iTunes Affiliate Changes

In case you never got around to slogging through the approval process for Linkshare link kickbacks, you can cross that off your todo list now: there’s a new affiliate scheme in town!

As a valuable member of the iTunes, App Store, iBooks Store and Mac App Store affiliate program, we want to alert you to some important program changes. We are no longer using the Linkshare or DGM networks, so if you are an affiliate in these programs, you need to migrate to the new program.

Performance Horizon Group (PHG) will support our new affiliate program. To continue earning commissions without interruption, you must set up a new affiliate account with PHG and update all existing Linkshare and DGM affiliate links before October 1st, 2013.

We have improved and expanded our program to create a more global platform with enhanced reporting capabilities. The new program terms include a higher 7% commission on eligible sales within a 24-hour purchase window. You can use the same new affiliate tracking token for US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Japan and more. Tradedoubler links are not impacted by this change.

Here’s the FAQ explaining the new links, and the affiliate resources page, but you can skip those and just read this nicely done overview:

iTunes Affiliate Linking

Locate the product you want to link to in iTunes and copy its link. This should look something like https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audiobooks/id311507490?mt=8

Locate your affiliate token. This is in the upper-right corner of your PHG overview screen. It should look something like 10l4B9.

To create an affiliate earning link simply append &at=token to the link. If your iTunes link doesn’t already include a ? then append ?at=token.

(Optional) If you want to track the performance of this link specifically you can then add a campaign token to the link. This is basically just a string that is meaningful to you which will be associated with all purchases resulting from this link. For example, you could add a blog tag to all your blog links to see how they perform. To append a campaign token simply add &ct=campaign_token to the link. The exact text you use is entirely up to you. It just needs to URL-safe and no longer than 45 characters.

You now have a fully formed affiliate link.

Simpler, more international, better paying, what’s not to like?

Oh … that’s right … all those links out there in apps out the wild that are going to be broken until the unlikely event that we ever get around to updating them. Bah. Too bad we’re not as clever as Michael Tsai here:

New iTunes Affiliate Program

I never liked the LinkShare URLs, and I’m not really a fan of the iTunes ones, either. So I’ve been using an Apache .htaccess file to create friendlier links. For example:

RedirectPermanent /store/mac-app-store/eaglefiler http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=gEdNJG0Aalw&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Feaglefiler%252Fid414232012%253Fmt%253D12%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

This redirects http://c-command.com/store/mac-app-store/eaglefiler through LinkShare to the Mac App Store. Fortunately, this means that there’s a central place to update all the links. I also use this approach to create true permalinks in my apps for certain sites that often break their page URLs.

Yes, doing something like that would certainly have been a clever and forward-looking idea. Ah well, barn doors and horses. We’ll be ready for the next affiliate change!

UPDATES:

Parameters of iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store links

“Want to link directly to Watch App Store? Include &media=watch in your App Store link.”

A Comprehensive Guide to the iTunes Affiliate Program

Apple Music Best Practices for App Developers

Seven Percent of Nothing Equals Nothing

Apple Slashes Referral Commission Rates, Directly Impacting the Future of TouchArcade

Alex | August 22, 2013

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