Who uses ClickBank as a partner

Hidden Champion Digistore24: A German platform with an eight-figure annual profit

If you are not currently active in affiliate marketing or have already dealt with the sale of digital information products, you probably don't know Digistore24. The company is a real hidden champion with 300 million euros in external and 30 million euros in internal sales. In the latest episode of the OMR podcast, Digistore24 co-founder Sven Platte explains the business model, gives precise insights into company figures and takes a position on criticism of the scene.

In 2013, while studying dentistry, Sven Platte started selling a book about successful flirting in digital form over the Internet. At the US platform Clickbank, which enables such sales to be processed, he was the largest provider in German-speaking countries at the time, Platte tells in the OMR podcast. Because it does not properly reflect the needs of the European market, Platte starts building a platform together with two co-founders immediately after graduation, which should make it easier for German providers to sell digital products.

Affiliates pocket up to 70 percent of the sales price

Digistore24 today provides the "vendors", as the company calls the sellers active on the platform, with a comprehensive technical infrastructure. The providers can use the company's own Oneclickbusiness service to build their own online course from videos, images and texts. "End customers rate courses as being much more valuable than individual PDFs, sound files or videos," says 39-year-old Sven Platte. Once the course has been put together, Digistore24 enables not only the entire payment processing, but also the implementation of partner programs.

In this way, the "vendors" can recruit affiliates who advertise the respective product and collect a commission if they make a purchase. Digistore24 provides the tracking technology for this. The commission rates are usually significantly higher than with partner programs for physical products. It is not uncommon for between 50 and 70 percent of the product sales price to go to affiliates. Digistore receives seven percent commission from every sale plus an additional euro as payment for processing. “We're a bit like a bank - we get all the money and we distribute it,” says Platte.

"We already had to remove products"

Between 30,000 and 40,000 vendors (mostly course providers, but also a few software companies) are active on Digistore24. The prices for online courses are usually between 50 and 100 euros. Platte is aware that the industry does not have the best image - and its public perception is shaped by coaches who promise quick wealth, pose with expensive cars (which in truth are only rented) and content without the necessary substance deliver.

“We also had to remove products from the platform,” explains the Digistore24 managing director. He considers the approach of investing 80 percent of the resources in marketing and only 20 in the product to be unsustainable. In his own info products, in which he explains how one can develop one's own digital product and set up an online business, he preaches against such an attitude. "My ideal is that all vendors make products that make people happy."

Does Digistore24 already have a nine-digit rating?

So far, he and his two co-founders have not seen the need to take on external investors. He still sees too much potential in the market for an exit. Digistore24 is currently trying to gain a foothold in the US market.

From an entrepreneurial point of view, the figures so far are already impressive: With 70 employees at several locations, Digistore24 generates annual external sales of 300 million euros with all sub-companies, internal sales are around 30 million euros. In response to Philipp Westermeyer's estimate that Digistore24 could be worth 250 million euros, Platte replies: "Maybe 500 million euros."

Which vendors are currently going through the roof on Digistore24, how it came about that Sven Platte invested in a music studio in which star DJ Tiesto produces, and why some vendors also pay their affiliates 200 percent of the sales price - you can find out in the latest episode of the OMR Podcast.

Our podcast partner at a glance:

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At the end, as is so often the case, a note on our own behalf: Our new OMR report "SEO Pro" is here! On a total of 156 pages, we have turned the topic of search engine optimization again right on the left. Together with external experts, we get really deep into technology, on- and off-page optimization and tools - including checklists, screencasts, templates and and and. There were, for example, Andre Alpar as well as Magdalena Mues and Matthäus Michalik from Claneo. You can find more information and the report itself here.

All topics of the podcast with Sven Platte at a glance:

  • Who is the largest affiliate at Digistore24? (from 8:12)
  • How much revenue does Digistore24 make? (from 12:29)
  • How many vendors are active at Digistore? (from 16:07)
  • How much do the vendors invest in marketing, how much in content? (from 19:39)
  • Why does Digistore24 have a branch in Bulgaria? (from 22:16)
  • Why haven't you raised external capital or sold the company so far? (from 26:13)
  • Who are the best-known vendors on Digistore24? (from 27:32)
  • Can you make millions with information products? (from 28:29)
  • How does he feel about rip-off allegations against providers of digital information products? (from 33:25)
  • Who are the current shooting stars on Digistore24? (from 37:58)
  • How does Digistore24 win customers? (from 38:50)
  • Why didn't the classic affiliate networks set up a platform comparable to Digistore24? (from 43:15)
  • What is the fastest growing segment on the platform? (from 47:42)
  • How high is the company rating of Digistore24? (from 50:58)
  • How did it come about that Sven Platte bought a music studio? (from 52:20)
  • What other side businesses does Sven have? (from 59:44)

Have fun listening - and thank you for every positive review!