In a development that was least expected, Apple has announced its iTunes Affiliate Program will no longer be in existence starting October 1. The company also explained the move claiming it has been done since its own app discovery measures introduced over the months have started to reap benefits, enough to stop its reliance on third-party news sites and other referral programs.
Explaining further, Apple said they have their own editorial team that works towards boosting the discovery prospects of the app, with over a million people actually taking the time to read the articles posted in the Today section. Apple said the figure is applicable for the past month with the trend remaining strong over the past nine months. This along with other measures introduced last September have already started to bear fruit, as is evident from a study conducted in May that revealed a considerable improvement in keyword searches and referrals.
That apart, Apple also said another reason they decided against relying on external referrals to its app store is that the iOS and macOS app stores have also been segregated. In other words, both the iOS and macOS apps will have their own app store in iOS 11 and Mojave respectively. The company, however, clarified other contents such as e-books, music, movies and TV titles had been kept out of the above move.
Apple had also reduced the affiliate commission rates from 7 percent to just 2.5 percent earlier. That was in April 2017, just after the revamped app store was launched. However, the subsequent backlash from developers and publishers forced the company to retract its decision even though the commission rates were kept at 2.5 percent for all purchases of in-app contents.
The latest decision too hasn’t gone down well with news sites and others who rely on the referral program to drive growth. With the commission abolished entirely, its only the other stuff such as e-books, movies music and such that they would be relying on for their revenue.