Are you considering affiliate marketing? This might be the perfect time to get a piece of the pie. Recent data suggests that a lot of publishers achieve significant revenue from affiliate programs and plan to continue using them into the future.

VigLink, a digital content marketing firm based out of the Bay Area, conducted a widespread survey in May 2017 of 500 publishers and 100 merchants who are currently utilizing one or more affiliate marketing programs. “State of Affiliate Marketing Survey” sought to understand how big a portion of digital advertising is actually taken up by affiliate marketing, and where this industry is headed.

Revenue on the rise

As general interest in affiliate marketing rises, so does access to high-revenue opportunities for publishers. For this reason, 77% of publishers responding to the VigLink survey reported revenue increases from 2015 to 2016. Even with more publishers turning to affiliate marketing for income, the number of merchants promoting through various networks provides ample revenue potential for savvy affiliates.

What’s ahead

Publishers appear just as confident in their revenue-earning potential in the near future. Eighty-six percent reported that they envision either constant or increasing income in the future. This data aligns with the fact that an overwhelming 91% of merchants told VigLink they planned to increase spending on affiliate programs in the future. At this point, 9% of publishers responding indicated they made $50,000 or more through affiliate programs in 2016. With more merchants relishing the chance to expand their customer reach through affiliates, expect program options and income thresholds to rise.

Still in its infancy

Despite the massive interest at the present, there are still signs that the growth curve is wide open for publishers looking to get in on the action. 49% of publishers (over 100,000 UMV) in the survey have participated in affiliate networks for under five years. More importantly, 65% of small publishers (5,000 UMV or less) have participated for two years or less. If you are just getting into or considering affiliate marketing as a revenue source, you do not have to worry about being far behind the competition.

Why affiliate marketing

Given the other monetization sources for a publisher, what motivates the usage of affiliate marketing? Three key factors, beyond significant or additional revenue, were cited in the survey:

  • Easy and convenient monetization was reported by 76% of publishers
  • Lack of disruption of the user experience was noted by 45%
  • No drawbacks was cited by 28%


The data from the VigLink survey on affiliate marketing makes it clear that publishers, along with merchants, see significant value from participation in networks for affiliate marketers. For publishers, income potential is high and you have flexibility to participate in merchant programs that meet the interests of your audience. Merchants view affiliates as an excellent outlet for reaching more customers and increasing sales well into the future.