Dominic Baliszewski, head of new ventures at Decision Tech: Performance marketing could hardly be called a fledgeling industry with almost 5,000 advertisers spending just shy of £1.6 billion in 2016. As existing revenue streams for traditional print publishers continue to decline, these investment levels have not gone unnoticed in boardrooms around the country, looking to keep their publications alive.

Whereas the noughties saw the print press shift their focus to online,  2018 will see them start to understand and optimise the new digital audience they’ve built.

Multinational publishers, born in the age of print with subscriptions and magazines flying off shelves, have worked hard over the past decade to transitions these audiences online. The heavy-hitting print publishers that have adapted to survive, now command digital audiences of hundreds of millions each month. As we move into 2018, the challenge of monetising these audiences is bigger than it has ever been. With downward pressure on CPMs from programmatic and more people than ever competing for digital subscriptions, these publishers are increasingly turning their attention to affiliate models.

Over the next year(s), an industry previously dominated by comparison, cashback and voucher codes will become increasingly crowded with a growing focus from content sites that have large audience share and a need to make that audience work hard.

As mainstream publishers increasingly pivoting to affiliate,  existing affiliate publishers born in the digital age will need to be more agile than ever. There are only so many consumers in the market and multiple touch points in every digital sales journey – to win the customer and to be awarded the last click, affiliates will need to offer a continually evolving, cutting-edge user experience backed up by rock-solid tracking.