Subnetworks stand for transparency and fairness at Admitad

Last week, there was a class reunion in Germany where Admitad’ HQ is based. After two years of absence, the Who is Who of affiliate industry, advertisers, publishers and networks, got together face to face not only to say hello to old friends and welcome new ones at TactixX which Admitad supported and actively participated in. The much needed discussion – Quo Vadis affiliate industry – took place.

The discussion panel symbolically called “Roast the networks” took it all down to a few valuable points, and they are highly relevant, not only for the fairly competitive German market.

Things got down to business when the networks had to face the critical questions from Ingo Kamps (Cayada, now MOR Münchener Online Rebels) and the audience. Can an advertiser or publisher work with more than one network? How is the market reacting to data privacy and quality of traffic issues? How do we deal with brand bidding? 

Expectedly, the discussion moved towards sub-affiliate networks and its value as a publisher model in affiliate marketing. While full transparency – transmission and monitoring of each connected website – towards the advertiser is key, the question whether a subnetwork is a justified business decision, revolved again and again.

A topic on which Admitad can shed a word or two on its own. But first, we need a simple clarification of what a subnetwork is and what it does.
A subnetwork is a third-party CPA network that works with the affiliate network as a regular publisher. The subnetwork has its own publishers who are not registered with the Affiliate Network and interact with the system only through the subnetwork.

How does a subnetwork work?

Subnetworks are a collection of publishers operating as a single publisher on an affiliate network or affiliate agency. Where affiliate networks provide the service and tracking solution for advertisers, subnetworks make the advertiser programmes and the tracking available for their sub-publishers to use without the need to sign up to an affiliate network. Subnetworks join affiliate networks as a regular publisher would, where as a sub-publisher signs up to join the subnetwork instead. This also allows the sub-publisher to access advertiser programmes across multiple affiliate networks all in one place.

What problem do subnetworks and subnetworks’ ad spaces solve?

If one of the partner network’s own publishers attracted low-quality traffic or violated the rules, the advertiser disconnected the subnetwork’s account from the affiliate program.

In this case, not only the violators but also the publishers who worked honestly and attracted high-quality traffic lost the opportunity to work with the program. That reduced the revenue for all participants: Admitad Affiliate Network, the subnetwork, and its own publishers.

Now, a subnetwork can add its own publishers’ ad spaces as subnetwork’s adspaces to their main ad space. Because of this, if one of the subnetwork’s publishers attracts low-quality traffic or violates the rules, the advertiser can turn off the ad space of the violator.

The account of the subnetwork will continue to work with the affiliate program, like other subnetworks’ ad spaces, whose publishers did not violate anything.

Challenges we address working with subnetworks

Transparency. We put it at the top of our priorities, and always make sure subnetworks clearly state as to which sub-publishers they work with. More specifically, information on which publishers are currently hosting affiliate links for a particular advertiser is almost immediately available. 

Auditing. It is tempting for sub-publishers that were barred from promoting a particular advertiser programme on an affiliate network to join the affiliate programme through a sub-network. This also applies to sub-publishers who conduct fraudulent activity or break advertising guidelines. Therefore Auditing is at the core of managing a high quality subnetwork.

Branding.  Advertisers do have visibility on new sub-publishers joining their programme through a subnetwork. This helps the advertiser maintain control in regards to the suitability of a sub-publisher from a branding point of view. 

Solutions in place

“Subnetworks are part of affiliate partnership businesses, it is happening already. Advertisers are actively looking to work with subnetworks – which should allow both parties to effectively work together, with the tools that we develop already. Subnetworks are in the very beginning of this journey, and we need to make sure we remain transparent in technology and fair in attribution and commissioning models” – says Alexander Bachmann, CEO and founder of Admitad.

Admitad has always advocated for transparency and pushed many products and initiatives that helped facilitate visibility and openness in affiliate marketing. Subnetworks Adspaces API is a tool that has been used by many partners in order to have full visibility over the tracking data of several subnetworks. Furthermore, their publishers and subnetwork-managed advertisers have the ability to allocate their individual commission rates

You would like to know more about subnetworks, or apply to work with Admitad? Contact us

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