An affiliate is a commercial entity with a relationship with a peer or a larger entity.
In a radio network or TV network, an affiliate is a radio station or TV station that agrees to carry the broadcasts of, but is not owned by, the network. Usually, the stations are still responsible for the content (such as profanity) to some extent. An affiliate is not the same as an owned and operated station, which is owned by the network such a station carries programming for.
Affiliate marketing typically refers to this Electronic commerce version of the traditional agent/referral fee sales channel concept. An e-commerce affiliate is a website which links back to an e-commerce site such as Amazon.com. When a reader of the website clicks on a link, they are connected to the e-tailer and if they purchase something the affiliate receives a small payment, usually a percentage of the money the customer spends. Affiliates can also be referred as publishers. The Hotel and Travel Industry uses affiliate marketing to a large extent.
A corporation may be referred to as an affiliate of another when it is related to it but not strictly controlled by it, as with a subsidiary relationship, or when it is desired to avoid the appearance of control. This is sometimes seen with multinational companies that need to avoid restrictive laws (or negative public opinion) on foreign ownership.
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