Apple Needs a Better iTunes and AppStore Affiliate ProgramTweet
Back in the 80s, I was the queen of the mix tape. My mix tapes were our college party soundtracks and later provided the backdrop for summer vacations. This has evolved into the playlist, where I’ve been known to spend hours putting together the perfect playlist for every special occasion in my family. I’ve been frustrated that the only ways to share these playlists have been by burning CDs. Yes, now there is Ping but honestly, do you know anyone using Ping?
Then I was chatting recently with two friends with iPhones. One had her iPhone for six months and didn’t have any apps. The other just got hers and wanted to know what apps to add. I quickly emailed off a list of some beginner apps. I’ve looked at sharing my app recommendations on Appolicious and Appsfire, but it is a lot of work to curate and I tend to neglect it as I don’t get much of a benefit from it. I’d prefer everything to be centralized around iTunes/AppStore for my Apple devices since I spend enough time in there anyway.
So once again I got to thinking, why doesn’t Apple have an affiliate program? I did a little searching and it turns out that they do. Who knew? But unless I’m a full-time blogger, would I bother to sign up for a separate affiliate program, then get approved for the iTunes affiliate program, then create new links every time I share a song or app recommendation? There must be an easier way.
I’ve spent hours organizing my 250+ apps into folders and probably days organizing my library of 4300+ songs into playlists. And, these folders vary between my iPhone, iPad, and my daughter’s iPod Touch (actually, it is my old iPhone, we just call it her iPod Touch) because different devices have different uses. Why, oh why, can’t Apple make it easy for me to share all this work and get rewarded for it? I don’t feel like recreating it into AppLists on an AppsFire or the like. I’ve already done the work. Let me share my folders via social networks and give me credit for all the apps people buy. Allow me to post my playlists (ok, I’ll use Ping if I have to) and allow people to purchase the entire list in one step, or go song-by-song, and reward me.
Why should Apple reward me? Think about those two friends I mentioned. If I hadn’t shared app recommendations with them they would still be walking around wondering why they spent so much for a phone that doesn’t do much instead of giving Apple 30% of AppStore purchases and becoming more and more enamored with the iPhone experience. A recent study from MTV Networks showed that 53 percent of new apps are discovered via word-of-mouth. It benefits Apple to promote word-of-mouth. They don’t even have to pay cash, just provide a credit at the AppStore or iTunes.
I’d love to see Apple evolve to become much more social and link these recommendations into the social graph and allow me to share these recommendations on Facebook, Twitter, etc. right from iTunes. Take a page from what AppsFire has done here, but take it a step further. If a lot of people take my recommendations, maybe that should even influence my Klout score for those categories. I’d love to see Apple take the brilliance they’ve proven in product design and apply it to creating a more social experience for buying and sharing apps, books, music, and more. And give me a pat on the back for helping them sell more.
Let me know what you think and what I’m missing.blog comments powered by Disqus