Published on 
September 23, 2021

One link to rule them all: The story of amzn.to

There is one link that dominates all other links. It belongs to one of the biggest companies in the world, and it represents a web of shopping and influence like no other. We are, of course, talking about amzn.to, the shortened link for the Amazon Associates program, the driver of the world's biggest affiliate program. In this piece we will be diving into the story of this link, how its dominance has grown to be the one link to rule them all.


Amzn.to has been around for a long time but, between 2012 and 2017, it saw a period of exponential growth in the number of mentions. It has reached the point now where there are almost 80k pieces of content a month generated with an amzn.to link in it.

Growth of amzn.to


By far, the biggest content segment for this growth has been YouTube but, since 2015 there has been a steady increase in the use of the link in the podcast space. When you look at the comparison between podcasts and YouTube, an interesting contrast emerges. In YouTube mentions and growth of amzn.to far outstrips the unmasked www.amazon.com whereas in podcast the opposite is it true

Comparing amzn.to and amazon.com in podcasts and YouTube


Lets aggregate

Top 10 languages in which the amzn.to link appears:

Top 10 languages in which the amzn.to link appears



Top content categories in which the link appears:


Top content categories in which the link appears


Top creators by impressions generated in which the link appears:


Top creators by impressions in which the link appears

How dominant is it?

The true test of dominance is when you can beat your rivals on their own turf. Walmart is battling with Amazon constantly for digital supremacy and they do come a distance behind. Lets filter the data just by United States creators as this is the strongest territory for Walmart and then look at only content where Walmart appears:


Total mentions of Walmart in content:

Total mentions of Walmart




Mentions of Walmart accompanied by a link to walmart.com:

Mentions of Walmart with the link walmart.com



Mentions of Walmart accompanied by an amzn.to link:

Mentions of Walmart with the amzn.to link


Walmart appears in 287k pieces of content by US creators with around 49B views. Of those mentions only 10k of them are linked to www.walmart.com. However of the 287k pieces of content 46k of them feature the amzn.to link. This is a typical example of what this phenomenon looks like in the content itself:


Youtuber Little Bit Of Calm and Crazy posted this video on Sept 1:

Little Bit of Calm and Crazy YouTuber mentioning walmart.com



Walmart is mentioned 4 times in the actual content itself, a very high value presence but when we look at a purchasing option, only Amazon is present. This is a phenomenon that happens all the time, with any shop you can think of.


The dominance of amzn.to is such that it is in more pieces of content with 3.61m that the word affiliate itself with 2.15m.

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