Amazon slashes commission rates for program that gives publishers a cut of sales

Amazon is cutting commission rates for members of its affiliate program.

The company notified members of the program, known as Amazon Associates, that it will slash commission rates beginning April 21, according to an email obtained by CNBC. 

Amazon has for years operated the affiliate program, which allows members to advertise and link to Amazon products in exchange for a percentage of the sales. The program drives significant revenue for online websites who link out to Amazon products in their content. It’s especially important for online publishers like BuzzFeed, The New York Times and Vox Media that publish buying guides that drive readers to buy products from Amazon for a cut of the sales.

Rates are being cut for a number of affiliate product categories. For example, the affiliate cut from purchases of furniture and home improvement products has fallen from 8% to 3%, while the commission rate for grocery products has slid from 5% to 1%, according to a document obtained by CNBC.

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