Asia Pacific has been slower to adopt affiliate marketing than the United States and Europe, but the region is gradually catching up as many brands and partners opt for a pay-on-performance approach, writes Stuart McLennan, senior vice president for APAC at Rakuten Advertising.

Affiliate marketing has a reputation problem, with many people thinking it’s focused on discounts or less-premium brands. However, the adoption and scale of the channel globally show flaws in this perception. Japan has a well-established sub-affiliate network, with a projected value of $5bn by 2023. China has a 40% share of the global affiliate marketing industry, and Australia is a hotbed for publisher innovation. The Rakuten Advertising International Collective (RAIC) hosted meetings to discuss and reflect on affiliate marketing, forming the basis for their 5-Stage Blueprint for High-Performance Affiliate Marketing.