Affiliates scheme set to aid arts, says FlyingPig boss

Flying Pig executive chairman Stefan Preston hinted yesterday that the company's new affiliates scheme might have useful implications for the New Zealand arts community.

Flying Pig executive chairman Stefan Preston hinted yesterday that the company's new affiliates scheme might have useful implications for the New Zealand arts community.

Such schemes - under which online retailers pay a commission to other Web site owners who deliver sales via their sites - have been good for authors and recording artists in the US.

The cut the creators make by delivering sales of their own works to the likes of Amazon.com can be twice their conventional publishing royalties.

Launching the scheme, called Pig's Partners, yesterday, Preston said it was ideal for the arts community, particularly given the government's renewed emphasis on creative industries.

Preston said the scheme, which takes the most difficult part of e-commerce out of the hands of small operators, lowered the cost of distribution for artists and dropped the barriers to doing business.

He said the company would be working on an initiative for the arts community. Asked if he had discussed such plans with the Labour-led government, he said he couldn't comment.

Pig's Partners pays 15% for a direct link through to a catalogue item that results in a sale and 5% for a referral to the FlyingPig site that results in a sale.

Preston says that New Zealanders stood to make considerably better money from its scheme than US-based equivalents because delivery costs (which do not attract a commission) are such a small component of a book's total price. FlyingPig charges a flat delivery fee of $3 "so the lion’s share of the total fee is commission bearing."

Preston said the 15% on offer on book sales represented more than half the company's margin, which reflected that fact that "attracting eyeballs" was on expensive process.

"Ultimately all revenues flow out of commerce, and we'll be sharing those revenues with people who have content sites. The economics allow for very generous sharing of commerce revenues."

FlyingPig has put together several tools for affiliates partners, along with further information, at http://affiliate.flyingpig.co.nz

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