Apple Cuts Affiliate Commissions on Apps and IAPs 

A few hours ago, Apple emailed members of its iTunes Affiliate program:

Starting on May 1st 2017, commissions for all app and in-app content will be reduced from 7% to 2.5% globally. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) will remain at the current 7% commission rate in all markets. We will also continue to pay affiliate commissions on Apple Music memberships so there are many ways to earn commissions with the program.

I don’t link to many apps from 512 Pixels, but when I do, it is with an affiliate link, and the generally do pretty well. In a world with falling web advertising rates,1 this is going to really hurt some websites.

John Gruber:

Everything about this strikes me as strange, including the mere one week notice and the severity of the cut. It’s not a small reduction — it’s effectively been cut in one-third. Note too that Apple is only reducing the affiliate commission for apps and in-app purchases — movies, music, and books are all still at 7 percent.

The single week’s notice is pretty lame, too.


  1. And RSS sponsorships that have become harder and harder to sell. 

LivePhotoKitJS »

Apple has introduced a JavaScript library to play Live Photos on the web:

By including the LivePhotosKit JS script on your page, you can create players by simply adding declarative markup to your HTML. As the page loads, LivePhotosKit JS will determine what player instances are on the page and initialize them. You can use any HTML tag that supports child nodes.

At minimum, each tag requires the following data attribute: data-live-photo. Doing this allows LivePhotosKit JS to find the DOM elements to be initialized as players.

I’ve come around to really liking Live Photos, but I don’t think I’ll be enabling them for the photos I share here. Most of my photos for the site aren’t shot with an iPhone, anyways.

AppStories »

AppStories is a new podcast by Federico and John over at MacStories. Here’s Ticci writing about the show:

Just like MacStories is our personal chronicle of the world of Apple, AppStories will be an ongoing exploration of the world of apps. Our goal is to provide listeners with a fresh perspective on the App Store and its ramifications with episodes that are easy to follow, well-researched, and respectful of their time.

We want AppStories to stand out as the premier show entirely focused on apps. That includes interviews with app makers, an analysis of the app culture and opportunities created by the app economy, as well as stories about our own relationship with apps. We have a lot of ideas for topics to cover, and it’s going to be a long journey.

I’ve watched the MacStories team work on this and polish their amazing website for months, and the output is really great. At 30 minutes once a week, this is a no-brainer addition to your podcast app of choice. I’m already looking forward to episode 2 next week.

Video: The iPhone 5c »

In 2013, Apple didn’t simply knock $100 off the price of the iPhone 5 when the 5s was announced. Instead, it replaced it with the plastic, colorful iPhone 5c.

The 5c was pretty much an iPhone 5 with a slightly larger battery and a better FaceTime camera, wrapped in a seamless, colorful plastic case. To date, I think this iPhone feels better in-hand than any other.

Leading up to this, there were many rumors about a cheaper iPhone. The 5c was decidedly not that phone; all it did was take the place of the iPhone 5 in the $100-less-than-it-used-to-be spot in the lineup.

Apple didn’t get into why the iPhone 5 disappeared so quickly. Perhaps it was a manufacturing issue, or they couldn’t get costs down enough to offer it for less. Whatever the reason, I’m glad the 5c exists. It’s just a lot of fun.

The 5c was available in five colors, and Apple made a unique, hole-punched case in six colors. It was easy to customize a look to your certain tastes. I’ve recently rounded them all up and made a little video about this unique iPhone:

You can download a bunch of high-quality photos of my iPhone 5c collection as a 434 MB .zip file here.