Update: Apple has officially clarified the situation, and indeed, just as I discovered when directly contacting the iTunes Affiliates team, the change only applies to in-app iOS sales, leaving Mac games and apps as is:
We’d like to clarify some changes being made to the Affiliate Program. Commissions for all iOS in-app purchases will be reduced from 7% to 2.5% globally, and all other content types (including music, movies, books, paid iOS apps and TV) will remain at the current 7%. For more information on commission rates, please see our Getting Started Guide.
I appreciate the news but seeing how they scared the hell out of content producers depending on affiliate sales to survive, an apology, or at least an explanation would have been nice.
Original story: It seems there has been a big misunderstanding.
Two weeks Apple shocked the press with the announcement that commissions for all app and in-app content would be reduced from 7% to 2.5%, effective May 1st.
A huge change that would deeply affect all sites that spend much of their day covering and reviewing apps (or focused on iOS or Mac gaming), Mac Gamer HQ included.
And by merely giving a one week notice, some wondered what was Apple’s plan here.
As officially announced by Apple:
Starting on May 1st 2017, commissions for all app and in-app content will be reduced from 7% to 2.5% globally. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) will remain at the current 7% commission rate in all markets. We will also continue to pay affiliate commissions on Apple Music memberships so there are many ways to earn commissions with the program.
The message is crystal clear, yet it seems that wasn’t exactly what Apple meant.
Because I never saw a clear mention of Mac Apps, I decided to contact the iTunes Affiliate team. Turns out, not only are Mac Apps not impacted. iOS Apps aren’t impacted either.
The change in affiliate commissions applies to in-app purchases only, at least according to their support team:
This also matches what some have noticed now that May has started. They still see 7% commissions:
Still seeing 7% commissions for iTunes affiliate links from May 1-May 2 ????
(Maybe dashboard is slow to catch up?)
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) May 3, 2017
— Giacomo Lawrance (@GiacomoLaw) May 3, 2017
And in fact, I still see the same commissions from my gaming reviews. I suggest Apple clarifies that all app commissions remain unchanged and stops the panic among bloggers and app reviewers.