Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Platforms Overview

Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Platforms

Unveil the ultimate list of the top 10 affiliate marketing platforms, curated to amplify your online income streams. Learn about versatile avenues to leverage your content and optimize revenue generation effortlessly.

Affiliate marketing has become an extremely popular way for brands and businesses to generate revenue. By partnering with relevant affiliates, companies can tap into new audiences and pay affiliates commissions for driving desired actions like sales, leads, or clicks. But not all Affiliate marketing platforms are created equal.

Choosing the right affiliate marketing platform is crucial for success. In this comprehensive guide, we evaluate the top affiliate marketing networks and platforms available today.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Affiliate Marketing Platforms

affiliate marketing platforms: Introduction to Affiliate Marketing Platforms
Affiliate Marketing Platforms Introduction. Image By freepik

Affiliate marketing platforms provide the technology, tools and resources needed to create, manage and optimize an affiliate program. They connect businesses with affiliate marketers who promote products and get paid for performance.

Platforms facilitate important functions like:

  • Recruiting and approving affiliates
  • Generating unique affiliate links and promo codes
  • Tracking clicks, leads, sales
  • Calculating commissions
  • Processing affiliate payments
  • Reporting and analytics

Having the right platform lays the foundation for an effective and profitable affiliate program.

Importance of Choosing the Right Platform

Not all platforms are ideal for every business. Factors like your niche, business model, target audience and goals determine what platform fits best.

The right platform provides:

  • Relevant Affiliates: A network with affiliates that match your niche and audience ensures better promotion.
  • High Commissions: Generous, attractive commission structures incentivize affiliates.
  • Extensive Tracking: Robust tracking and attribution determines accurate commission payments.
  • Reliable Payment: On-time affiliate payments are crucial for satisfaction.
  • Powerful Reporting: Insightful analytics help optimize your program.

Thoughtfully selecting an affiliate platform tailored to your needs allows you to maximize revenue.

Criteria for Evaluating Affiliate Marketing Platforms

When researching affiliate platforms, there are a few key features to examine:

Commission Structure

  • Commission rates and payout models – what % or flat fees do affiliates earn per sale, lead etc?
  • Cookie duration – how long are cookies valid for crediting affiliate conversions?
  • Minimum payout thresholds – what must affiliates earn to get paid?

Product Selection

  • Relevant categories and merchants – are affiliates with your target audience and vertical represented?
  • Range of digital vs physical products – what types of products can affiliates promote?

Payment Methods

  • Payment frequency and methods – how often are affiliates paid, via PayPal, wire, etc?
  • On-time payments – does the network have a record of paying reliably?

Reporting and Analytics

  • Dashboard and tracking capabilities – are analytics robust and intuitive?
  • Attribution modeling – how are multiple affiliate touchpoints credited?
  • Customizable reporting – can affiliates access insights needed to optimize?

Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Platforms Overview

affiliate marketing platforms: Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Platforms Overview
Affiliate Marketing Platforms Overview

Now that we’ve covered how to evaluate networks, let’s dive into the top affiliate platforms available today.

Brief Introduction to Each Platform

Here’s a high-level overview of 10 leading options:

  1. Amazon Associates – Affiliates can promote millions of Amazon products with strong branding.
  2. ShareASale – Over 4000 merchants represented with flexible earning models.
  3. CJ Affiliate – Also known as Commission Junction. Provides affiliates access to high-converting brand deals.
  4. Rakuten Advertising – Previously LinkShare. Focuses heavily on big box retail affiliate opportunities.
  5. ClickBank – Digital-first platform with info products and ecommerce options.
  6. Impact – Robust network spanning popular verticals like health/beauty, finance and more.
  7. FlexOffers – Diverse marketplace with many niche merchants and competitive commissions.
  8. Awin – Popular network in Europe but global merchant access. Claims to have invented affiliate marketing.
  9. Avangate – Focuses on software, SaaS and digital downloads. Recently rebranded to 2Checkout.
  10. Clickbooth – Strong network for CPA, email submits, leads and calls in addition to sales.

Overview of Key Features and Benefits

In general, these platforms offer:

  • Thousands of potential affiliate partners
  • Advanced tracking and reporting
  • Customizable commission structures
  • Recurring earnings on subscriptions
  • High conversion rates across verticals
  • Global reach and scale

Now let’s explore each platform in more detail.

