What is affiliate marketing – The key players

Acceleration Partners








Affiliate marketing is one of the most efficient sources for driving new revenue and we want more people to understand it and use it successfully. In this new 3-part blog series we will share all there is to know for any affiliate marketing beginner in our overview of affiliate marketing.

In the second part in this series we give an overview of the key players in the ever-changing UK affiliate market. 


Companies or brands who sell their products and / or services through the affiliate marketing channel.

Affiliate Marketing Consultancies

Affiliate marketing consultancies offer a broad range of independent services such as programme audits, consultancy and traditional affiliate programme management. They are able to offer honest and objective expertise to advertisers seeking to improve their growth and / or efficiencies through affiliate marketing.

Media Agencies

A media agency will typically be a full-service digital agency who have an affiliate department. They could run all elements of an Advertiser’s digital strategy or just the affiliate marketing channel.

Performance Marketing Agencies

A performance marketing agency will typically only offer affiliate marketing services to Advertisers, with specialised teams and experience to deliver this.

Affiliate Networks

An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between affiliates and advertisers. They typically track, report and pay affiliates and can either provide full-service management or self-service management of a programme. They tend to charge advertisers on an override basis which is a payment based on the percentage of affiliate commission the programme generates.

SaaS Platforms

SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms provide advertisers with tracking, reporting, and payment, however, they do not generally offer an account managed service, differentiating them from affiliate networks. Most SaaS platforms offer a variety of fee models including fixed, volume/transaction- based, and performance fees. These platforms allow the advertiser to manage their programme in- house or recruit the services of a consultancy or agency.


A website that promotes an advertisers’ offering and is paid on a performance basis for driving a predefined desired action, such as a sale or a lead. Affiliates come in many different forms from content through to voucher sites. You can find out more about the different affiliate models operating in the UK affiliate market in our guide to better affiliate marketing.


To learn more about the UK affiliate market and how to create a better affiliate marketing programme download our free guide today.