Apple reduces commissions to App Store affiliates by 64%
You may be seeing fewer links in this year’s “Best Apps for iPhone” lists.
TechCrunch is reporting that Apple sent a message to members of its App Store affiliate program. The email stated that Apple would be cutting commissions received by affiliates from 7% to 2.5%, which is a 64% reduction.
The App Store affiliate program allows outside sources to get a small kickback for including a link to a specific app on a webpage, Twitter account, or the like. Don’t confuse this with developers seeing a cut in income; Apple will keep the revenue sent to developers at 70% of the app purchase. This is only for those that advertise iOS apps with a specific referral ID, typically found in a tailored link to the App Store. When people navigate to the App Store through an affiliate link and make a purchase, Apple sends the affiliate attached to that referral ID a percentage of the revenue generated from the sale. Think of this program in a similar way as Amazon’s affiliate program.
While this shouldn’t affect the development of iOS apps much at all, it could have a heavy toll on one of the biggest advertisers for the App Store. Several major tech websites frequently publish iOS App lists and include affiliate links as a way to garner a bit more revenue, and some sites have built their entire revenue stream on these links. This cut in affiliate revenue share will hurt those sites quite a bit and may disincentivize others from putting much effort into future app reviews and lists.