Amazon Associates

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase or sign up through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for more info.

Amazon Associates affiliate marketing platforms

Amazon Associates is one of the first, largest and most well-known affiliate programs. With quick approval and no minimum commissions, it’s ideal for beginners.

Overview

  • Launched in 1996
  • Free to join
  • Products promoting include all items on Amazon.com
  • Cookie duration of 24 hours
  • Payments via direct bank deposit or Amazon gift cards

Commission Rates and Structure

Amazon pays affiliates a percentage of sale amounts:

  • 4-10% on most general merchandise
  • 1% on Amazon Media like ebooks, music and video
  • 2-10% on Amazon Specialty Products like wine and handcrafted items

Higher rates up to 12% are offered in specific categories like luxury beauty items or Amazon subscriptions after customers have been referred multiple times.

Product Selection and Categories

Associates can promote the entire catalog of products available on Amazon. Huge selection across:

  • Books, music, DVDs and video
  • Electronics
  • Home, garden, pets
  • Toys, kids and baby
  • Clothing, shoes and jewelry
  • Grocery and gourmet
  • Health and personal care
  • Sports and fitness
  • Automotive and tools
  • Everything else sold on Amazon!

Pros of Amazon Associates

  • Instant brand recognition and trust
  • Huge product selection
  • Simple joining and getting started
  • Access to promotional tools like banners, text links and product feeds

Cons

  • Lower commission rates than other networks
  • Short 24 hour cookie duration
  • Delayed payment schedule of 60 days post-sale

Overall, Amazon Associates provides an easy entry point for beginners to dip their toes into affiliate marketing with a trusted brand. But the limited commission rates make it hard for power affiliates to maximize earnings.

ShareASale

ShareASale affiliate marketing platform

Founded in 2000, ShareASale operates a flexible affiliate network with over 4000 merchants on board. Their platform emphasizes technological innovations to enhance performance.

Overview

  • Global network with affiliates and merchants worldwide
  • Cookie duration of 30, 60 or 90 days set by each merchant
  • $50 minimum payout threshold
  • Payments via PayPal, wire, ACH or check
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Commission Rates and Opportunities

ShareASale merchants set their own commission rates and structures. Common models include:

  • 25-75% revenue share commissions
  • $5 to $1000+ per sale bounties
  • $10 to $1000+ per lead
  • Recurring commissions on subscriptions

Rates depend on each specific merchant program. Some pay per click, per impression or offer tiered commissions. Overall commissions tend to be more lucrative than Amazon.

Merchants and Product Categories

ShareASale includes over 3900 merchants across popular categories like:

  • Apparel and accessories
  • Business and marketing
  • Diet, health and fitness
  • Home and garden
  • Finance and insurance
  • Travel and leisure

Top brands include Contactually, Freshbooks, Tripadvisor, Glassdoor, Shutterfly and Etsy. The extensive range provides affiliates options.

Notable Features and Benefits

  • Reliable payments with a reputation for integrity
  • Customizable analytics and granular reporting
  • Mobile app for monitoring campaigns anytime
  • Built-in automations for emailing affiliates and recruiting
  • Flexible commission models suit different business needs

ShareASale strikes a balance between depth of merchants and sophistication of tracking tools. The extensive marketplace and high commission rates make it a go-to platform.

CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate affiliate marketing platform

 

Formerly known as Commission Junction, CJ Affiliate by Conversant is an industry heavyweight. They offer extensive relationships with leading brand advertisers.

Overview

  • Founded in 1998
  • 4500+ global partner programs
  • Cookie duration varies by advertiser
  • $50-$100 minimum payout
  • Payments via PayPal, wire, mailed check or various gift cards

Commission Structure and Opportunities

Commissions are set individually per advertiser program. Common models include:

  • Pay per sale – percentage or set bounty per transaction
  • Pay per click – fixed rate when referral clicks to site
  • Pay per lead/signup/email submit

Rates range from 1-75% for sales and $1-$100+ for leads. Top publishers can negotiate even higher commissions directly with brands.

