What Are Affiliate Publishers?
January 2, 2024

What Are Affiliate Publishers?

Affiliate, or partnership, marketing has a global market value of $17 billion with projections of growing to $27.78 billion by 2027. If you were looking for proof of the effectiveness of affiliate marketing, it’s very much in the pudding. But what makes this form of marketing so effective? Why is it that about 16% of e-commerce sales can be attributed to affiliate marketing? Many attribute this success to the power of affiliate publishers. In an age where billions of people have a plethora of information readily available to them, literally in the palms of their hands, it is a no-brainer for brands to find creative ways to weave their offerings into content that is created to inform consumers. In fact, many consumers are relying on content publishing through mediums like blogs, social media posts, and YouTube videos–just to name a few–to help prime their buying decisions. 

This is not to say that other forms of partnerships are unsuccessful but to emphasize why partnering with affiliate publishers that have done the work to captivate and gain the trust of their audience is such a lucrative channel for gaining brand visibility and converting consumers into your customers. In this article, we unpack the intricate ways in which using partnerships to market your brand captures current consumer habits and demand for informed purchasing choices. 

What Are the Types of Affiliate Publishers?

Affiliate, or content, publishers are entities that publish content with embedded affiliate links that point to products on behalf of e-commerce brands in exchange for a commission if the reader converts. There are various mediums for content publishing, but the most popular ones are bloggers, comparison/review sites, social media creators or influencers, and email marketing publishers.

Partnering with affiliate publishers works so well because publishers open up space for brands to meet consumers at the point of their interest in understanding the purchases they intend to make. Consumers are constantly running to Google to help them find product or service-based solutions to their problems, pricepoint research, pick between brands, find promotions, and just about anything else you can think of when on the market for something. Thus, content creators present a platform for brands to leverage their use of compelling language and visual stimulation to attract attention and influence on buying decisions. 

Affiliate publishers are incentivized to do this for two reasons: one, they need website traffic and eyes on their content to stay relevant, and two, they are rewarded for every sale their content generates. It is a win-win for all parties involved. 

Growth in Content Publishing

Content has always been king. Digital content publishing has been around since the early internet days but, in this heightened age of connectivity, it has grown significantly in popularity over the last few years. As affiliate marketing has grown, content publishers are doubling as affiliate publishers knowing they stand to gain from partnering with brands. Around 28% of affiliate marketers use blogs as their primary channel for affiliate link promotion. 

In 2023, there were over 600 million blogs on the internet. With 8.5 billion searches on the internet every day, internet users are constantly inundated with content from search engines to social media sites. These are golden opportunities for brands to get in front of their target audience. In this day and age, brands would be foolish not to take advantage of affiliate publishers. 

Changing Consumer Habits

A driving force for the growing prevalence of affiliate publishers is the way consumer habits have changed in the digital landscape. Now more than ever, consumers are relying on direct product recommendations to inform their buying decisions. By Q2 2023, studies showed over a third of shoppers aged between 18 and 26 use social media content to research what products to buy. About 29% of consumers are between the ages of 27 and 42. This is a significant portion of shopper demographics that are sourcing their information from online platforms.

The Rise of the Influencers

At this point, even those living under a rock couldn’t help but notice the influx of social media influencers flooding the timelines of every social media platform on the market. All up and down millions of social feeds, you can find user-generated content with #ad or #partner in the caption. All over the world, brands have tapped into the utility of content creators who have amassed a following of genuinely interested consumers to generate sales. Even more, brands are leaning into micro and nano influencers who have smaller, more niche audiences brands can use to narrow the scope of their target audience. 

Influencers can act as affiliate publishers for social media platforms as they become sources for product recommendations which many internet users and online shoppers are relying on.


Content will continue to reign supreme in the world of e-commerce. As consumers continue to rely on content to assist their purchasing decisions, brands are presented with plentiful opportunities to partner with affiliate publishers to leverage their influence on audiences to generate sales. At MDS, our platform is home to over 5,000 affiliate publishers looking to partner with e-commerce brands. If you’re interested in how our technology can connect your brand to purchase-happy audiences, book a demo with us to learn more. 


Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

Recent Posts


Submit your email and a partnership coordinator will be in touch.
We promise we won’t spam you!

Wait, before you go!

Enter your name and email address for instant access to our
Free E-book
Page load
Exit intent