The History of Affiliate Programs: "Many history reports give Amazon.com credit for being the first to introduce an Affiliate Program for the purpose of increasing sales in July, 1996. According to them, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, had a conversation at a cocktail party with a woman who owned a website and wanted to sell books about divorce on her site. Mr. Bezos allowed her to put a link to Amazon.com on her website and every time someone clicked on this link and bought a book, she would get a commission. On the Amazon.com Associates Program Frequently Asked Questions page on their website, this relationship was the creation of Affiliate Programs. They claim to be the "first on the Web" to launch an Affiliate Program. Now, however, with some deeper research, it's believed that it was actually the adult website marketers who were the first to use this marketing strategy."