As the UK performance marketing industry ponders the loss of Google Affiliate Network, plenty of US companies have wasted no time in sinking their teeth into plans to capture the internet giant’s stranded clients.
GAN’s success in America is far outweighing the traction it gained in the UK, and with the likes of spurned Netflix and Toys R Us affiliate accounts there for the taking, it is not surprising that many US-based companies have been quick to offer out their services to those on GAN’s books.
When questioning the director of global corporate communications at Netflix, Joris Evers, he was not keen to shed light on the company’s thoughts on the termination of GAN stating only: “We have nothing to say on this” and Toys R Us also seems to be keeping its cards close to its chest, by not responding to questions on the subject.
Ready, Aim, Pounce
US digital strategy and marketing firm, Acceleration Partners, was quick to pick up the pieces from news of GAN’s passing by jumping in to offer its services.
The company, which has offices in New York, Boston and San Francisco, is now offering a free audit of any GAN affiliate programme - including an analysis of the current affiliate base, affiliate activity, spend levels, and suggestions on tactics to improve growth and profitability. It says such migrations are ‘extremely resource-intensive’.
Founder and managing director of Acceleration Partners, Robert Glazer, said: “While we are surprised to hear about the Google Affiliate Network shutdown, it presents a significant opportunity for GAN users to re-evaluate the success and profitability of their affiliate programmes. “
Networks Start Feeding Frenzy
Acceleration Partner's vice president of client services, Matt Wool, said the closure of GAN is causing ‘ripples throughout the industry in the US’. He added that many companies not only have their programmes on the network, but also use GAN’s managed services to run their programme. This means not only do they need to migrate their programmes, but they also need to find someone to do it.
“This is a very difficult place to be since migrations are tricky, especially with large and complex programmes,” Wool said.
“Additionally, the other networks (CJ, Linkshare, etc.) are starting a feeding frenzy to bring ex-GAN merchants in, which may lead to a race to the bottom on network fees as networks discount services to look more attractive.
“While this may seem like a good short-term strategy, I can envision a situation where merchants already on those networks get annoyed when they realise that the ex-GAN companies are getting a better deal.”
Santa Barbara-headquartered performance-advertising company, Impact Radius, is also offering immediate migration assistance to marooned Google advertisers.
The ‘special’ migration programme is designed to make it simple and immediately profitable for GAN clients to migrate key affiliates to the Impact Radius platform.
The company’s chief executive officer, Per Pettersen, said: “Google’s decision will have a material impact on the affiliate industry and specifically their advertisers. This programme should ease the pain and provide a technologically superior offering at a lower cost to their customer base.”
US is Thriving Market
US performance marketing company HasOffers, which provides solutions for tracking performance advertising, said Google’s decision on GAN reinforces the need for merchants to diversify their traffic sources across multiple networks, while also building direct relationships with their strongest publishers.
HasOffers’ digital communications strategist, Kelly Clay, said: “Apparently, Google did not see its affiliate network as having enough impact for its advertisers and publishers, and decided to pull the plug on the network - despite the thriving performance marketing industry."
Another company to leap onto the sinking ship’s ticket holders and provide help is content monetisation platform Skimlinks, a technology company which provides affiliate marketing tools for publishers and converts normal merchant links into affiliate links.
The San Francisco and London-based business, which acquired rival New York-based Atma Links back in 2011, released a statement from its US hub revealing its new ‘complete toolset’.
The new offering is said to help GAN publishers easily swap their GAN affiliated links to working affiliate links - to ensure revenue continuity and lessen the potential financial impact on publishers of their affiliate network shutting down.
Skimlinks’ senior director of account management, Mark MacDonald, said: “Over the next few months, GAN advertisers will leave and join other affiliate networks, which means existing GAN links may be broken and unable to earn publishers the commissions they rely on.”
Hakan Lindskog, CEO of US digital media and performance marketing agency MediaWhiz, said factors affiliates and advertisers need to consider when moving, include whether the network offers substantial scale and reach, a full range of verticals, international presence, financial strength and a strong reputation in the industry. He also said he was not entirely surprised to hear GAN closing.
Lindskog said: “It was never a part of its core business. The reality is that the CPA business, both in the US and globally, is highly competitive. As a result, the CPA industry is consolidating and a few major, global players will emerge as the leaders.”
See our news section for Industry Players Weigh in on Demise of Google Affiliate Network and Google Pulls Plug on Affiliate Network. What are your thoughts on the closure of GAN? Comment below and let us know.