Apple's Affiliate Commission Changes Only Apply to In-App Purchases? [Update: Yes]

by

Last week we reported that Apple had emailed all iTunes Affiliate Program members to inform them that its commission rate for all apps and in-app content would be reduced to 2.5 percent on May 1, down from 7 percent, globally.


The news came as a blow to app review and discovery websites like AppShopper and TouchArcade that depend on the commissions to generate revenue.

However, this morning MacGamerHQ posted an email communication from iTunes Affiliate Support that casts doubt on Apple's original announcement.


The message above was received in response to a query about whether Mac apps would be impacted by the commission changes. As shown, the email states that iOS and Mac app commissions remain at 7 percent, while only in-app commissions will fall to 2.5 percent.

If the affiliate team's information is accurate, then the change in commissions does not apply to individual app purchases, as Apple originally stated.

MacGamerHQ notes that several affected site owners and bloggers are still seeing 7 percent commissions come through for iTunes affiliate links, despite the fact that the changes were meant to come into effect on Monday. We'll make sure to update this post if/when Apple clarifies the situation.

Update 5/8: Apple has confirmed in a note on its Affiliate Resources website that the commission rate change only applies to in-app purchases (2.5 percent, down from 7 percent). All other rates remain unchanged.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
45 months ago

I'm cynical today, it strikes me that this wasn't news before and still isn't and the only reason MR is covering it is due to the impact on your sister company. Personally I've just been annoyed the handful of times I've clicked an app link here and been dumped onto app shopper rather than iTunes App Store.

Pretty harsh. In my experience MR always provides [direct links] to the App Store alongside App Shopper links, and it states them as such. Just look for the square brackets.

This post from yesterday for example: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/05/03/clips-update-live-title-improvements/
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

I'm cynical today, it strikes me that this wasn't news before and still isn't and the only reason MR is covering it is due to the impact on your sister company. Personally I've just been annoyed the handful of times I've clicked an app link here and been dumped onto app shopper rather than iTunes App Store.

I'd like to see you try keep a site like MR running, as a healthy business not to mention too.

Personally, I'd rather see ref links over banner ads any day of the week, they need/use both and it's alright I think.

You're getting plenty for the zero dollars you spend here and I'm super fine with them getting kickbacks in a neutral way (ref-link over sponsorship) from these app links.

When it comes to IAP, I think Amazon Underground has it absolutely nailed. If you've never heard of it: imagine downloading Candy Crush, but you can get any unlimited amount of IAPs without actually having to pay any money for them. Amazon then pay developers based on minutes of in-game time.

This then means that people play a bloodsucking game like Candy Crush and blast through all the levels within about 20 minutes. They realise it's a crap vacuous game without any substance, delete it, and never play it again.

If Apple did something similar it would be an incredibly aggressive move, yet nothing but a good thing IMO. I feel such a move can only encourage more quality apps and better developers in the long term.

Kinda agree, too bad the Underground will be shut down this Summer though.

Glassed Silver:ios
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
Does this mean that Apple takes less from developers? Or that the developers get less?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
When it comes to IAP, I think Amazon Underground has it absolutely nailed. If you've never heard of it: imagine downloading Candy Crush, but you can get any unlimited amount of IAPs without actually having to pay any money for them. Amazon then pay developers based on minutes of in-game time.

This then means that people play a bloodsucking game like Candy Crush and blast through all the levels within about 20 minutes. They realise it's a crap vacuous game without any substance, delete it, and never play it again.

If Apple did something similar it would be an incredibly aggressive move, yet nothing but a good thing IMO. I feel such a move can only encourage more quality apps and better developers in the long term.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

When it comes to IAP, I think Amazon Underground has it absolutely nailed. If you've never heard of it: imagine downloading Candy Crush, but you can get any unlimited amount of IAPs without actually having to pay any money for them. Amazon then pay developers based on minutes of in-game time.

This then means that people play a bloodsucking game like Candy Crush and blast through all the levels within about 20 minutes. They realise it's a crap vacuous game without any substance, delete it, and never play it again.

If Apple did something similar it would be an incredibly aggressive move, yet nothing but a good thing IMO. I feel such a move can only encourage more quality apps and better developers in the long term.

How's that sustainable?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

I stand by my statement, I think it's entirely fair to point out a potential link between story selection and direct (to the parent company) financial gain.

It would be fair to point it out if MR and other affiliate sites were the only ones reporting this story. They are not. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find any Apple-centric site that didn't report this exact story. The implication of ulterior motives should, at a minimum, contain some connection to supporting evidence. Your implication contains none.

Consider the long term implications on the Apple ecosystem.

Let's examine the implications of diminished IAP. It's by far and away, the largest revenue generator in the app store. What is going to replace it? Remember, Apple is trying to grow the category, not shrink it. How is that going to affect the stock? Apple isn't going to throw away continual daily income on the hopes that single purchase apps are going to somehow grow sooooo much in popularity that they will counter the lost revenue of IAP. Like it or not (I'm firmly in the not camp) the customer base has spoken. IAP is their preferred method of wallet draining, and that is the biggest hurdle Apple would have to overcome to take the app store in a different direction. They aren't jumping that hurdle. Why would they?

The problem is that iaps tend to be skewed towards games, which can in turn discourage the development of quality productivity apps as developers flock to where the money is.

You're going to have to walk me through this logic. There are no correlations that make this work. There are literally hundreds of thousands of business and productivity apps in the app store. There is no dearth of app development for business/productivity apps. It's the 2nd most popular category on the app store behind games. There is also no correlation between more devs and more quality apps. IAP has been the financial driver in the app store for a long time. If devs were going to flock to where the money is, wouldn't they have already done it?

Do you want your iPad to be stuck as a hearthstone device forever? That's not a healthy market scene at all.

Both my iPads are sitting in a drawer collecting dust along with my Android tablets. Tablets have lost their appeal in my household. But when they did play a part, it was in the role of consumption device.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...