Apple on Thursday said it will discontinue the ability for websites that share links to Apple apps to earn affiliate revenue for directing traffic to Apple's App Stores.
The decision was made based on features in the new app stores for iOS and Mac. The company opened an updated online iOS App Store in iOS 11 and plans to introduce a new Mac App Store for macOS Mojave.
Some developers took to Twitter to vent. “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,” tweeted Federico Viticci, founder and editor-in-chief of @MacStoriesNet and @ClubMacStories.
Last year Apple reduced its affiliate partners’ commission rates from 7% to 2.5% of the funds generated from iTunes-related purchases, including apps, but that will change October 1, 2018 when it plans to completely remove commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content from the program.
All other content types such as music, movies, books, and TV remain in the affiliate program, the company wrote in a post.
In January, Apple Music increased commissions for its affiliate base program members. The company increased payments on April 5, 2018 to affiliates on Apple Music globally, paying twice as much. Affiliated entering the program earned a one-time 100% commission on the first month of a user’s subscription to Apple Music -- twice the existing rate that pays 50%.