Apple Removes Apps From iTunes Affiliate Program

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today announced that it is removing iOS and Mac apps from its affiliate program, which means websites who share links to Apple apps will no longer be able to earn affiliate revenue for directing traffic to Apple's App Stores.


According to Apple, it has made the decision to remove apps from its affiliate program due to the launch of the revamped App Stores for iOS and Mac. Apple rolled out a revamped iOS App Store in iOS 11, and is planning to introduce a new Mac App Store in macOS Mojave.
Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.
Apple currently offers its affiliate partners 7 percent of the money generated from an iTunes related purchase, including apps. Last year, Apple attempted to drop that rate to 2.5 percent on apps, but kept it at 7 percent after backlash from developers and publishers. Commission rates were, however, dropped to 2.5 percent on in-app content.

Apple plans to remove commissions for iOS apps, Mac apps, and in-app content from its affiliate program starting on October 1, 2018. Other content, including music, movies, books, and TV, will remain in the affiliate program.

Article Link: Apple Removes Apps From iTunes Affiliate Program
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
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Yes, thanks. I wrote this in a bit of an astonished daze. It's very bad news for small sites like AppShopper and TouchArcade that really rely on this revenue and have directed traffic to Apple's App Stores for YEARS. :(
On the plus side it puts an end to a lot of the garbage ones too. Far too many use shady techniques and crap reviews to bring traffic in.

Any decent site should have other sources of monetization. Relying on just one or two is stupidity.

I'm sure Arnold will be fine with the many other ways he monetizes MacRumors, AppShopper, and TouchArcade.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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The only way I would find this at all acceptable is if Apple also reduces the cut they take from developers from 30% down to 15% or less. Or if they ditch requiring the app store at all for distribution.

Yes, thanks. I wrote this in a bit of an astonished daze. It's very bad news for small sites like AppShopper and TouchArcade that really rely on this revenue and have directed traffic to Apple's App Stores for YEARS. :(
If Apple were to reduce the cut they take from developers, maybe we (developers) could work something out with you (review websites). Have referral links where we know how many sales you lead to for us, and we give you some of that cut? It wouldn't be the same, since you wouldn't be able to review anything on the app store and expect a cut for it, leading to bias in only reviewing stuff where you can get a cut... but maybe we can get a majority of developers to agree to it?
 
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charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
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You mean click bait mills.
not all review sites are click mills but re: those that are, I'm not crying that they lost this income. they make legit review sites look bad
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The only way I would find this at all acceptable is if Apple also reduces the cut they take from developers from 30% down to 15% or less. Or if they ditch requiring the app store at all for distribution.
that makes zero sense. Apple never had to actually have this program, which comes out of their cut of the sales not the developers. they did it to promote the store but the store doesn't need it anymore. so they are ending it. if some site goes bankrupt because that was their only income or a developer goes bankrupt because they only marketed their app via such sites, neither is really Apple's concern. the website and the developer are totally to blame
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

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The only way I would find this at all acceptable is if Apple also reduces the cut they take from developers from 30% down to 15% or less. Or if they ditch requiring the app store at all for distribution.



If Apple were to reduce the cut they take from developers, maybe we (developers) could work something out with you (review websites). Have referral links where we know how many sales you lead to for us, and we give you some of that cut? It wouldn't be the same, since you wouldn't be able to review anything on the app store and expect a cut for it, leading to bias in only reviewing stuff where you can get a cut... but maybe we can get a majority of developers to agree to it?
The developer fee of 30% is awesome for developers. You should see how much they pay a normal retailer or someone like Amazon. 30% is a steal.

What Apple gives you with their platform is well worth the money. The ability to get in front of millions of people for just a small cut? Done deal. Being in the App Store has the ability to get you exposure you'd never get on your own website in a million years. There's a reason most developers are cool with it (it's generally the crummy little ones that would never be seen anyways that complain).
 

bobbolink

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2018
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You mean click bait mills.
No, you're wrong about that. Don't know where that even comes from, unless you're not familiar with sites like Appsliced, etc.

I think they do a lot. For one thing, they allow you to research the apps, will e-mail you recommendations if you subscribe, Appsliced keeps an ongoing record of price fluctuations and offers recommendations on whether to buy now or later, suggest a target price based on pricing history, and they will, upon request, notify you when an app reaches your desired price. It's a lot of work (I have spoken to the site owner) and deserving of compensation. I am beginning to think this is the age of the intolerable, shameless greed ruling the day, "screw you, Jack, I'm all right."

Apple hasn't been the company I knew for quite some time, and the fans will continue to enrich them no matter what. Their stuff is pretty and, when it works and is not being shafted by another not-ready-for-release update, elegant and usable. But like many large corporations, they're all about the shareholders and the money. This is a slap in the face directed at people who helped put their underpowered toy on the map and make it a part of tech history. It is despicable in my opinion and getting harder to support.
 

Scottsoapbox

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
852
3,019
Improved AppStore discovery?!? Are they joking? Even complete and exact app name searches fail to bring up that app!

It’s like Apple lately just wants to see how much it can get away with and still make boatloads of money.
 

Dave-Z

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2012
688
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A few years ago I was a huge fan of Apple. Not so much now, and the reason is largely (but not entirely) things like this. It's another way for Apple to improve its bottom line, and it's getting to be too much.

I use AppShopper regularly. The App Store itself sucks for discovery, even with all the redesigns/tweaks they've been doing over the years. So now AppShopper gains nothing by providing a good service?
 

TimmeyCook

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Jun 20, 2018
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AppShopper and TouchArcade aren't good, they are excellent.

But for those good sites, there are hundreds of click bait mills who are good for nothing besides peddling crap overpriced software that burns costumers away from the AppStore.

No affiliate links shouldn't impede anything. There are lots of magazines covering PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, etc. and they get nothing if a costumer buys a game from their recommendation.

Also, there's an inherent incentive to give good reviews to any piece of crap game as long as it's expensive, and bad reviews to good software that's actually good.
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I wonder if Apple is trying to squeeze out google and Facebook, with smaller sites being caught in the crossfire.
Those App placements that appear on Facebook, it's advertising paid the devs beforehand.
 
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Swampthing

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Mar 5, 2004
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Well there are a good number of affiliate sites out there, there are still a few who simply recycle press releases. Womp, womp for them.
 
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JosephAW

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May 14, 2012
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Hello Apple? Not all of us users are or can run the latest iOS and MacOS. What? Will the links and apps just go dead? Imagine if Amazon announced tomorrow that there was no longer an affiliated program for books? Same outrage.
 
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TimmeyCook

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Hello Apple? Not all of us users are or can run the latest iOS and MacOS. What? Will the links and apps just go dead? Imagine if Amazon announced tomorrow that there was no longer an affiliated program for books? Same outrage.
No, they won't go dead.

And what has that to do with "running the latest version of iOS"?
 
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KiwiAdventure

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Dec 7, 2010
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We don’t need 90% of these apps as I keep mostly my Apple hardware clean of apps. I would rather have Apples own apps and learn those fully than play around with a lot of apps.

You’ll have to all get real jobs :(:)