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By 1995 PC Flowers & Present had launched a commercial variation of the site and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the Internet. Tobin looked for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was provided U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000.
Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking. In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores. In November 1994, CDNow released its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented sites could examine or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be thinking about purchasing.
The idea for remote purchasing initially developed from discussions with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wished to offer its artists' CD's directly from its site however did not wish to execute this ability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could create a program where CDNow would handle the order satisfaction.
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Amazon. com (Amazon) released its associate program in July 1996: Amazon associates could place banner or text links on their website for individual books, or link directly to the Amazon house page. When visitors clicked the partner's website to go to Amazon and purchase a book, the associate got a commission.
In February 2000, Amazon revealed that it had been granted a patent on elements of an affiliate program. The patent application was sent in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts. com (October 1994), AutoWeb. com (October 1995), Kbkids. com/BrainPlay. com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and a number of others.
The e-commerce site, deemed a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, ended up being an integrated part of the general company plan and sometimes grew to a bigger service than the existing offline service. According to one report, the total sales quantity generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was 2.
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The quotes were 1. 35 billion in sales in 2005. MarketingSherpa's research group approximated that, in 2006, affiliates around the world earned US$ 6. 5 billion in bounty and commissions from a range of sources in retail, individual finance, video gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, releasing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual marketing programs.