Companies that have expanded into the subscription model are seeing rapid growth, even in economies where spending has stagnated. And according to a recent survey, 27% of global consumers expect to spend even more money on subscriptions in 2021.

What’s driving all of this growth? Increased demand – and affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing for subscription-based services is all about working with different kinds of partners to promote your brand to your target audiences. Since it’s based on performance, affiliate marketing is a low-risk, high-reward investment for subscription businesses. And with the variety of affiliates and payment models available today, there’s an effective affiliate marketing strategy for any subscription out there.

Subscription-based businesses can see big benefits from affiliate marketing, including:

  • Direct access to engaged, incentivised, highly qualified audiences
  • Expanded reach to new or niche communities
  • Predictable incremental growth
  • New opportunities to scale
  • Cross-channel promotions
  • Guaranteed, measurable results

Bringing in these benefits means first bringing in the right affiliate partners to promote your subscription-based service. Here we present five of the top affiliate partner types to help market subscriptions in 2021 and beyond.

Content Publishers

You know what they say: content is king. Great content brings in customers to every industry. It’s a key acquisition channel for just about any product and service.

Think about it: when you want to know about a company or a product, what do you do? You check it out online. Whether you’re researching a product on a review site, reading news about a brand’s latest release, or discovering new obsessions in your news feed, it’s content that makes it all possible.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, content partners run the gamut from international media companies to niche publishers. News and entertainment sites like Buzzfeed, forums like Reddit, and review sites like are all content partners that are perfectly set up to help subscription services succeed.

Some of TUNE’s content partners: Skimlinks, CNET, Penske Media, Vox Media, Ziff Davis, Business Insider, CNN, Digital Trends, iHeartMedia,,, and Future plc.

Networks (Sub-Affiliates)

Affiliate networks are actually groups of smaller partners known as sub-affiliates. These sub- affiliates join networks in order to gain access to offers from brands. They then take those offers out into the world, allowing advertisers to expand their marketing efforts beyond their usual audiences.

Networks are a fantastic option for subscription-based services that are looking to scale quickly and efficiently. Many networks specialise in a single type of partner or publisher, like blogs or influencers. Others focus on specific channels, such as mobile apps and mobile web, and there are others that operate based on specific actions, like lead generation.

What network you choose depends on several factors: your brand guidelines (do you advertise with anyone or only work with a certain type of partner?), your target audience (new mothers, high-income world travellers, etc.), and your goals (e.g., sale vs new customer registration).

Networks you can work with through TUNE include: GlobalWide Media, Tapjoy, Prodege, Perform[cb], She Is Media, Aragon Advertiser, Skimlinks, SOVRN, FlexOffers, Fluent, AdAction, DMS, RewardinBox, and MaxBounty.

Technology Partners

Technology partners are a diverse group that usually overlap with other partner types, most often networks. These companies enable subscription-based services to use specialised channels to acquire or engage consumers.

For instance, you could work with UpSellit, a technology partner that increases conversions through site abandonment strategies. Or you could partner with Fluent, which specialises in first-party mobile data, to connect with more smartphone users. Other technology companies like SOVRN overlap with content partners to provide monetisation tools for both publishers and the advertisers who work with them.

Examples of TUNE technology partners: Fluent, SOVRN, RevLifter, Rokt, Appreciate, Siteplug, UpSellit, Cybba, Taboola, and Honey.


With more people opting to shop online from the safety of their homes, brands have to do everything they can in 2021 to stand out in a digital world crowded with ads and offers.

One way to cut through the noise is to work with an influencer. Influencers can be social media stars, niche bloggers, or community leaders. What they all have in common is a loyal following of engaged consumers. (When people love a service, they talk about it — that’s called word of mouth advertising, and it’s very effective.) Customers who follow a specific influencer will be more likely to trust their recommendations over any review site full of strangers.

Influencers can be individuals, or you can work with groups of them through a network, such as BrandCycle or CLOUTA. What type of influencer you need is up to your specific brand and service. Music streaming services will want to work with someone different than a quarterly fashion box.

TUNE’s influencer-focused partners include Branded Entertainment Network, CLOUTA, BrandCycle, Influencer Interactive, InfluenceLogic, Social Studies, and She Is Media.

Deal and Coupon Partners

Deal and coupon partners incentivise consumers with coupons and discounts. These savings can be applied when signing up for a new service, renewing a yearly subscription, or purchasing a one-time delivery. With these partners, your options are only limited to what you’re willing to offer potential and returning customers.

Usually, these partners either aggregate coupons in one place, like Brad’s Deals and Groupon, or apply savings as consumers search the internet, like Honey (which could also be considered a technology partner — one example of that overlap we mentioned earlier).

Deal and coupon partners you can work with via TUNE: Groupon, Honey, Brad’s Deals,, GoodRX, Global Savings Group, and

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Subscription-Based Services

Finding and working with the right affiliates for your subscription service is only one part of running a successful affiliate marketing program. For tips on how to handle the rest of it, check out our Ultimate Guide to Partner Marketing blog series.

Ready to get started? Request a demo of the TUNE Partner Marketing Platform to see how the right technology can help you achieve your affiliate marketing goals.

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