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Apple stops ‘affiliate’ program and especially nudges Apple sites

Serious problems arise for a large number of websites Apple focused, especially those who focus on iOS apps. This is because Apple has decided to stop the affiliate program from 1 October this year. That program allowed sites to generate links to the App Store and if you then bought something as a consumer, the site in question got a percentage of it. That percentage was already reduced from seven percent to 2.5 percent last year, but now Apple no longer sees added value in third parties that make people aware of fun apps.

The company from Cupertino thinks it can do that better now. With the renewed app store in which every day is written about new apps and which of them would be worthwhile, all those external parties are no longer needed, they think. There are, according to Apple, enough new ways to discover apps. Apparently, all sites, YouTubers and others that paid attention to iOS apps are not useful enough to give them a meager reward.

This measure affects mainly busy sites such as Touch Arcade, Appshopper and other Apple and App Store-focused sites. These were all to a greater or lesser extent dependent on the income from the affiliate program and must now – while all other ways of generating money on the internet are also drying fast – see if they can stay in the air. For some it is a drop, as the founder of Touch Arcade, who in a blog indicates on the site that he no longer knows what he needs to do to survive. “I really did not think that it would eventually be Apple that would do Touch Arcade bad luck”.

No one is happy with this change

That’s awful for the people who work there, but also on the side of the developers they are far from happy with this action from Apple. If all those third parties who talk about apps on the net can not continue or are dependent in another way, that creates a climate in which you, as an app developer, are completely dependent on Apple for your reputation. That will be a death blow for many smaller developers.

It fits into the trend of the last time where very large parties swallow up everything and the little ones can hardly survive. The reason Apple gave for stopping the affiliate program is not enough to not want to have as-good-as-free acclaim for apps on your own platform (which you also earn).

But why are they doing this now?

The theory that Apple also intends to give developers a larger share of the revenue (now there is still 30 percent deducted from all sales) would be more likely. Of course, Apple does not want to give up unnatural profitability, so if something does not come in somewhere, it needs to be compensated. If that is the case, then it means that Apple has lost a significant amount to affiliates, which in turn means that all those sites are of use to users, since they are used to click through and buy apps.

When it comes to change for Apple it would be even worse, because then Apple apparently wants people to only look in the App Store for new apps at the expense of all kinds of (enthusiastic, until now) websites that inform people about the brand. A landscape where people have different sources to discover apps and find out if they are good is good for consumers. That Apple apparently does not think that is so important is damn pity.

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