On Tuesday, Apple announced its best June quarter ever, with services revenue of $9.55 billion — up 31% year over year. And a large part of that is App Store revenue.
On Wednesday, Apple announced an end to its App Store affiliate program, which paid a small commission for links that resulted in the purchase of an app.
This is what Apple sent out in an email late last night to program members:
Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.
Needless to say, developers who used the program as a way of recovering a small amount of direct sales revenue and media who used it as a way to pay the bills, including salaries, were apoplectic.
Bad things said badly
The optics, announcing the end of the program right after announcing record-setting profits, were terrible. And the tone of the announcement itself was read by many as cold… even callous.
With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program.
It’s my understanding Apple didn’t intend for it to sound that way, but from an outside perspective it felt a lot like “hey, thank you for putting me through graduate school but I’ve found someone younger, hotter, and far richer than you now. So… byeeeeeee!”
Which is a gut-punch, and illicits the same reaction Facebook and Twitter have gotten in the past when their policies of diminishing and removing revenue stream after revenue stream have forced people into, essentially, subsistence developing.
When a mega corporation that has billions of dollars looks at the dozens of dollars you have and, instead of figuring out ways to help you both grow and succeed, instead decides it simply has to have your dozens of dollars as well. Because more. More!
It’s the classic blunder — cutting someone else’s line instead of growing your own. And it also feels incredibly short sighted. Especially when it comes to the larger Apple community, and the ability to sustain many and diverse voices.
Greg Pierce, developer of Drafts: Read More>>>