Network of Advertisers and Products

Some top brands include:

  • Home Depot
  • TurboTax
  • Disney+
  • Adidas
  • Sears
  • Best Buy
  • Target

Merchants span all the major retail categories:

  • Electronics
  • Home and garden
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Travel
  • Automotive
  • Business and finance
  • Insurance
  • Consumer services

The huge range of big name merchants and competitive commission rates make CJ a powerful platform.

Advanced Reporting and Tracking Features

CJ Affiliate is known for its sophisticated reporting and analytics capabilities. Features include:

  • Real-time reporting on clicks, leads and sales
  • Track sales by specific ad placements, banners and text links
  • Conversion metrics like EPC, CR, AOV, ROI
  • Campaign performance trends over customizable date ranges
  • Track sales by geo-location, device, browser etc
  • API integrations withShopify, Magento, BigCommerce and more

The customizable reports and visualizations provide deep insights to optimize campaigns.

Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten affiliate marketing platform

 

Formerly LinkShare, Rakuten Advertising features advanced tracking paired with mass market retail affiliation opportunities.

Introduction

  • Founded in 1996
  • Part of the Rakuten Group
  • Auto-approve for publishers
  • Cookie duration varies by program
  • $50 minimum payout
  • Payments via wire, ACH, PayPal or paper check

Commission Rates and Benefits

Rakuten uses pay per sale, pay per lead and pay per click models. Commission rates range from 1-40%+ based on merchant agreements.

Top monthly earners can qualify for higher commissions, bonus programs and tailored direct solutions.

Notable Merchants and Product Categories

Rakuten enables affiliate relationships with major stores like:

  • Walmart
  • Best Buy
  • Target
  • Home Depot
  • Kohl’s
  • Sephora
  • Nike
  • booking.com

Their focus is big box retailers in verticals like:

  • Apparel, accessories and footwear
  • Home improvement
  • Beauty
  • Electronics
  • Travel
  • Financial services

The huge brand name merchants help drive conversions, providing scale.

Advanced Tools and Resources for Affiliates

Robust affiliate platform features include:

  • Customizable reporting on clicks, leads, sales
  • Track sales by publisher, campaign and banner
  • Automated publisher payouts
  • Site monitoring for maximum uptime
  • Dedicated support team
  • Mobile app for monitoring anytime

For high-ticket major retailers, Rakuten Advertising provides the advanced affiliate features needed paired with strong merchant relationships.

ClickBank

ClickBank affiliate marketing platforms

ClickBank is a digital marketplace specialized in info-products, memberships and ecommerce. Low approval rates make it best for established affiliates.

Overview

  • Founded in 1998
  • Focus on digital goods
  • High 75% commissions on gravity-ranked products
  • Cookie duration of 60 days
  • $10 minimum payout
  • Payments via direct deposit, wire or mailed check

Commission Structure and Opportunities

ClickBank pays some of the most lucrative commissions in affiliate marketing:

  • 50-75% on digital products
  • Recurring income on memberships
  • Upsells increase earnings per referral
  • Gravity score bonuses for promoting top-selling products

Their digital focus allows affiliates to scale growth.

Product Marketplace and Categories

All products on ClickBank are digital for instant delivery. Top categories include:

  • Fitness, diets and weight loss
  • Business, marketing and finance
  • Computers, internet and eProducts
  • Cooking, food and wine
  • Sports, travel, arts and entertainment
  • Spiritual, self-help and motivational

Niche info-products convert well for engaged audiences interested in specialty topics.

Unique Features and Resources for Affiliates

ClickBank provides helpful tools and resources like:

  • Product sort by gravity score and popularity
  • Affiliate page with custom promo tools
  • Sales dashboards for managing multiple campaigns
  • iPhone app for tracking on-the-go
  • Contests and special offers to boost earnings

For info-products and established affiliates, ClickBank is a top choice. But their strict approval process for new affiliates poses a challenge.

Impact Radius

Impact.com affiliate marketing platform

Impact Radius delivers high-converting partnership opportunities across many verticals including retail, finance, health, insurance and more.

