The poker affiliate world is set for a major shakeup on June 1 thanks to a recent announcement by PokerStars.
In an effort to redistribute its marketing budget, PokerStars has informed its affiliates that the way it handles revenue share agreements will change.
Traditionally, affiliates have relied on two sources of income from online poker sites such as PokerStars: Cost Per Acquisition (a single payment per player recruited) and revenue share (a cut of the rake a player generates).
While the former offers a one off payment, the latter can provide a continual source of income for affiliates and, therefore, is often a preferred option when agreeing to terms with an operator.
However, for those with a particular interest in PokerStars, that may not be the most lucrative option now as the operator has decided to limit the length of time it will honor revenue share deals.
According to a recent email sent out to affiliates, from June 1, PokerStars will be limiting the earning potential on a player to two years.
“We believe that this change will ensure that the PokerStars affiliate program rewards affiliates who join PokerStars in introducing the game to new audiences, rather than the current program which disproportionately pays affiliates for rake generated by existing players,” read the email from PokerStars.
This change of policy means that any player recruited by an affiliate before June 1, 2013, will no longer be eligible for revenue share payments.
For affiliates, this restriction will force a change to the way they count PokerStars players as part of their overall business model and factor in that a player’s “use”, in a business sense, will only be valuable for two years.
From PokerStars’ perspective, the new deal is a way to divert funds into other areas of the business to help it grow into new markets and, in its words, “appeal to wider demographics.”
Essentially, PokerStars is on a mission to move forward and use money to tap into previously untapped markets, rather than continue to support existing players.
This change of policy should, ultimately, result in a more diverse playerpool at PokerStars; however, it could come at the cost of many affiliates.
PokerStars is the largest online poker site in the world and many of its players were encouraged to make their first deposit through an affiliate.
Because of this, many of the world’s leading affiliates will suffer a significant drop in revenue once all its players registered before June 1, 2013, are wiped from PokerStars’ database.
Moreover, there are additional concerns among some affiliates that this culture could spread throughout the industry.
The direction PokerStars takes is often one that’s followed by smaller sites and if this happens is could severely impact poker affiliates in all corners of the industry.