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.
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.