Introduction

  • Founded in 2008
  • Over 850 advertiser programs globally
  • $50 minimum payout
  • Cookie duration set by each advertiser
  • Payments via PayPal, wire, ACH

Commission Structure and Payout Options

Typical commission models include:

  • Pay per sale or lead
  • Percentage bounties
  • Recurring revenue share for monthly signups

Rates range from 10-50% for sales and $5-$250 per lead, depending on the vertical.

Notable Brands and Merchants

Top advertiser partnerships include:

  • Udemy
  • HelloFresh
  • Leesa Sleep
  • FabFitFun
  • Parker at Quail Ridge
  • Norton Security
  • Houzz
  • Shutterfly

Impact Radius spans hot verticals like education, food, fitness, real estate, and tech.

Advanced Tracking and Attribution Features

Robust affiliate platform features include:

  • Multi-channel tracking across social, display, email
  • Attribution modeling for influencer partnerships
  • Automated optimization for higher ROI
  • Customizable analytics and campaign reporting
  • Dedicated support managers
  • Integrations with Google Analytics and major ecommerce platforms

For big commission rates across top verticals, Impact Radius delivers. Their tracking and integrations enable granular optimization.

FlexOffers

FlexOffers affiliate marketing platform

FlexOffers provides access to many niches through diverse mid-tier merchant relationships beyond major mass retailers.

Overview

  • Founded in 2009
  • 5000+ advertiser programs
  • $50 minimum payout
  • Cookie duration varies by advertiser
  • Payments via check, wire, Payoneer

Commission Rates and Earning Opportunities

Typical commissions include:

  • 25-50% for sales or leads
  • $1-$100 per free trial signup
  • Up to 100% for recurring subscriptions
  • Bonuses for top performers

Rates depend on each advertiser. Volume-driven earnings are possible in niches like finance and dating.

Wide Range of Merchants and Product Categories

FlexOffers provides affiliates access to long tail niches via merchants like:

  • Online education platforms
  • Insurance comparison sites
  • Goal achievement programs
  • Productivity tools
  • Health and wellness companies
  • Consumer financing services
  • SaaS and tech solutions
  • Email marketing providers
  • Website builders and hosting companies
  • VPNs and identity protection

The breadth of niche advertisers on FlexOffers allows laser-focused promotion targeting specific audiences.

Tools and Support for Affiliates

Notable features include:

  • Dashboard for managing campaigns, ad creatives and links
  • Advanced conversion tracking and attribution
  • Optimized payment processing procedures
  • Dedicated account managers provide support
  • API integrations with analytics platforms
  • Built-in ad serving and link cloaking

For niches beyond mainstream retail, FlexOffers provides the relationships and tracking needed. Their dedicated reps and account management improves the publisher experience.

Awin

Awin affiliate marketing platforms

Awin helps affiliates collaborate with advertisers across Europe and globally. Their site claims to have pioneered affiliate marketing.

Introduction

  • Founded in 2000
  • Headquarters in London
  • Over 12,000 advertisers
  • Auto-approve for most publishers
  • $20 minimum payout
  • Payments via bank or electronic transfer

Commission Structure and Benefits

Typical commission models include:

  • 1-40% for sales
  • Signup bonuses for leads and trials
  • High recurring commissions for subscriptions

Top rates up to 80% are offered in certain niches like finance and travel.

Global Network of Merchants and Brands

Awin provides affiliates access to brands across Europe including:

  • Unilever
  • Samsung
  • UnderArmour
  • Nespresso
  • Clinique
  • ASOS
  • Ebay
  • L’Oreal
  • Groupon

They also offer select US and global brands. Verticals span retail, travel, automotive, and B2B.

Advanced Tools for Affiliate Marketing

Robust features help optimize performance like:

  • Customizable reporting and analytics
  • Multi-channel tracking
  • Automated payments with reliable processes
  • Dedicated account management
  • AI optimizations driven by data
  • Coupon management for tracking offline sales
  • Integration with Google Analytics
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For expanding your affiliate business globally, Awin provides the scale and tools needed. Their forward-thinking AI innovations enhance outcomes.

Avangate (now 2Checkout)

affiliate marketing platforms: Avangate affiliate marketing platform

Avangate, recently rebranded as 2Checkout, focuses on software, SaaS and digital products. Their proprietary Avangate Affiliate Network (AAN) powers digital commerce.

