Despite the recent cuts in the commissions earned from the iTunes affiliate program, enrolling for the iTunes affiliate program could be exactly what you need to make a little more money from your blog.
Through this affiliate program, you will be earning commissions on your qualifying revenue through linking to Apple products like Apple Music as well as iTunes where you could use the link to promote books, music, and movies, among others.
You could place the affiliate link in songs or to artists, emails or through a website app. This means that whether you are a software developer, a video producer, a podcaster, or even a writer, among other professionals, you could earn from promoting an iTunes link on your site.
Before we look at the actual ways you could participate in this affiliate program, remember that the affiliate program is commission-based.
You only earn if users take action in the iTunes Store, the Mac App, the iOS app store or the iBooks store using an affiliate link which identifies you as the link creator.
If a user on any of these apps/ platforms uses the link and their action results in a sale, you receive a 7 percent commission from Apple.
Note that the commission earned is Apple’s share of their transaction proceeds rather than the media creator.
In the process, everyone wins:
- You’ll earn a 7 percent commission
- Your users benefit from the link they click on
- The media creator will record higher sales
In the process, all these steps increase the value of Apple devices
How to participate
First, sign up
You need to be part of the program to earn a commission for promoting an affiliate product.
So, create an account with your username, contact information, password, and every other detail necessary to be a member of the iTunes Affiliate program.
Besides your basic information, you also require an active website for the approval of your application.
And no, your social media pages do not count, regardless of the number of followers you have. Which means that if you don’t have an active website, your application will be rejected automatically.
PHG, Performance Horizon Group runs the iTunes Affiliate Program, and they are they are the ones who will review your application. Expect their feedback in about one week.
If they approve your application, you will receive a confirmation email with a link that logs you into the PHG Dashboard. On the dashboard, you will get the affiliate token which is the key to the creation of the affiliate links.
Setting up payments
Once approved and after you receive your token, you should enter your payment details. You can do this in the Payments tab in your dashboard. Input all the necessary details of your banking information – to get paid.
The good news is that your earnings will be available in multiple currencies since the iTunes store is operational in about 148 countries worldwide.
If you are getting paid through different currencies, make a point of entering your banking information for those currencies. You could also make the changes later on when your details change.
You get paid your commission 90 days after you earn the commission. The minimum payment threshold set by PHG is $30.
About the iTunes Affiliates link
For anyone looking into joining the iTunes affiliate program, it is important for you to understand the elements of the link even before you learn how to earn from it.
The link has several bits including the Base URL which links to an Apple store. Then, there’s the Geo Prefix which has location details.
Though a fairly new feature, the geo prefix is a powerful part of the link and it mitigates issues like regional restrictions for movies, music, and TV links.
Since music, movies, and TV distribution is geographical and not always available within the same time frames, the geo prefix ensures that the link works in the named location when needed to.
The prefix is used to redirect to the appropriate media store in the user’s home country.
Its use also maximizes your commission by ensuring that the links you create will be available in as many locations/ countries as possible.
The affiliates link will also have a two-character country code to which determines the store that people get directed to when they click on your link.
The URL also has action but which is generally the media’s category. Using this action, you’ll know the media category that your media gets linked to.
Affiliate Token is the money-parameter added after the question mark in the URL. Without the token, people will click on your media, but you will not earn a commission.
The other elements of the URL you should be aware of include the campaign token, the Ampersand, the identifier, description, iTunes ID, the Question Mark, the media type, and the provider token.
How does the program work?
As mentioned above, you earn a 7 percent commission for successful sales.
Note, however, that you will only earn commissions from your affiliate links if you append the token to the iTunes URL using the at=*myAffiliateToken* format.
To create your links, copy the iTunes URL using the Copy Link from the share icon then add the token to the URL.
What you might not know is the affiliate links you receive have a shelf-life once a user clicks on them. So, after publishing the link, you could earn as much commission from the link as possible – as long as the linked media is available. So, as long as your site attracts a substantial amount of traffic, your earnings from a single link could be high.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that you only earn a commission for purchases which are made within 24 hours after the affiliate link is clicked on or if that person clicks on an affiliate link generated by another user.
Though promising, one of the biggest limitations to the use and the success of the iTunes affiliate program is the fact that the commissions are limited to specific devices.
The other problem is that you will only earn commissions on the in-app purchases made from the app you are linking to. Any in-app purchase from a different app will not count.
And, there’s the fact that Apple Music is not very reliable and that they could have some of those affiliate tokens appended to their account.
On the bright side, you can test the link beforehand.