Affiliate marketing is estimated to be worth around $3 billion a year in US and growing worldwide. According to Forrester Research, U.S. affiliate marketing spending will increase by a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 17 percent between 2011 and 2016, growing to $4.5 billion in 2016. Download the results of this research study here.
Here are the top affiliate marketing networks. You can find nearly a hundred of other networks.
Without a doubt, my favorite Affiliate Network is LinkShare. I am a bit biased because I worked at LinkShare for 4+years and know the network and the team inside out. LinkShare has been around since 1996 and has a network in US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Japan. They have networking events in each of the network locations, with the biggest in New York in the summer.
Top Advertisers: Footlocker, 1800Flowers, Hotwire, Stabucks, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, ATT, Macys, Sephora.
Commission Junction offers similar functions as LinkShare and top publishers can be found in both networks. CJ has an annual event in Santa Barbara - CJ University.
Top Advertisers: Apple, HP, Dell, Groupon, AC Lens, Kay, Allstate, VistaPrint.
Google joined the affiliate marketing game not long ago and has built a nice roster of advertisers. The major downside to the GAN network is you have to use another platform to email to publishers.
Top Advertisers: BlueNile, Sketchers, Urban Outfitters, Forever21, Lacoste, Guess, Express, Lord & Taylor, Free People, Custo, Target.
Update on 4/17/13 - GAN will be shutting down on July 31, 2013.
Pepperjam has been thriving under the new management team.
Top Advertisers: Sports Authority, Kate Spade, ToysRUs, Dicks, BJ's, Anthropologie.
Shareasale.com manages nearly 3,500 programs.
Top Advertisers: Cafepress, One Kings Lane, ACLens.
Tradedoubler is the largest Affiliate Network in Europe
Top Advertisers: Expedia UK, Body Shop, Hotels.com, Sony, Ogilvy. ACLens.