Size of Affiliate Marketing Industry Worldwide

Posted on17 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Online Marketing, Thoughts for Affiliates

In the course of the past 5-7 days the question that I was asked more often than any other was:

What is the size of affiliate marketing industry?

While there is no one place which answers this one, there are hints and bits of information all around the place, and I’ve decided to gather all the meaningful ones that I could find into one compilation (letting you make your own conclusions).

Here’s the chronological list:

USA — Old, but entertaining data: in 2005 affiliate marketing-driven sales were expected to account for some “20 percent, or $53 billion, of e-commerce sales”
Worldwide — In 2006 affiliate commission payouts were estimated at $6.5 billion worldwide.
/MarketingSherpa • Feb 22, 2007/
USA — Affiliate marketing spending stats & forecast: 2009 – $1.94bn, 2010 – $2.15bn, 2011 – $2.53bn, 2012 – $2.99bn, 2013 – $3.47bn, 2014 – $4.01bn
/Forrester Research • Sep 25, 2009/
USA — Affiliate marketing is a “multi-billion marketing channel, which comprises more than 200,000 businesses and individuals”
UK2004-2010 growth: 2004 – £0.6bn, 2005 – £1.35bn, 2006 – £2.216bn, 2007 – £3.13bn, 2008 – £3.82bn, 2009 – £4.13bn, 2010 – £4.62bn
/Econsultancy • Aug, 2010/
UK — “Affiliates are driving increasing volumes of sales for merchants in a sector expected to drive more than £5bn in e-commerce revenue during 2011
/Econsultancy • Oct 19, 2011/
USAValueClick (owner of Commission Junction, and a number of affiliate sites) reported the following affiliate marketing revenue: 2010 – $124,126k (net profit – $69,552k), 2011 – $139,409k (net profit – $84,573k)
/ValueClick • Feb 7, 2012/

 

If I have missed a source of data that you know of, please do chime in with it through the “Comments” area below.

17 thoughts on “Size of Affiliate Marketing Industry Worldwide

  1. Great research, thanks for sharing. One thing I would say is that though the revenue driven through the channel increases, the funnel is constantly tightening allowing for only large, brand based sites to drive the bulk of the traffic and sales.

    I honestly don’t know how much longer small affiliates with EMD’s can keep churning out niche sites… I’d love for Affiliate Marketing to still have that entrepreneurial nature in 5 years time whilst the market continues to grow and diversify.

    1. I’d have to disagree with that statement, Shaeeb. I sit on the judging panel for Performance Marketing Awards (formerly, a4uAwards), and every year, as I review nominations, I am simply struck by the number of gems that are being discovered. As mentioned in my yesterday’s interview to a4u, new affiliates who are actively leveraging the emerging trends, marrying them with innovation, still achieve success.

      1. Geno,I would only say that New Affiliates in poker niche are un-happy ones. And if you look at the other niches, yes, new affiliates are doing well.

  2. Interesting stats Geno – I think there is a need for some European stats here (we’re on the case @a4u) –

    Agree with your second comment too. The innovation we see each year is astounding within the sector. Yes, it’s not as easy as it was 5 years ago however we’re seeing businesses in the UK building models around performance marketing selling for $40m dollars in just a few years.

  3. Thanks for sharing. What was the date for that last graph? We are conducting our 5th annual affiliate researxh study to gather critical industry stats like this and i invite everyone to participate. Folks who complete our survey will get a copy of the results.

    1. Peter, there’s a link from the graph, which leads to Forrester’s 2009 report. However, based on the research paper that they circulated through LinkShare at the NYC symposium, they’ve adjusted the graph a bit (I’ll blog about it shortly).

      Yes, I am well aware of your new survey. I wish there was room for Agencies/Consultants (beyond being “notified when the survey results are ready”) in it.

  4. I am looking to get the market share figures for some of the larger players in the market, can you give me some insights or point me in the right direction where I can get this information?

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