[Updated] Apple Slashes App Store Referral Commission Rates; Which Makes Now a Great Time to Show Your Support for AppleVis by Making a Micro-Donation

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

update 8 May

Apple has issued a clarification statement in which it says that its original announcement was misinterpreted and the changes to affiliate commission rates for App Store purchases aren’t as drastic as people have widely believed and reported. It now appears that only the commission rate for in-app purchases is being cut.

At this point, it is unclear as to whether Apple has backtracked due to the response to the original decision; or whether their original announcement was very poorly phrased. This 9to5Mac report provides some more information on Apple's original announcement; the reaction; and the clarification statement.

What is clear, is that our original post was inaccurate.

Please accept that it was never our intention to deliberately mislead; and to use this as a way of encouraging people to make donations. We have always relied on financial support from the community to maintain AppleVis; and this is likely to remain the case regardless of any revenue that is generated from affiliate links. Those links are only a way that we seek to cover some of the costs.

However, we are mortified by the thought that People may have made a donation on the basis of something that turns out not to be true. So, we shall be contacting everybody who has made a recent donation to let them know of Apple's clarification; and confirming whether they still wish to make that donation.

Original Post

It's likely that some of you will have read reports over the past few days on how Apple has announced that it is reducing its App Store affiliate program commission rate from 7% all the way down to 2.5%; starting May1.

For the unfamiliar, this affiliate program enables online content publishers to use a referral link when linking to apps in the App Store. If people follow one of these links, a tiny percentage of any resulting sale is paid by Apple to the originating website as a commission.

With online ad revenue in decline, these affiliate commissions have become a significant revenue stream for many websites that write aboutApple and apps. Some popular and high-profile websites, such as TouchArcade, are already warning of how this 65% cut to commission earnings may result in them no longer being financially viable and lead to their closure. Early signs certainly hint at rough times ahead for some of the sources that many of us rely on for Apple and App Store news.

We use referral links on AppleVis; not because we have wages to pay (remember, all of those involved with running AppleVis, do so on a voluntary basis and receive no financial recompense for their time), but because there are financial costs from maintaining and developing AppleVis for the community.

We want to stress that the changes to Apple's affiliate program should not bring into question the continued existence of AppleVis. However, as we receive no external funding, the reality is that it will make it harder to cover the bills. This is why we are asking you all to consider helping. by making a regular micro-donation towards the upkeep of AppleVis.

Currently, fewer than 0.06% of the people who are registered AppleVis users make a regular micro-donation (that's 0.1% of those who receive our monthly newsletter; 0.08% of those who follow us on Twitter; and 0.004% of the unique visitors to the website in a typical month). We understand that not everybody is in a position to financially help - and we truly appreciate each and everybody that already does. However, if we could bump this number up to only 1%, any concerns about keeping the lights turned on at AppleVis would immediately be eased.

We truly hate having to post this kind of request to the community. However, if you believe that the value of AppleVis to you and others is worth the equivalent cost of just one app each month, then do please consider making a regular micro-donation. Of course, if you prefer, you can also make a one-off donation, which would be equally welcome and appreciated. Additionally, do please continue to follow the links on AppleVis when planning to download an app from the App Store.

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Submitted by Betsy on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

Can you get on their list of organizations that receive donations?

Submitted by Kareem Dale on Monday, May 1, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

I don't work for or with Apple Vis and don't personally know any of the people that run this website. I only mention this so it's clear no one has personally asked me to write this, and I have no secret motive. This is an outstanding website that many of us benefit from. The website has significantly improved my ability to use and benefit from Apple products. The percentage of people making small donations should be much higher than the percentages that were identified. I already make a monthly donation, and I am going to increase my donation based on the above information regarding the percentage reduction by Apple. Everyone has their own circumstances and financial pressures and certainly everyone can't donate. And, I'm not attacking anyone that doesn't or can't donate. I'm only putting out a positive message that if you are capable of donating and think that we benefit from this website, I encourage everyone to think about a small monthly donation.

Hi Kareem,

I just wanted to pop in and thank you for your very kind words of support for AppleVis and our community.

Knowing that people appreciate and value all of what our community offers truly means a lot to all of us on the Editorial Team.

As we said in our original post, we understand that not everybody is in a position to help financially. We get that completely; and certainly wouldn't want anybody to feel obliged to donate or to feel any sense of regret if they are not able to do so.

The most valuable and appreciated thing that anybody can ever do for our community is to simply get involved whenever the opportunity presents itself. After all, the value of AppleVis comes from having a community of people with a broad range of areas of interest and expertise; who can help each other with all of the opportunities and challenges that using Apple products can present.

I do, however, want to publicly thank you and everybody else who has been able to help cover the financial costs of maintaining AppleVis. This is truly appreciated and makes AppleVis possible. Thank you all!