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iTunes Affiliate program?

10-14-2009, 08:29 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 46
iTunes Affiliate program?

First of all, hi all. I've been lurking here a while but had my head buried in XCode and Photoshop too much to really post anything.

I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with the iTunes Affiliate program? As my app is getting closer to release, I was looking at the Marketing Resources section of the iPhone Dev Center and noticed that Apple was recommending this for a 5% commission of sales driven by your links. Brilliant, I thought!

Except when I actually went through the sign up process I just got a vague rejection email a few hours later, with the following possible reasons for the rejection:

-- The content is unrelated to iTunes
-- Your site is temporarily down or under construction please make sure to
apply again after 2 weeks.
-- A wrong or misspelled URL given in the application. Please correct the
problem and apply again.
-- Your site promotes tobacco, alcoholic beverages or excessive drinking/ drug use
-- Your site contains extreme religious content
-- Your site is international (with a majority of visitors based OUTSIDE the US. or written in a foreign language)

I had submitted my game's promotional site, www.AstroSerf.com. The big reason I can think of for the rejection is that it's pretty low traffic right now, but that wasn't in the list of possible reasons they gave me. I definitely didn't misspell the URL, and none of the rest seem to apply. Et tu, iTunes?

Update: For those interested, it turns out the application was auto-rejected due to not having a US address, as they have other programs in different regions. Given that most app sales come from the US of A, though, methinks the US program is the most desirable for iPhone devs (at least for apps in English). A polite email to an iTunes representative seems to be sorting it out, though.

I've emailed them for clarification anyway, so really that part is just me venting a bit. Really I was just wondering if many people had gone for the program, and if so how you got on with it.

Cheers!

-- DaVoid Digital --
Check out AstroSerf - Update now available!
>> For more information, mosey on over to AstroSerf.com
>> Follow AstroSerfGame on Twitter for the latest news!

Last edited by dawvee; 10-14-2009 at 09:48 AM.
10-14-2009, 12:55 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: SEOUL/KOREA
Posts: 114
I have about the same experience with you.
I was rejected due to my web site being not English based primarily and it's outside US.
I am going to try again with all English web site again soon.
I'll let you know!

10-15-2009, 09:57 AM
#3
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Thanks for posting this information. I'm interested to find out some more of the details about how the iTunes affiliate program works… As I use a UK iTunes account, if I click a US developer's affiliation link but purchase it from the UK store, does the dev still get their affiliate commission for that purchase?

If all countries are treated separately, that must make it very difficult for those devs who are using affiliate links to track CPM on the effectiveness of their ads.
10-15-2009, 11:13 AM
#4
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 46
AFAIK if a dev signs up as an affiliate in one region, they only get the commission for sales in that region. Also, the iTunes representative I spoke to informed me that a single website can only be affiliated in a single region, so unless you have multiple sites targeted to regions you have to choose carefully.

And yeah, tracking multiple regions sounds like it'd be a pain - the different region's affiliate programs are done through entirely different networks. The US is Linkshare, Europe is TradeDoubler, etc., and in some cases they offer different commission rates as well (Europe is only 4%, for example), but you wouldn't use these links on ads placed on other sites, as your ad provider will have their own tracking stuff.

The affiliate program is pretty much just for links in your own promotional websites/emails/whatever, not for ads you place on other sites.

-- DaVoid Digital --
Check out AstroSerf - Update now available!
>> For more information, mosey on over to AstroSerf.com
>> Follow AstroSerfGame on Twitter for the latest news!
10-15-2009, 11:58 AM
#5
Affiliate programs were not for created for game devs, but for big portals, who have a lot of traffic and a lot of un-sold advertising inventory. Only they can earn some serious money on affiliation marketing.

Nevertheless, I have to admit iTunes affiliation programs do not work well. They actually depend on where the visitor is coming from or even deeper - in which country his bank is located.

Let me tell elaborate over an example: imagine I am an iPhone user from Germany (with a credit card in German bank) and I visit toucharcade.com. I spot a game banner, I click on it, I'm transfrred to iTunes (automatically - to German store), I make purchase and... toucharcade.com is not getting any commission Because I didn't purchase in US iTunes and toucharcade.com uses LinkShare Affiliate program, which works only with US iTunes transactions.

Since iTunes is actually an international store (country is only a parameter in their database), I think Apple should handle affiliation much better.
10-15-2009, 05:59 PM
#6
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
I think you're right, and it could be handled much better… but there are just so many different problems with regional publishers and distribution. It would be nice if the regional affiliate programs linked together somehow though.

I didn't know toucharcade was getting commission on app store links, I thought the developer got to choose the link that is used for their ad.
10-24-2009, 05:11 PM
#7
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by EssentialParadox View Post
It would be nice if the regional affiliate programs linked together somehow though.
Yeah, it is a major issue. I think I may have a solid solution though. Check out this project I am working on. http://GeoRiot.com. We have it working for iTunes and are looking for some Beta testers if anyone is interested that uses the iTunes Affiliate Program and sees a lot of global traffic.
10-24-2009, 05:15 PM
#8
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by funandmobile View Post
Let me tell elaborate over an example: imagine I am an iPhone user from Germany (with a credit card in German bank) and I visit toucharcade.com. I spot a game banner, I click on it, I'm transfrred to iTunes (automatically - to German store), I make purchase and... toucharcade.com is not getting any commission Because I didn't purchase in US iTunes and toucharcade.com uses LinkShare Affiliate program, which works only with US iTunes transactions.
Whoops should have read this again before my last post...

This is exactly what we are solving with GeoRiot. Connecting international traffic with the right affiliate program for the affiliate publisher to capitalize on more of their traffic.
10-25-2009, 07:39 AM
#9
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Great idea, Jake. I hope GeoRiot ends up working, it seems like it could be a simple solution. You also could have a big customer with OpenFeint who uses affiliate links.

I assume you're detecting country based on IP origin. What happens if your GeoRiot links are embedded into an iPhone app - would they still function correctly when detecting originating country?

Also, what's your business model? Will you be charging publishers to use your service, or will you be hijacking a percentage of the affiliate links, or will it be something else? Edit: Oh I see you're rerouting 15% of clicks. I assume you'll still be reporting those clicks to the publisher. Very nice system.

Sorry I can't help beta test, I'm still just researching at the moment.

Last edited by EssentialParadox; 10-25-2009 at 07:42 AM.
10-27-2009, 01:44 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by EssentialParadox View Post
Great idea, Jake. I hope GeoRiot ends up working, it seems like it could be a simple solution. You also could have a big customer with OpenFeint who uses affiliate links.

I assume you're detecting country based on IP origin. What happens if your GeoRiot links are embedded into an iPhone app - would they still function correctly when detecting originating country?

Also, what's your business model? Will you be charging publishers to use your service, or will you be hijacking a percentage of the affiliate links, or will it be something else? Edit: Oh I see you're rerouting 15% of clicks. I assume you'll still be reporting those clicks to the publisher. Very nice system.

Sorry I can't help beta test, I'm still just researching at the moment.
Thanks!

When we get rolling I will definitely take a look at OpenFeint. Thanks for the heads up.

Yeah IPs will trigger the regional look up. As far as we can tell the links will work just fine inside an App, but of course definitely would like an app programmer to work with us to make sure we have it all dialed.

Yeah, we call it "skimming". ;-) Our reporting system is very transparent so a user can see exactly what sort of clicks and skims happen for each countries traffic.

Good luck in your research and please look us up when you are ready to rock.