Apple, who just yesterday announced a $53 billion profit in a single quarter (driven largely by the iPhone and its App Store), is shutting down the affiliate program for the App Store. Meaning blogs that cover the App Store and highlight great apps will no longer be able to get paid for driving traffic. With only 60 days notice, Apple will stop paying developers for the traffic they’re already sending and just take the money for themselves.
I don’t know how to view this as anything other than a “screw you, we got ours” move. Apple has the cash to run this program into perpetuity. With the App Store in the millions of apps, there is always room for more voices of curation, because the most valuable marketing is word-of-mouth. Developers won’t see lower rates and customers won’t see lower prices. There is no upside to anyone here except Apple, the richest company on the planet. It doesn’t make any sense.
Eli Hodapp of TouchArcade:
I don’t know how the takeaway from this move can be seen as anything other than Apple extending a massive middle finger to sites like TouchArcade, AppShopper, and many others who have spent the last decade evangelizing the App Store and iOS gaming.
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.
Daily reminder that if you truly want your favorite blog to stick around, make sure to support them directly, whitelist them for ads, buy through their podcast sponsors, etc.
This has the potential to kill sites like Touch Arcade that use the revenue from App Store affiliate links to stay afloat. I think Apple’s stated reasoning for this action is utterly ridiculous and complete bullshit. But it also shows the danger for any site or business to rely too much on one source of revenue.
The affiliate program was not huge for me, but it was a nice small check every month. I imagine this will particularly hurt small blog/news sites that do a lot of app coverage, however.