Affiliate Program Solution Providers
Web sites with an affiliate program usually contract a third-party affiliate program manager
who provides statistics of referrals and commissions, and supports payments administering.
Examples of providers:
<http://www.befree.com> (chosen by Ancestry.com)
<http://www.commissionjunction.com> (chosen by Origins.net)
Genealogy.com is the second most important American commercial genealogy service
provider. It is built on the general business model in the field, i.e. content, community, and
e-commerce. Genealogy.com is a pioneer as well as a "late-comer" in the field. It is a
pioneer, because its foundation and key asset lies in software that helps genealogists build
their family tree.
The key software of Genealogy.com, the Family Tree Maker, was developed by Banner
Blue Software as a DOS product in the 80s. Its origin lies in a software that was meant to
primarily serve corporations in making organigrammes and charts, but the software has
found other applications, Banner Blue's founder, Kenneth L. Hess, did not think of:
"Although Genealogy.com's current development efforts focus on genealogy software
and Internet products, former President Kenneth L. Hess actually founded the company
(then called Banner Blue Software) with a different product line: Org Plus. Hess
bootstrapped the company in 1984 to develop Org Plus, a product that automates the
tedious task of creating and editing corporate organisation charts.The Banner Blue team
found that many customers were using Org Plus to create their family trees, so after further
research, Family Tree Maker was born as a DOS product in 1989, and it was an immediate
A short history of Genealogy.com
The genealogy of Genealogy.com is itself an interesting story: In late 1994, Banner Blue
acquired Automated Archives, Inc., to get into the genealogy CD-ROMs market, a line of
business, that is still pursued by Genealogy.com. In May 1995, Banner Blue was acquired by
Broderbund Software, Inc., that was purchased in August 1998 by The Learning Company,
Inc., which was purchased in May 1999 by Mattel, Inc.
Genealogy.com, LLC, formerly the Broderbund genealogy unit of Mattel, was launched in
the fall of 1999 as a new company by a joint-partnership including The Learning Company,
A&E Television Networks, Hearst New Media and Technology and other companies. It
received $37.5 million in initial funding. Located in Fremont, California, it then had 90
In February 2001, Genealogy.com LLC was acquired completely by A&E Television
Networks, which is a joint venture of The Hearst Corporation, ABC, Inc. and NBC.The
focus of A&E Television Network is clearly on broadcasting and related business lines
including television programming, home videos/DVDs, music CDs, magazine publishing,
as well as web sites.
With regard to the genealogy market, a clear asset of A&E Television Networks are its
historical TV channels:The History Channel,The Biography Channel, History Inter-
national, yet, with regard to e-commerce the interlinkage and cross-selling is rather weak.
ON THE RECORD