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Buyers Guide Coverage: Publishers Rate the Affiliate Platforms

In addition to gathering insights from brands and agencies, the Martech Record Industry Buyers Guide also collects ratings from leaders in the publisher community.

Why Brands and Agencies Care About Publisher Rankings

Publisher perspectives are important because they reveal a vital element of the affiliate value exchange. Platform and network companies value these publisher scores because they reveal the state of each vendor’s technology and partner relationships for their go-to-market partners. Brands cannot grow if they cannot enable their publishers to grow, and excellent network technology and service play a key role here.

Agencies and brands can explore this data to gain richer insight into the quality and service orientation of the providers and assess the best providers for helping them form the most robust partner relationships. Additionally, providers with high scores for technology from are more likely to have integrations that enable brands and agencies to share more data for improved targeting and overall program performance.

Publishers Rate CJ Best Platform

Among publishers, CJ is the highest-rated provider, receiving six out of six possible stars – a perfect score. Just below gold-rated CJ are Impact and Rakuten, who received five-and-one-half out of six stars on the publisher measures. Awin finished fourth, with five out of six stars.

When asked specific questions about each provider’s technology, publishers rated CJ as high or higher than other providers on all dimensions. CJ showed particular strength in helping publishers research and connect to new brands. CJ also performs very well for making it easy to pull links, find and promote updated offers, and generate reports about advertisers. Scores for Impact, Rakuten, and Awin were also very strong on most tech and service measures, just not quite as high as CJs.

Serving Publishers Better

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the publisher scores was that no brand received high marks for helping publishers understand the value of their content or providing tools to improve revenue scale. Across every provider, scores on these dimensions were below their average scores for other dimensions.

We believe this “technology gap” provides a real opportunity for the network or platform that proactively provides better solutions on these dimensions in the future. Gaining a competitive advantage in these areas could benefit a network or platform because partners are a significant source of information on affiliate programs in play.


These topline metrics just scratch the surface of what is available in the complete guide. Here are just a few elements of what’s included in this unique and valuable report:

  • Best Platform for Brands, Agencies, and Publishers

  • Feature Ratings for 12 Technology and Usability Measures

  • Best Platforms for Product Types (e.g., retail, travel, etc.)

  • Extensive analysis

Download a copy of the full report here.

Read More Coverage of the 2022 Affiliate Industry Buyers Guide:

Guide Announcement and Top-line Results

The Elite Buyers Guide Panel

Who Made Gains in the 2021 Buyers Guide?

Agencies and Brands Share Different Platform Perspectives

On the Record

Be Informed on the Regular.

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