John Voorhees, reporting for MacStories:
Today, Apple announced that it is reducing the commissions it pays
on apps and In-App Purchases from 7% to 2.5% effective May 1st.
The iTunes Affiliate Program pays a commission from Apple’s
portion of the sale of apps and other media when a purchase is
made with a link that contains the affiliate credentials of a
member of the program. Anyone can join, but the Affiliate Program
is used heavily by websites that cover media sold by Apple and app
With ad revenue in decline, affiliate commissions are one way that
many websites that write about apps generate revenue, MacStories
included. Many developers also use affiliate links in their apps
and on their websites to supplement their app income. This change
will put additional financial pressure on both groups, which is
why it’s especially unfortunate that the changes are being made on
just one week’s notice.
Everything about this strikes me as strange, including the mere one week notice and the severity of the cut. It’s not a small reduction — it’s effectively been cut by two thirds. Note too that Apple is only reducing the affiliate commission for apps and in-app purchases — movies, music, and books are all still at 7 percent.
I ask: Why? I can almost always see logic behind Apple’s decisions, even when I don’t agree with them. But not this one.
Update: I should add that I don’t have any skin in this decision, personally. I don’t use affiliate codes when linking to apps here at DF, and I’m no longer in Amazon’s affiliate program either. I think we did use affiliate codes at Q Branch to get a commission on links to Vesper, but that’s over now.
★ Monday, 24 April 2017