Apple’s Termination of App Store Affiliate Payments Is Unnecessary, Mean-Spirited, and Harmful

(Dennis Swaney) #22

Hmm, isn’t it interesting that this happens right when Apple exceed $1,000,000,000,000.00 US market capitalization. :wink:

(Dennis Swaney) #23

I still don’t really understand how this worked; was it similar to Amazon’s affiliate program?


I’ll bet they had it this scenario in mind when they initially cut the commission rate…if profits didn’t improve, it was probably not worth maintaining the program. Since they couldn’t predict the if and when of the trillion $ mark, at least someone in the PR department should have advised the powers that be to hold off on the announcement when they heard the news.

Amazon has been reducing commissions on affiliate programs (they have quite a few) for quite some time, and I have a feeling that down the road, they might end some of them.


Amazon has been one of the pioneers in online affiliate programs, if not the biggest pioneer. They have a lot more programs than Apple, as they have a whole lot more products and services. If I remember correctly, the commission rates vary pretty widely, and a lot of them are based on a sliding scale. There’s also a variety of commission structure between countries.

Like Apple, their commission rates have been trending downward. But a few years ago, Amazon got hit with a big problem…Walmart started an affiliate program similar to theirs.

(Dennis Swaney) #26

Thanks. Since I do all of my App Store purchases through iTunes, I never ran into an affiliate.

(Dennis Swaney) #27

That is a major problem with Apple: they act like Scrooge McDuck! It would cost them to keep the affiliate programs what, maybe 0.01% of their $11,520,000,000.00 3rd quarter profit?

(Adam Engst) #28

Here’s what Amazon’s rates look like now:

(Jeff Hecht) #29

To be honest, I can’t compare because I don’t have any of the original rates, and because the current version runs 12,560 words (according to Nisus Writer when I cut and pasted the document into it). I recall Amazon adjusted its rates to favor large-scale merchants, and pushed changes that would have changed my web site into an pure Amazon sales site. The clicks and sales being counted dropped like a rock in 2001, and some time afterwards I gave up on it as anything other than a way of making it easier for people to buy my books.


Adam Engst

Then Amazon started changing the rules and the income became a trickle. They haven’t killed the program, but they’ve squeezed it down to the point that it’s hard to make much money.

Here’s what Amazon’s rates look like now:

Woah! I didn’t know that Amazon paid out bounty rates, especially on free trials… and there are so many options with which hunters can collect bounties. And the rates here are very generous for one shot deals.

One of the big reasons why Amazon started its affiliate plans was not just to sell things, but also to accumulate as much data on anyone as they could. Twenty+ years in, there are more efficient and effective avenues online with which to get people to click on links, and better ways collect data and sell stuff. Communications and the WWW have evolved, and affiliate programs aren’t bringing in the bacon anymore.

Devices running Google’s Android didn’t start hitting the market until 2008, and Google had plenty of time to scope out iTunes, App Store as well as all Amazon’s affiliate programs and decided that an affiliate program wasn’t going to be worth it for them, either in terms of revenue or data collection. My thinking is that Apple stuck with the program for much longer than it was really worth, esp. since selling data isn’t their thing.

But Amazon’s bounty programs must be doing OK if they are shelling out $3.00 for a free trial.

(Adam Engst) #31

I don’t think I do either, but I do remember a point many years ago when revenue from those affiliate links dropped off radically for us too.

It would take me a bit of time to massage the Amazon data to find out by how much, and of course, since we don’t think about affiliate revenue at all when brainstorming articles, there’s no telling how much the decline might be to us writing about fewer products that could be purchased in Amazon.

(David Morrison) #32

“disappointed that a company that puts so much effort into bringing joy to users can simultaneously behave so callously to some of its greatest supporters.”

Disappointed? Really? When the whole history of Apple has involved kicking its greatest supporters in the teeth multiple times?

(Eolake Stobblehouse) #34

I agree. For a company which makes technology For The Rest Of Us, Apple can be pretty cold and small-minded.

Of course, for the biggest company to not be completely cold is perhaps remarkable.