A little over a year after cutting the sharing rate from 7% to 2.5%, Apple is discontinuing its affiliate program for the App Store found on its hardware running iOS and macOS.
The announcement was made on Apple's official iTunes affiliate page, stating in both English and Japanese that the affiliate program will be removed from both the iOS and Mac App Store's apps and in-app content. The trillion-dollar company cited "increased methods of app discovery" from the updated Apple App Store as the reason for retiring this program.
Though affiliates will no longer receive commission based on apps and in-app purchases, they will still be able to earn commission on customers that buy books, movies, music, and television shows from iTunes using their referral links.
Sites that sustain themselves of affiliate revenue, such as TouchArcade, have written disparaging posts following the move. Alternative revenue streams, such as affiliate links via Amazon and direct funding from users via Patreon, may be needed in the near future for sites of this kind.
Apple has set the cutoff date for its App Store affiliate program to October 1st, 2018.