Today Apple announced plans to shut down the iTunes affiliate program with apps and in-app purchases. This decision will lead to losses of many technical sites working with Apple and its products.
Here's what the official e-mail says:
Thank you for participating in the affiliate program. With the release of the updated App Store in iOS and macOS, the way to find applications has improved, and we decided to remove them from iTunes. From October 1, 2018, the section dedicated to apps and in-app purchases will disappear from the program. Other content (music, movies, books, TV series) will still remain.
Many sites are concerned about the solution Apple. Here's what the Touch Arcade team writes:
Apple just announced that it is closing the affiliate program due to improved search in the new App Store. It’s hard to take it as something other than: “Previously, we didn’t appreciate the work of third-party sites, but now we don’t need them at all.” I really don't know what TouchArcade will do. Despite all the sticks that the industry has put in our wheels, we have always had profits from applications, because we attract many buyers for Apple. Apple seemed to show a huge middle finger to sites like TouchArcade, AppShopper, and others that have spent the last decade advertising App Store and games iOS. On the same day, the company announced that it had broken a record for revenue, earning $ 53.3 billion and $ 11.5 billion online alone.
The MacStories website drew the best conclusion:
What worries us is the overly hostile tone Apple in the letter.
'With the release of the updated App Store in iOS and macOS, the way we find apps has improved, and we decided to remove them from iTunes.'
It sounds like: 'Our new App Store is so good that we don't need you anymore.' If so, then the decision is stupid. Do not forget that all these sites and developers have earned millions of dollars for the company in recent years for just a modest 7% of earnings. Whatever the motivation, the decision was not fully thought out, and this is a shame.