Amazon is currently pitching U.S.-based publishers like The New York Times and BuzzFeed on deals that would reward them for expanding internationally. As it currently works, Amazon pays Internet publishers that use affiliate links on their sites. When consumers click, visit Amazon, and make a purchase, the publishers get paid. Amazon seeks to expand its own international presence via the publishers getting more readers outside of the U.S., and it’s willing to cut deals to give publishers money up front rather than waiting until purchases.
This would mark the first time Amazon would pay publishers up front. Other companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter have cut similar deals in the past.
“It’s also an indicator that even though Amazon dominates online commerce, it still thinks it needs help getting shoppers inside its giant site. While Amazon is the place shoppers go to find something specific … affiliate links can drive shoppers to stuff that Amazon is particularly interested in selling or that shoppers may not have known they could get from Amazon,” reports Vox.
The amounts of money involved in these potential deals are unknown, and the structure of the deals remains unclear. For example, would Amazon underwrite publishers’ international expansions?
What is clear, however, is that Amazon is targeting publishers “that have built up significant affiliate link units and would be paying them to build out those groups. That includes BuzzFeed, which has made e-commerce a significant part of its revenue strategy and has hired a team of writers to create shopping-friendly content; the Times, which bought the Wirecutter shopping guide for around $30 million in 2016; and New York Media, which has turned New York Magazine’s “Strategist” shopping section into a meaningful part of its online business mix,” reports Vox.