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Apple on Thursday said it will discontinue the ability for websites that share links to Apple apps to earn affiliate revenue for directing traffic to Apple's App Stores.

Apple plans to end its affiliate program for iOS apps, Mac apps and in-app purchases on October 1, according to an announcement made by the company.

The email says: "With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program".

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That apart, Apple also said another reason they decided against relying on external referrals to its app store is that the iOS and macOS app stores have also been segregated. Apple's plan to cut affiliate payments will likely have a negative impact on independent app reviewers that earn revenue by linking their recommendations to Apple's App Store, per VentureBeat. Apple reduced the rate for in-app purchases from 7% to 2.5% past year and where also going to reduce the app purchase rate to 2.5% but they changed their mind after pressure and protests from publishers.

It will still be possible to earn commission on music, movies, books and TV shows. Apple claims that the modifications to the iOS and Mac App Stores have ensured more methods of driving app discovery. Even that, it would seem, is too much for impoverished Apple to pay its fans as apps disappear from the agenda as of 1 October 2018.

All other content types such as music, movies, books, and TV remain in the affiliate program, the company wrote in a post. The news is devastating to many publishers and could potentially put some popular Apple sites out of business.