Apple sent out an August 2018 newsletter for their Apple Affiliate Program yesterday, which announced the company would be ending commissions for iOS and Mac apps, along with in-app purchases, starting October 1, 2018.
The full text reads:
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.
For more information on commission rates, please see our Commissions and Payments page on the Affiliate Resources site.
If you have questions, please visit our Helpdesk.
As stated, Apple says the program still remains for music, movie, book and TV purchases. The sudden end of the program for iOS and Mac apps comes as a crushing blow to small publishers who relied on these small, but important commissions as part of their revenue stream.
Reaction to the news quickly led to some swift reaction on Twitter:
Without notice, Apple just killed the App Store affiliate program- The only reliable revenue source for sites like TouchArcade, AppShopper, and others. This is unbelievably terrible news for all third party App Store editorial. https://t.co/nsCAapp3zj pic.twitter.com/2znXq8kanj
— TouchArcade (@toucharcade) August 1, 2018
Apple killing the affiliate program for apps feels downright hostile and petty.
I am personally not that affected because we saw this coming years ago and we adapted – but it’s a huge blow to small publications, indie devs, and others who rely on this to earn commissions. Sad. pic.twitter.com/CDeJMxoyVb
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) August 1, 2018
I always thought it was profoundly short sighted of Google Play not to provide an affiliate program.
Very sad to see Apple go this way now too.
Any revenue they save would be better invested in continuing to grow attention through affiliates.
Hopefully, they’ll reconsider. https://t.co/rxgAgDQmR4
— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) August 1, 2018
Over at iPhone in Canada, we never relied on these affiliate commissions from the App Store and Mac App Store. We really feel for publishers affected by this.