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Feb 1, 2021 · 7 min read

2021 Affiliate Marketing Australian Industry Review

The IAB Affiliate Marketing Working Group has published its third annual industry review on the state of affiliate marketing in the Australian market. 


The IAB Australia Affiliate Marketing Working Group conducted surveys at the end of 2020, gathering responses from advertisers and agencies who operate an affiliate program in Australia. The industry report is based on the results of this survey. We want to thank all the agencies and advertisers who participated in the survey, which formed the 2021 Affiliate Marketing Industry Review.   

The 2021 Affiliate Industry Review looks at advertisers and agencies experience, plans and how they value the channel. In terms of investment last year, 68% of the respondents saw an increase in spend in the affiliate channel and 71% of respondents rated affiliate marketing as seven or above out of ten as higher performing for delivering ROI (Return on investment) compared to other marketing channels. For advertisers and agencies, the main narrative is that the affiliate channel played an important role over the last twelve months, with the results showing increased growth, increased investment and increased engagement in the channel due to COVID-19 and the lockdown. 


Affiliate Marketing in the last twelve months has demonstrated its importance and value for businesses of all sizes, with over 69% of brands reporting a positive impact during the lockdown and 68% reporting increased revenue performance during the COVID period. 


2020 has shown that the affiliate channel is invaluable and provides an opportunity for businesses to focus and expand on in 2021. With affiliate marketing reported to deliver higher value, when looking at customer acquisition and ROI metrics of advertisers and agencies, the affiliate channel looks to be here for uncertain times and beyond.  

“The release of the 3rd IAB Australia Affiliate Marketing Industry Review is incredibly timely, allowing the industry to learn from market changes in 2020 where investment in affiliate and partner channels increased, as well as gauge industry readiness for changes in cookies, identity and measurement.” 

Gai Le Roy, CEO, IAB Australia  

“We had an amazing response to the Affiliate Marketing Australia Industry Review survey this year, providing some important insight into how our local market viewed and used the channel in 2020. It also highlighted areas for improvement across publisher diversification, industry standards, education and networking opportunities, which will hopefully shape how the industry evolves throughout 2021.” 

Sophie Metcalfe, Publisher Development Director, Awin  

“It’s never been so important to showcase how effective the affiliate channel is for brands in Australia. For the third year running, and in the face of difficult circumstances, we’ve seen overall growth & significant perceived value from advertisers involved in affiliate & partnership marketing. But this was also an opportunity for the IAB working group to collect feedback on important issues such as the effects of COVID-19, cookie directives, and ways to move the industry forward. We’re pleased with the levels of response this year, and see this study as a great step that will, ultimately, help brands and publishers utilise affiliate marketing to its fullest potential.” 

David Glasgow, Director, Navigate Digital and IAB Affiliate Marketing Workgroup Chair 

The Affiliate Working Group aims to continue to bring insights, industry reports and raise awareness around the industry to the wider digital community, and tackle industry challenges. For more information about the IAB, visit the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia website or become a member  

Download the report

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