Apple is the 3 largest company in the US. They are a brand known by every consumer — regardless of age or income.
Who wouldn’t want to be associated with Apple?
Apple has a few current affiliate programs, a few levels of affiliates, and a discontinued affiliate program.
The main affiliate program is called the Performance Partners Program.
Let’s jump in.
Apple Affiliate Program
Types of products: iTunes purchases and Apple Music Subscriptions
Where to join: Apple Affilaite Program Enrollment
Commission structure: 7% iTunes, up to 100% first month Apple Music
Cookie length: 1 Day
Payment Methods: PAYPAL, ACH
iTunes Downloads Affiliate Program
The affiliate program is managed byT by Performance Horizon Group (PHG). PHG reviews all of the iTunes affiliate applications. They take about one week. When approved, you get a log into the PHG Dashboard where you will find your affiliate token. This is the suffix you can add to your links– the key to getting credit. This means you can create deep links though and send your visitors directly to any iTunes page.
iTunes Music Subscription Affiliate Program
The iTunes Music affiliate program is part of the same PHG supported marketing program as the downlaodable products at iTunes. It pays 100% of the first months subscription. The key here is to get them signed up for the free trials. Let Apple do the conversions.
Apple Premier Partner Program
For larger publishers, Apple has the Premier Partner Program. This is designed for high traffic sites that will for instance drive 500-1000 trials per month. The benefits of this program are …
- Paid on trial start. The regular program pays at the end of the 90 day trial. Premier Partners are paid at the beginning.
- Get paid more. The Premier program members are paid 2x -to 3x more than the Standard program … 70% to 100% of the membership amount upfront ($7-$10).
- More tools and creative. Premier Partners can get custom creative marketing artwork.
- White-glove support. Premier Partners get ‘premium support including help developing creative artwork, checking links, and more.
iTunes App Affiliate Program Discontinued
There was a bit of a shock to the affiliate program when Apple stopped the App affiliate program.
This seemed to effect a number of developers who counted on commissions to sites monetizing via these commissions.
People were quite upset. Some article headlines …
“Apple Kills App Affiliate Program In Pointless Dick Move”
“Apple is ignorantly killing the App Store affiliate program”
“Apple Kills the App Store Affiliate Program, and I Have No Idea What We Are Going to Do.
““I don’t know how the takeaway from this move can be seen as anything other than Apple extending a massive middle finger to sites likes TouchArcade, AppShopper, and many others who have spent the last decade evangelizing the App Store and iOS gaming.”
Apple Products and Affiliate Sales
iTunes, App Store, Apple Book Store
The iTunes affiliate links will earn commissions are eligible on sales in the iTunes Store, the App Store, and the Apple Books Store.
Apple Music is the music subscription service from Apple. It is similar to Spotify.
There is no affiliate program for Apple Store or other computer, phone, tablet etc. sales. If that is an important part of your business you will need to look at other affiliate programs that have Apple gear. Some places that sell Apple and have an affiliate program include …
Check the commission rates closely as things like iPhones may not qualify for affiliate payments.
Apple Commission Rates and Rules
Apple pays form 2.5% to 7% of each qualifying sale in iTunes including movies, TV, iBooks. They occasionally have double commission and other promotions.
Apple music pays 100% of the first months subscription. It is not recurring.
Standard Program Rates and Information
100% first month
2.5% of sale
7% of sale
7% of sale
7% of sale
Affiliate Tools and Support
Apple provides a number of linking and marketing tools to assist you including ..
- embeddable widgets for songs, and playlists
- badge art.
- Link Maker — Build custom links
- Banner Builder — Build custom banners
- Feeds and apis including: iTunes Search API, MusicKit, and Enterprise Partner Feed
How to Promote Apple Online
At 7% I wouldn’t be spending a lot of money on advertising. It is unlikely the commissions will exceed the ad-spend. That leaves Social Media and content marketing.
This is the foundation of almost all affiliate marketers and even more so for an Apple affiliate. You are going to want to focus on traffic and getting people to take a free trial. Try to create campaigns that will drive trials and get into the Premier partner program.
Apple is a natural for social media. You can create links to free content in your posts and get them “cookied” on Apple for a potential conversion. This is particularly effective with the Apple Music program which has a 30-day cookie.
Pros and Cons — Apple Affiliate Program
Dedicated in-house affiliate management
Free iMusic trials
100% of iMusic first month
Can be difficult to get approved for Premier program
Just 2.5% for music downloads
How much does Apple pay affiliates?
Apple pays up to 100% of Apple Music subscriptions and 7% of Itunes purchases.
How long do you have to make a sale from someone who uses your affiliate link?
Apple has a 1-day cookie. The customer must purchase within 1-days of arriving with your affiliate link to receive the commission.
What products are eligible for affiliate sales?
Apple will pay for Apple Music subscriptions and iTunes paid downloads. Affiliates typically promote the free Apple Music trial.
Does Apple run its own affiliate program?
Apple's affiliate program is managed by Performance Horizon Group (PHG). PHG provides affiliate support and marketing materials.
Should You Become an Apple Affiliate?
For some reason, the Apple affiliate program does not get a lot of love from niche marketers. It is much like the travel affiliate programs. These are fairly easy conversions — after all who wouldn’t take a free Apple trial?
The issue is you need a lot of traffic to Apple. This program is best to supplement ads on info sites with lots of content, lots of traffic.
If you fit the description the Apple program will be a winner.