Hydra Dumps 15,000 Affiliates

Chris Trayhorn
by Chris Trayhorn
March 10, 2010

Hydra Networks has announced that with immediate effect it has terminated the accounts of over 15,000 publishers. The news comes as part of a new push by Hydra to attract mainstream brand advertisers and set themselves apart from “ad networks peddling nutraceutical diet remedies, cash grant opportunities, tooth whiteners and other non-branded campaigns of low consumer value.

This rush to quality on the part of one of the biggest networks around can be seen as a new stratification of the performance marketing industry. At the high end we are likely to see more big, invitation-only networks focusing on serving major brands. At the lower end we are going to see a bunch of CPA networks scrabbling to sell the slew of new make-money-online products from various online marketing gurus as publishers and networks look to make up for lost rebill income.

Rebill offers provided many with massive returns for little effort, but have been followed by a matching contraction in the marketplace as the credit card companies and the FTC have clamped down. It’s no secret that many of the CPA networks that sprang up in the last 12 months are now in trouble.


The offers they were running last year became commoditized with the result that the networks had to chase traffic volume via ever-increasing publisher payouts. Margins got squeezed, more networks entered the fray, and then the FTC came calling. For some, the last few months have been a great time to catch up on their tan in Costa Rica while waiting for the fuss to die down.

But Hydra is making a clear statement that they want to be seen as the leaders at the other end of the market. Our view is that this is the right approach for the industry. You may remember Jason Calacanis upsetting a few people at the Affiliate Summit a couple of years back with his statement that affiliate marketers needed to stop thinking small.

He’s been proved right. The industry made a few quick bucks, but many of those gains have been lost again.

Now though, as the economy recovers, big brands and their agencies – and their absolutely enormous budgets – will be looking for real ROI from their marketing. The performance marketing industry needs to grow up, put away the childish toys, and make some real money by delivering that ROI to them.

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Chris Trayhorn

About Chris Trayhorn

Chris Trayhorn is the Founder & Editor of Revenue Performance magazine and the CEO of mThink LLC, a performance marketing services company based in San Francisco. Chris has worked on marketing campaigns with over 200 of the Forbes Global 2000. Friends say he knows a lot about a couple of things and a little bit about everything. He likes motorcycles, Manchester United and making pictures.

View all posts by Chris Trayhorn

4 Responses to “Hydra Dumps 15,000 Affiliates”

  1. pauls Says:

    I can’t imagine why anyone would want to drop so many affiliates i’m a member of every major publisher network and run ads, it’s not my main source of income but its nice getting a check every few months no matter how big. Dumping affiliates for low performance isn’t that great especially when they have ads up for advertisers.

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  3. ociedolson Says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon! I think this is a great move and should improve operating costs and improve profitability. Hopefully it doesn’t kill their volume too much. It is clear though that they are taking a market position to go after premium advertisers.
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  4. merryrienstra Says:

    How can they terminate so many member at a time? Making children toy is good idea. And after success in that they can start making sports related things also. It can be start of whole new career. Rolex Watches