With reality-checks setting in, and corporations dying off and being bought out, do you see the big 3 (CJ, BeFree, LinkShare) hanging in there?
Being difficult to find burn rates and cash available info on each, my speculation is from an active affiliate's standpoint on each.
CJ - merchant/affiliate neutral - proactive in making changes now to achieve profitability while still alive, such as higher merchant fees, stronger fraud prevention, site and backend upgrades, and lessening resource load (such as dropping current product links [speculation]).
BeFree - pro-merchant - have seen very little in changes for affiliates - basically the same-old, same-old. Fewer merchants, very lacking in support, difficult site usability.
LinkShare - pro-merchant - no recent changes, but decent support and lots of merchants. Terrible back end, site useability, and accounting.
For these guys to succeed, they have to support both sides - affiliates and merchants. Merchants are nothing without active affiliates and vice versa. CJ seems to be the only one to get this right. LinkShare has many negatives, but I don't think it would take a whole lot to turn their program to a much more workable one for affliates. BeFree, with almost non-existant support, the smallest number of merchants, and various other problems would seem to be the first on the way out - unless they still have loads of cash to burn (which they may).
I would like them see them all survive, but with a more balanced model. What's your point of view?