Thursday, November 15, 2007

Amazon Opens Affiliate Access to MP3, Unbox, OpenSocial and RSS

Amazon is announcing tonight the addition of some of the hottest items in its catalog to its widely popular affiliate program, its support for OpenSocial and a new level of support for RSS.

Digital Assets Now For Sale

Specifically, the thousands of full-length movie downloads offered by the year-old Amazon Unbox and the millions of DRM-free MP3 songs in the new Amazon MP3 service will be purchasable through affiliate links anywhere on the web. There's a whole lot that you can buy and sell through affiliate links to Amazon, but until now digital assets like movies and DRM-free MP3s were not among them.

Unbox affiliate sales have been available for weeks and MP3s for a month. Affiliate program participants are receiving 20% commission on movies and up to 20% on MP3s during the initial introductory period.

Though there is already a thriving trade in physical goods using Amazon affiliate links, these digital assets are likely to be much hotter selling items.

Amazon Goes OpenSocial

Additionally, the company is announcing its support for the Google-led OpenSocial protocol. The company says that starting tomorrow all "applications developers build with the Amazon Associates Web Service will work on all social networking sites that use Open Social." I won't claim to understand the affiliate program well enough to know why OpenSocial based apps couldn't use Amazon affiliate links prior to now, but I do know that Amazon is offering its own Facebook app called MP3Download Sampler - which anyone can add to their profile pages to display their favorite songs and links to buy.

RSS Feeds Now Available

Finally, Amazon's support for RSS, which has frustrated affiliate program participants in the past, has been upgraded. Believe it or not, until now there was no RSS feed officially available for the best selling goods in any category. With this announcement, there will be and that will be another way for affiliates to keep their links timely.

I'm guessing that it's the opening of MP3 and Unbox to the affiliate program that will probably make the biggest impact. I'm not a big OpenSocial fan, though, so I may be underestimating the impact of that part of the announcement.

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