Yesterday Apple sent an email to publishers in its iTunes Affiliate Program saying that apps for iOS and macOS will no longer be included in the affiliate program from October 1st.
They said that with the launch of the new App Store interfaces for both platforms, these new methods of app discovery means there will be far less focus on the Affiliate Program.
Apps and in-app purchases for macOS and iOS will be completely removed from the Affiliate Program but all other content types including music, movies, books and TV shows will remain in the program.
The email says: “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.”
Apple has provided 7% affiliate rates through for apps through its iTunes Affiliate Program for a long time. Apple reduced the rate for in-app purchases from 7% to 2.5% last year and where also going to reduce the app purchase rate to 2.5% but they changed their mind after pressure and protests from publishers.
The company paid its affiliate rates from the 30% cut it receives from App Store sales. The removal of apps and in-app purchases from the iTunes Affiliate Program will see the end of a revenue stream for many publishers who will now have to look at new ways of supporting and monetising their apps in future.