Overview

  • Founded in 2004
  • Avangate Affiliate Network launched in 2009
  • Merged with 2Checkout in 2017
  • Headquarters in Amsterdam
  • $100 minimum payout

Commission Structure and Payment Options

Avangate offers attractive commissions on digital products:

  • 25-40% on software and SaaS
  • Up to 80% for the first payment on subscriptions
  • Additional commissions for add-ons and renewals

Payments are made monthly via PayPal, wire transfer, and ePayment options.

Digital Products and Software Categories

Top products include software for:

  • Anti-virus and security
  • Business and productivity tools
  • Education and eLearning
  • Design, imagery and video
  • Gaming
  • Audio and music production
  • Web development

Niche vertical market solutions also offer high commissions in areas like payroll, point of sale systems, engineering tools and more.

Resources and Support for Affiliates

Key features include:

  • Real-time customized reporting
  • Automated affiliate payments on schedule
  • Dedicated affiliate managers provide support
  • Coupons and deals to boost conversions
  • Marketing creatives and promotional tools
  • Built-in publisher site monitoring for maximum uptime

For digital products, SaaS and software, Avangate’s mature affiliate program converts optimized traffic. Their dedicated support helps new affiliates excel.

Clickbooth

affiliate marketing platforms: clickbooth affiliate marketing platform.

Clickbooth is a large affiliate network known for high payouts across categories like software, dating, and finance. They are particularly strong in CPA offers.

Introduction

  • Founded in 2002
  • Headquarters in Sarasota, Florida
  • Over 2000 active campaigns and offers
  • $100 minimum payout threshold
  • 8% to 20% commissions across top offers

Commission Structure and Opportunities

Clickbooth pays attractive rates across major verticals:

  • Dating offers earn up to $145 per lead
  • Finance campaigns pay $40 – $75 per submitted form
  • Free trial CPA offers pay up to $3 per signup
  • Software and SaaS programs earn 10-30% per sale

They specialize in maximizing monetization from visitors.

Categories

Top categories include:

  • Dating and relationships
  • Webcam and adult
  • Entertainment and gaming
  • Finance and crypto
  • Health, beauty and fitness
  • Shopping and ecommerce
  • Software and SaaS
  • Sports and recreation
  • Streaming and utilities
  • Travel and hospitality

Unique Attributes

Compared to mainstream affiliate networks, Clickbooth is known for:

  • High payouts for lead generation and sales funnel optimization
  • Proprietary compliance and fraud monitoring
  • Dedicated affiliate management and optimization insights
  • Strong presence in dating and adult niches

For affiliates focused on generating leads, calls and funnel conversions beyond last-click sales, Clickbooth provides high commissions and support. Their advanced compliance capabilities enable promotion of offers often blocked on other networks.

Impact of Affiliate Marketing Platforms on Revenue Generation

affiliate marketing platforms, future trend in affiliate marketing.

Impact of Affiliate Marketing Platforms on Revenue Generation

Choosing the right affiliate platform is crucial for maximizing revenue and growth. The technology, tools, and advertiser relationships enabled by platforms directly impact earnings.

Success Stories and Case Studies

Many brands have exploded growth through affiliate marketing platforms:

  • Dollar Shave Club partnered with Commission Junction to launch an affiliate program focused on cost-per-acquisition. Affiliates drove over 26% of new customers and millions in revenue.
  • Candid Co. worked with Rakuten Marketing to drive sales of clear aligner therapy. Affiliates increased sales 169% over 2 years by leveraging Rakuten’s geo-targeted tools.
  • Robinhood leveraged Impact’s Gen Z and millennial reach to acquire new app users. Their $10 Sign Up offer converted high volumes through gaming and college affiliates.

Tips for Maximizing Earnings on Affiliate Marketing Platforms

Follow these best practices:

  • Analyze advertiser leaderboards and promotions to identify top converting offers in your niche.
  • Closely track custom metrics like CPA, ROI, CVR to optimize spend.
  • Take advantage of platform tools for creating landing pages, email campaigns, and promo materials
  • Leverage coupons, deals and time-limited bonuses to boost conversions.
  • Communicate with your affiliate manager to gain insights and negotiate higher payouts.

