Today, Apple announced that it plans to remove apps and in-app purchases from its iTunes Affiliate Program by October 1st. The company cites its own editorial teams and discovery features as strong enough alternatives to third-party websites and news operations that have historically made money in part by referring their readers to the App Store.
The longstanding affiliate marketing service was a way to receive revenue from Apple that the company took out of its standard 30 percent iTunes and App Store cut, and that revenue provided a much-needed source of revenue for independent news sites and publications that wrote about and linked to mobile apps. As Apple puts it, the affiliate program is unnecessary “with the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery.” (Google does not maintain an affiliate program for the Play Store, given how many Android apps are monetized through advertising.)
Now, iOS-focused news websites like TouchArcade may have to shut down in absence of the much-needed financial resource. Here’s Eli Hodapp, who’s been TouchArcade’s editor-in-chief since 2009:
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