I've heard a few people say they think affiliate marketing is a current trend that wont last very long. I don't really see why this should be the case. Companies are always going to seek effective ways of promoting and selling their products.
If anything, I think the affiliate marketing industry will get bigger as companies learn what works and what doesn't. The more people you have trying hard to sell your product the better, right?
What do YOU think the future holds for affiliate marketing with respect to the 1) the consumer 2) the affiliates and 3) the merchants?