The Wall Street Journal enters the affiliate marketing fray with “Buy Side”


Jthe wall street journal wants a slice of your next online shopping spree.

According to a report in Axiosthe famous financial newspaper will launch a new commerce website today called “Buy Side from WSJ. Reviews of consumer products will coexist with links to buy them, with revenue coming from referral links known in the industry as “affiliate marketing.”

Affiliated companies

The WSJ is just the latest media organization to gain access to what’s called affiliate revenue, a term for the commission generated from featuring consumer products. A simple example: you read an article about the 10 best electric shavers and it includes links to buy them on Amazon. If you click and buy, the publisher you were reading receives a commission from a partner. (Amazon, Skimlinks, and Red Ventures are among Buy Side’s Affiliate Launch Partners).

Buy Side will operate independently of the Newsroom as a single section of the WSJ website. Expect reviews of products you care about WSJ readers, more likely to be finance professionals wearing ties than tech millennials in t-shirts – that means quality backpacks, office furniture and financial products. The site is launching amid a lull in affiliate marketing, but the long-term growth prospects are solid:

  • According to Skimlinks data on Comscore’s Top 250 publishers, total commission from affiliate revenue rose just 2% this year, after rising 37% in 2021 and 163% in 2020 during the boom. e-commerce pandemic. But e-commerce ad spend, which was $28 billion or 13% of digital ad spend last year, is expected to reach $63 billion and 20% of digital ad spend by 2025, according to data. from eMarketer.
  • “Despite the current headwinds, building an affiliate strategy is the right strategy for publishers to create a long-term, sustainable revenue stream,” Lauren Newmann, vice president of Skimlinks, told AdWeek.

The New York Times bought consumer review site Wirecutter for $30 million in 2016 and by 2018 it was making $20 million in annual revenue. BDG (owner of Bustle, NYLON, TZR and Elite Daily) and BuzzFeed, which has its own brand amazon storeare two other media companies with significant affiliate marketing activities.

Ad Blocker: Publishers rely on Google Search to drive traffic to their affiliate articles – Buy Side won’t have a paywall like the others WSJ, opening it up to more readers who arrive by click – but Google is cracking down. Last year, the web giant began downgrading affiliate articles that lacked original photography or a diverse mix of outbound links — though that could just result in some very poorly lit photos of new shaving kits.


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