Amazon signs 3-year Associated deal

Associated New Media, the online publishing arm of Associated Newspapers, has struck a deal with bookseller Amazon.co.uk to promote the revamped book retailer across all its sites.

The three year deal will see Amazon branded on all pages of ANM’s sites over the coming three years. Terms of the deal are undisclosed. But Paul Zwillenberg, managing director of ANM, confirms that the deal involves an upfront placement fee and a percentage revenue split on sales revenues resulting from the deal.

According to Zwillenberg: “Far from narrowing our focus in terms of growth, this deal with Amazon will complement our other revenue streams without compromising the quality of our products.”

The deal covers the promotion of Amazon’s planned push into music and video sales, as well as online bookselling, through ANM sites. These include the Evening Standard-based This Is London site (www.thisislondon.com), leading football site Soccernet (www.soccernet.com), and UK-focused Web search engine and directory UK Plus (www.ukplus.co.uk). The sites are estimated to attract 4.2 million, 10 million and 7 million page views a month respectively.

The deal follows hard on the heels of similar deals struck by Amazon.co.uk to become the exclusively promoted online bookseller on Virgin Net, and the launch of a major promotional push for the site on the Yahoo.co.uk service last month.

Rival deals struck by domestic and global music and video online retailers, such as iMVS and CDNow, for promotion on popular UK sites are thought to have prompted Amazon.co.uk to move quickly to ensure a future share of voice for its planned expansion of activities in Europe beyond bookselling.

Questioned last week on the value of such deals with popular sites, Amazon.co.uk’s managing director Simon Murdoch commented: “You have to take them on faith and take a risk. These deals are over one, two or three years, and we have to work with partners to make sure than they work for both sides.”

But David Windsor Clive, chief executive of UK-based iMVS, warned that US experience showed such “anchor tenancy” deals, offered to online retailers by popular portal sites, can prove expensive and generate poor rates of return in sales.

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