Apple last month unveiled its plans for paid podcast subscriptions in a newly redesigned Apple Podcasts app. Now, it’s introducing a new program that will help podcast creators grow their subscriber base: affiliate marketing. The company’s “Apple Services Performance Partner Program,” which already exists to help market other Apple services like Apple TV, Apple News, and Apple Books, is today expanding to include paid podcasts. The new program — “Apple Services Performance
Partner Program for Apple Podcasts” (whew!) — will be open to anyone. However, the company believes it will make the most sense for publishers and creators who already have an audience and several marketing channels to share these new affiliate links. When users convert by clicking through one connection and subscribing to a premium podcast, the partner will receive a one-time commission at 50% of the podcast subscription price after accumulating their first month of paid service.
So, for example, if a paid podcast was charging subscribers $5 per month, the commission would be $2.50. This commission would apply for every new subscriber that signed up through the affiliate channel, and there’s no cap. Podcast creators can also use the affiliate links to promote their own paid programs, which would allow them to generate incremental revenue.
While anyone can apply to join the affiliate program, there is an approval process involved. This is mainly about keeping spammers out of the program and ensuring that those signing up do have at least some marketing channels to distribute the links. The sign-up form asks for specific criteria — like how many channels are available and how the partner intends to use them to promote the affiliate links, among other things.