Continuous testing and optimization focused on ROI unlocks platforms’ revenue potential.

The key is selecting platforms with high relevance between advertisers and your audience. Aligning with specialized platforms tailored to your vertical ensures you can add the most value to potential customers. The technology enables monetization, but strategic human insights maximize it.

Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Platform for Your Niche

affiliate marketing platforms. Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Platform for Your Niche
The best Affiliate Marketing Strategies

With so many options, how do you select the best network?

Considerations for Selecting the Best Platform

Look at factors like:

  • Your website’s niche, vertical and target audience
  • Where you can add the most value based on interests
  • Which platforms have the merchants that best align
  • Cookie duration and commission rates
  • Whether the network reaches your target geography

Reviewing the category focus, key advertisers, commission structures and geographic strengths of each platform indicates which is most suitable.

Matching Platform Features with Your Business Goals

Evaluate which platform features best support your objectives like:

  • Attribution modeling for influencer partnerships
  • API integrations for your ecommerce or CRM platform
  • Coupon and deal management for offline affiliate sales
  • Account management and dedicated reps if you need high-touch support.

Selecting a platform tailored to your niche and goals sets you up for maximum success.

Tips for Success in Affiliate Marketing

Beyond choosing the right platform, a few best practices ensure growth.

Building a Strong Online Presence

Focus first on quality content, SEO and social media growth to start driving free organic traffic. Paid ads are easier to scale profitably once you have authority.

Creating High-Quality Content for Promotion

Offer in-depth value and education tailored to what your audience wants to learn. Promote offers as helpful recommendations, not spammy ads.

Engaging with Your Audience and Providing Value

Build trust and community. Active social media, email list-building and highly relevant content keeps people engaged.

Legal and Ethical Considerations in Affiliate Marketing

As an influential marketer, you’re responsible for legal and ethical practices.

Compliance with FTC Regulations

Clearly disclose affiliate links and do not misrepresent products. Beware making any unsupported claims.

Transparency and Disclosure Policies

Inform audiences when content contains affiliate links. Be upfront, honest and authentic.

Avoiding Fraudulent Practices and Scams

Only promote legitimate offers that deliver on promises. Do not use fake reviews or bots. Vet offers thoroughly.

Operating with integrity and transparency ensures long-term success and audience trust.

Future Trends in Affiliate Marketing

Future Trends in Affiliate Marketing: Best affiliate marketing platforms

Several emerging innovations may shape affiliate marketing’s future:

Emerging Technologies and Innovations

  • Integration with live shopping and influencer commerce
  • Leveraging AI tracking and machine learning optimization
  • Targeting ads with enhanced personalized data signals like location and voice search queries
  • Affiliate programs within mobile apps disrupting traditional purchase flows

Predictions for the Evolution of Affiliate Marketing Platforms

  • More platforms branching into B2B services, SaaS and lead generation beyond ecommerce sales
  • Rise of niche marketplaces with laser-focused vertical advertiser pools
  • Shift from last-click to algorithmic multi-touch attribution and AI-driven optimization to better reward influence
  • Expansion into emerging social commerce channels and integrating with in-app purchases

As technology enables more advanced targeting and tighter attribution, affiliates can unlock new opportunities. Partnering strategically with the right platforms will maximize monetization.

Conclusion

  • Recap of Top Affiliate Marketing Platforms – Amazon, ShareASale, CJ, Rakuten, ClickBank, Impact, FlexOffers, Awin, Avangate and others each have unique strengths.
  • Final Thoughts on the Importance of Affiliate Marketing in Ecommerce – Partnerships with relevant content creators, influencers and affiliate marketers enable brands to tap into new audiences and scale growth far beyond their owned channels.
  • Encouragement to Explore and Utilize Affiliate Marketing Opportunities – The diverse range of platforms allows you to find ideal merchants and programs tailored to your niche, audience and goals. Testing different options unlocks powerful monetization potential.

Affiliate marketing remains an extremely effective channel. Choosing the right platform positions you to turn your influence and audience reach into earnings. Thoroughly evaluating multiple networks leads you to the best fit. With the continued innovation in technologies for optimization, attribution and personalization, affiliate marketing offers engaging opportunities ahead for motivated partners.