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Amazon and Flipkart Reduce Affiliate Commission on Mobiles to 1% – Hard Time Ahead for Tech YouTubers

Amazon and Flipkart Reduce Affiliate Commission from 2.5% to 1% on Mobiles

Indians are obsessed with smartphones and there are a huge number of Youtube Channels and tech websites that create content around these.

Some of the bigger channels get sponsorship from mobile companies but other small creators are dependent on the affiliate income and Google Adsense revenue.

Amazon and Flipkart Reduces Affiliate Commission
Amazon and Flipkart Reduces Affiliate Commission

Also, we know that when brands sponsor Youtube channels and send review units these come with strings attached. Creators can’t criticize any aspect of the product or state the obvious Cons.

Most independent creators who buy products and review can state these without the fear of backlash from the brand. But these creators depend on the affiliate income that will get severely reduced by the reduction of commissions.

The move by Amazon and Flipkart can cut the income for most creators by more than 50%.

This is going to harm the creators and in turn, they will be least interested to invest money in phones and create unbiased content.

So what we will see more on Youtube will be paid promotional content created by so-called big Youtubers who get money from brands for promoting the products instead of independent unbiased reviews.

There were already several phones that don’t have any commission especially all the phones from Xiaomi, Realme, and iPhones.

Now there is not much to earn for creators since Samsung, Oppo and Vivo phones will also offer just 1% commission instead of 2.5%.

The changes to commission rates are done in February 2021 and it is surely going to make lives harder for many YouTubers and Content creators whose primary source of income is affiliate marketing.

Realme doesn’t sell phones on the Amazon platform and is already a non-starter for many content creators and YouTubers.

We have earlier written a detailed article on the Flipkart Vs Amazon affiliate program and in our findings and feedback from several content creators (Geeky Ranjit, Revatlas, Candytech.in and others) we found that no one is preferring Flipkart.

The major reason for not using the Flipkart Affiliate program is – lack of conversions on the site, (or they are intentionally removing successful conversions), there is no response from the Flipkart affiliate team even after many emails and complaints from creators.

The Flipkart affiliate program is a borderline scam that is pushing traffic to the Flipkart website but is not paying for the traffic fairly to the YouTubers and Bloggers. Also, several YouTubers complained that they have pending payments with Flipkart that the commissions are not paid for months.

The situation was very different for Flipkart before Walmart’s acquisition as they paid fairly and on time. We have worked with them for years. But in the last 3 years, all have gone downhill for affiliate marketers associated with Flipkart.

Moreover, other players like Snapdeal, Infibeam, Paytm have long back closed the affiliate programs and the real option for affiliate marketers is Amazon India.

But recent cuts make smartphones an unattractive category for genuine YouTubers or bloggers.

Back in the days, the commission rate on phones was 4% then it was reduced to 2.5% (a couple of years back) and now to just 1%.

It is going to impact the meager affiliate earnings that content creators are surviving on.

Hard Time Ahead for Content Creators

This is bad for the creators and the ecosystem and as there are no other independent sources to earn money, creators are only left at the mercy of the brands for money and review units, at least in the Tech niche.

Considering the amount of competition in the content creation market where the lion’s share goes to big creators and media houses; being a small honest Independent creator is going to be very hard.

This is even worse for the consumers as the companies will buy their way to promote bad products and most of the Youtubers are not going to state the obvious Cons as the brands don’t allow that.

Having an ecosystem to earn independently gives a lot of freedom to the creators and now the sources are reducing and there is a lot more competition in the market.

It is going to be hard for the creators to refuse the offers from brands.

This is not about chasing big money but it is a matter of survival for most small independent creators.

Also, this is worst for the viewers and readers as most of the content they will consume is paid for by the brands.

Ultimately, people will be more frustrated with their purchases, and we already know how bad the after-sales service and support are from some brands.

Also, due to this monetary dependence, even the honest Youtubers are going to refrain from telling Cons.

Another important fact is that we have so many Tech YouTubers in India and brands have ample choice, even if a couple of them are not covering their products they don’t care.

Besides, if the honest ones who are going to tell the Cons are not covering the products, it is better for the brand and its sale.

With declining views and hardly any sources of monetization – the majority of the tech content you will see on Youtube and big websites is paid promotion by brands. Most brands don’t give a crap about quality of work or fairness.

The mobile market is super competitive thanks to Xiaomi and Realme – there are no margins left and every brand is playing on large volumes.

In such a scenario, they want YouTubers to push the product even more down the throat of people so that the sales charts can climb higher.

This is an ugly but sad truth.

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Kanuj has 12+ years of experience in Digitial Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Blogging, Wordpress, Analytics. He is an MBA in Marketing and Consumer Insights.Follow him on Twitter to get relevant advice.


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