significant focus on mobile and app related traffic and offers, either as specialist mobile affiliate networks or as general affiliate platforms with a high proportion of mobile-friendly affiliate programs.