iTunes Affiliate program – monetising the rising demand

With the two of the big must have gifts this year being the new iPad and updated iPod/iPhone, one thing that’s sure to follow is a massive demand by these new owners for recommendations on what Apps to purchase.

There are so many Apps on the iTunes store that merely looking at the Top 25 or even the Featured sections really doesn’t cut it for new owners, looking to get in on the ‘App’ revolution bandwagon.

To fill this void recommendation sites are becoming more and more popular, just doing a search for ‘Top 10 apps for …’ will return a ridiculous number of results. Thus anyone savvy enough to create and SEO well enough sites that promise ‘Top 10 apps for office productivity’ or ‘Top 10 apps for travelling’ can easily gain a lot of traffic.
Converting all this traffic into real money is the next step, made easier by iTunes programme on the Linkshare platform. With it you can:

1.) Create tracked links to individual products (Apps, songs, books etc)

2.) Create a feed of updated links with preset rules – i.e. Top 25 paid apps in the Photography genre

3.) Use the iTunes search API, and then push the returned link back through the Linkshare or Tradedoubler to create a monetising tracking link.

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The search functionality is the only awkward bit, having to utilise the functionality of two API’s. Whilst you can use the Linkshare Merchandiser Query API to search for products and be returned tracking links immediately, you run the risk of the data being out of date. The iTunes search API is far superior, offering a plethora of search options . The only downside is then having to push the product links returned back through Linkshare to create a tracking link, adding more overhead.

Commission

The rates are quite low at between 4 and 5%, so it’s all about numbers. Your site should be uncluttered, with a clear call to action to follow the iTunes link and buy the product.

What is certain is that with the arrival of the new iPad, and demand expected to rise further, sites linked to searches like ‘Top 10 iPad apps for [insert niche here]’ will only gain more popularity, so if you already write about products available on iTunes store or are planning getting into it, now would be the perfect time.

Aden Forshaw

Aden Forshaw is Creative Director and Chief Technical Officer over at Coull.com

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