The Future of CPA Networks?

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Today brings the launch of another partnership marketing network, AllAdSpace.com. However, this network is putting a twist on the common notions of what being a network means. As more of these networks launch, what sorts of implications do their hybrid way of doing marketing online have for more traditional affiliate and CPA networks?

AllAdSpace’s hook is that it is free for both webmasters and advertisers. So, webmasters and site owners are able to sell ad space by listing it for free, and advertisers are able to search and browse listings of ad space, also for free. Unlike other online ad marketplaces and auction services, AllAdSpace.com charges no fees to ad buyers or sellers, and doesn’t take a percentage cut of any sales made.

According to the site, the network was conceived as a response to the online marketing industry’s lack of a completely free ad marketplace where site owners can sell ad space without having to pay a fee or give up a percentage of the sale.

The founder, Joseph Messina writes:

“No one should have to settle for only a percentage of their ad revenue. The future of buying and selling ad space online is definitely heading in a new direction, and AllAdSpace.com is proud to be taking the initiative to lead in this revolutionary idea.”

Essentially, these networks eliminate the middle-person in the publisher/network relationship. Just as importantly, this platform also eliminates the tracking, paperwork and bandwidth issues that can plague CPA networks which grow too fast or which are not equipped with adequate resources.

The real question is about the publishers. Will publishers see an opportunity for transparency and full reclamation of their generated commissions, or will they see these platforms as lacking essential protections in terms of reporting, payout dates and insertion orders. The publisher must decide if it is worth the 10-30% margins that most networks take to provide these services.

For all of their problems, networks do bridge the vast expanse which exists between most advertisers and publishers. For that reason, I don’t see these platforms cutting into the margins of CJ or Linkshare who rely on larger merchants and relative anonymity of relationship within the publisher base. The smaller CPA networks, however, should pay attention.

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