"Threat" to traditional affiliate networks
Affiliate marketers usually avoid this topic as much as possible, but when it is being discussed, then are the debates explosive and heated to say the least. The discussion is about CPA networks (CPA = Cost per action), such as AzoogleAds or Hydra Network and their impact on "classic" affiliate marketing (traditional affiliate networks). Traditional affiliate marketing is resources intensive and requires a lot of maintenance. Most of this includes the management, monitoring and support of affiliates. Affiliate marketing is supposed to be about long-term and mutual beneficial partnerships between advertisers and affiliates. CPA networks on the other hand eliminate the need for the advertiser to build and maintain relationships to affiliates, because that task is performed by the CPA network for the advertiser. The advertiser simply puts an offer out, which is in almost every case a CPA based offer, and the CPA networks take care of the rest by mobilizing their affiliates to promote that offer. CPS or revenue share offers are rarely be found at CPA networks, which is the main compensation model of classic affiliate marketing.
The term "affiliate marketing"
Increasingly, voices in the industry are recommending that "affiliate marketing" be substituted with an alternative name. The problem with the term affiliate marketing is that it is often confused with network-marketing or multi-level marketing. "Performance marketing" is a common alternative, but other recommendations have been made as well. A similar attempt was made to rename search engine optimization, but with little success.