YouTube's Social Shopping Bet: Creators' Affiliate Struggle

Violeta Silva
1 min read

YouTube is intensifying its social shopping strategy by promoting its affiliate-marketing program for creators to link products in their videos. While YouTube offers commissions for sales driven through affiliate links, some creators are hesitant to fully embrace the platform's program due to existing affiliations with other brands. Instagram and TikTok have faced similar struggles with shopping integration, while YouTube's native affiliate program encounters difficulty attracting creators who have established partnerships with companies such as Amazon, MagicLinks, and LTK. Although some creators, like Kristen McGowan, have adopted YouTube's affiliate program alongside others, others, like personal-finance influencer Kelly Anne Smith, find it hard to use due to its limited product offerings. YouTube's commission rates range between 1% and 20%, comparable to rival programs such as the Amazon Influencer Program. Nevertheless, some creators remain skeptical, expressing concerns about over-reliance on a single platform and eligibility requirements.

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