Apple Cuts Affiliate Commissions on Apps and In-App Purchases

John Voorhees, MacStories:

Today, Apple announced that it is reducing the commissions it pays on apps and In-App Purchases from 7% to 2.5% effective May 1st. The iTunes Affiliate Program pays a commission from Apple’s portion of the sale of apps and other media when a purchase is made with a link that contains the affiliate credentials of a member of the program. Anyone can join, but the Affiliate Program is used heavily by websites that cover media sold by Apple and app developers.

In the four hours since I received Appleā€™s notice in my inbox earlier today, I’ve been completely puzzled by this move. Why drop the affiliate commission, but only for apps? Why now? Would this make more sense if we knew of any plans Apple might have for the App Store that they could unveil at WWDC?

While I’m part of the iTunes Affiliate Program, I rarely link to anything and I’ve made something like $70 in the entire time I’ve had the account. It doesn’t affect me directly, one way or another, but this sucks for any online publication with a revenue stream dependent on affiliate commission.

Update: This has been clarified by Apple, as of May 4: only in-app purchase commissions are being cut.