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Brands and Agencies: Master the Commerce Content Ecosystem (Part 1)

Apr 28, 2023 by Jim Nichols

Commerce content is propelling growth in our industry. To maximize the opportunity, brands and agencies must understand the ecosystem, what motivates publishers to offer commerce content, and how to drive the best results from this critical publisher segment.


This two-part series explores:


Part One: Why content publishers are embracing commerce content, how much revenue they are earning, which key publishers are active, and what options they offer to advertisers

Part Two: How can brands and agencies approach commerce content to cost-effectively drive maximum scale and efficiency from this dynamic arena?


Part One Key Takeaways

  • Macro forces have altered how content publishers can earn revenue. The collapse of Print, digital’s ascendance in capturing consumer time, programmatic audience-based buying, and the ad spend dominance of Google, Meta, and Amazon create challenges that threaten premium publisher survival.
  • AI poses additional threats as the amount of quality content available may be about to explode, further threatening traditional CPM-based revenue for content publishers.
  • Commerce content gives publishers new ways to earn as well as access to new advertiser budgets, creating a bright spot in the financial outlook of many content companies.
  • Most leading content publishers have performance-based commerce content efforts in place to capture revenue from partnership budgets 
  • Content publishers currently garner about $2B-$2.3B in affiliate revenue in the US.
  • Commerce publishing principally monetizes through one or more of three models: affiliate links, branded content production, and embedded merchandising and commerce. 


Before digital disrupted content publishing, premium content publishers were in the driver’s seat. While many faced competitors with a similar editorial remit, the competition for dollars was finite, and eyeballs meant big revenue.

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