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Developers: You're My Only Hope - Apple Remains Silent

After a week of outrage from communities all across the iOS ecosystem, Apple remains silent following their declaration that they will end the affiliate program for apps. I have an executive contact at iTunes. He's been a great help over the years; sorting out issues that have cropped up with the affiliate program. We've even spoken on the phone. Now I can't get him to return an email.

Last Friday many of you stepped up to help out with Patreon pledges. I'm rarely humble, but I am humbled by those of you that have demonstrated your support by giving me your hard-earned money. To show my gratitude I've added a new section on the site that lists and thanks the active Patrons and advertisers.

Unfortunately your contributions cannot offset the huge deficit I face when Apple stops paying me a commission on app sales. Without additional funding, I'll be working for less than minimum wage. I'm willing to take a pay cut to keep the site going, but this is unsustainable. This site requires 3-4 hours every day to maintain, so seeking additional employment jeopardizes the site's future.

We've seen that before in the loss of nearly every other site that's catered to our small niche. There have been so many before. First to go was Touch Sound, then iOS Musician, and iOS Mars. Alex got a new job and shuttered iDesignSound. Doug Woods and Jakob Haq combined forces for a short lived thesoundtestroom site. iOS Music & You has been off-and-on for several years, with Chip too busy at his day job. Palm Sounds was closed when Ashley began to write for CDM. And this year John stopped updating Music App Blog to pursue other opportunities. discchord has outlived them all, but for how much longer?

I need to find new funding for the site to continue to be worthwhile for me. I've looked at how other sites generate revenue and given them all their due consideration.

Sell Out

I get a lot of offers from super shady people who want to do "native advertising" or guest posts. They offer money to post their garbage here with links back to whatever it is they are trying to sell. Obviously this isn't going to fly. Besides being unscrupulous, this a dumb move. Any site doing this will quickly lose all credibility.

Sell Supplements

Alex Jones has also had an unfortunate week too, but despite being banned from YouTube he's still going to be making a lot of money for himself by selling supplements. These range from the purely nonsensical to the "if that actually worked it would be illegal" varieties.

My dietary supplementation is much more modest. I started working out last year and dabbled a bit with supplements, but I only tried those with actual science to back them up. Then I only kept the ones that seemed to do anything. Lately I only take Creatine and L-Citrulline DL-Malate. I've found them both to be helpful in getting my "pump" on. I find I have the raw power to keep going even when I'm feeling fatigued.

I can whole heartily recommend that everyone should get into lifting. And while you're at it, buy those supplements from my Amazon affiliate links. Your results may vary. You may or may not look like a badass cyberpunk when you lift.

Sell Advertising

While my call for support was heard by many of you, I have not gotten a lot of additional support from developers. I sold 0 new ads. This is disheartening. I hear from so many developers telling me they sell more apps from discchord than anywhere else, but none of them stepped up to help keep discchord going.

I'd like to encourage every developer to take a look at their iTunes Connect account and look at referral traffic. If discchord is how you sell the most apps, please consider keeping discchord around! I only need about 4 more advertisers at either of the $100 slots, or 8 at the $50 slot, or some combination there of! Really I'm just looking for about $400 more per month so I don't feel like my time is poorly rewarded. Surely discchord is a better investment than having to pay Apple to compete on search results.

I'm not looking for people who just want to advertise for a month or two. I'm looking for developers who believe discchord is of value to the community and its continued existence will ensure their own future sales. To that end I need advertisers who will stick with me for the long haul. I need more people like White Noise Audio, who has been with me since day 1. Secret Base Design was with me for 4 years. Jam Maestro has been with me for the last 5. These guys invest in the future of iOS music and the community that supports it.

We've been hitting record views for the last 3 months. This isn't a charity, this is a symbiotic relationship.

August 10, 2018  | person_outline Tim Webb
Dude, that monthly viewers graph is *the hotness!!* I had no idea you get that much traffic.
I would sign up for advertising if I were a developer.
August 10, 2018  | person Hmtx
Tim, I had no idea you were getting that many views. Wow that is impressive. I never saw that many comments so i figured it would be a whole lot less that were viewing the site.

For developers that are reading this, i can honestly say that i have bought multiple apps that were advertised on this website. These ads actually work and draw attention. So consider advertising here especially when you see that chart. That is more exposure than the weak Apple store will ever offer you. It is nearly impossible for users to find newly released music apps on the App store unless you are already aware of their existence. Apple store sucks and we need sites like Discchord to promote your apps and inform us about their existence.
August 10, 2018  | person_outline Ed B
Hello Developers. Yes, Discchord.com is directly responsible for my learning about the release of your new app, sales on apps (which of course lead me to purchase more apps), and the first source for demos, reviews & tutorials that lead my to buy your app. Do note that I check Discchord.com just about every day.
Thank you developers, you've worked hard and brought us lots of great apps, and I really do appreciate that (as do many others of course). When you think about all of the time and hard work you devoted to creating these great apps, please realize that Tim has been working very hard to get the word out about your great app too. And note that he is very effective in doing that. He does help you sell your apps and other electronic related products too. For any developer considering the wisest choices to make with their advertising dollars, please take a closer look at Discchord.com. I've certainly purchased many apps after learning about them first via Tim's hard work @ Discchord.com.
Just for clarity: After learning about Apple's abrupt cancellation of their affiliate program, and it's looming impact on Discchord.com, I joined Patreon to do my part to help keep Discchord.com going. I am hoping to increase my support later this year. Discchord.com is indeed a very important music app/software/instrument news site to me. As a minor YouTube content creator, Tim has also been very kind to me by sharing some of my videos, which allows me to attempt to connect with other musicians & sound designers across the globe. So really Tim has created a community site, that helps developers connect with us musicians as well as helping musicians connect with each other. Thanks Tim!!!
Its hard to believe that apple would take away such negligible things to them that are so important to people who have been supporting them for years. You have this web site that is so well done and so good for app sales. The only thing this apple greed can accomplish is lose them customers. The ios operating system is excellent for music and apple knows it because of all that they have put into it. But its all about people, not only cash. Bad business is going after peanuts for the sake of saving money that makes no diff to them. Whats wrong with apple. Apple business stupidity is what almost got them screwed before the ipod boom. Now they are making similar stupid decisions that will be their undoing and open the flood gates for google and android. Come on apple admit your mistakes and regain some credibility in the world of greed haters. That is unless apple is run by ego tripping morons who cant admit anything and only see short term profits. I am into ios but its becoming harder and harder. I am feeling like a sucker being set up and taken advantage of.
August 10, 2018  | person Perrypelican
Discchord has always been my go to site for up-to-date all things musically appy. From there I got to know more about the genre, thusly, increasing my own skills and knowledge, and without that, I'd just be a mindless ape fathoming this new technology. This latest news is heartbreaking, not only for myself, but wholeheartedly for Tim and all those other artists/iOS bloggers etc, who have been unfairly impacted by the loss of work/livelihood from this decision. Plus all the man hours put in to creating how to videos, reviews and the like... But now we are all apes once more, governed by the higher uppers... When is enough enough... Time to start throwing our faeces back... Time to make a stand
August 10, 2018  | person R3pl1c4nt
Developers , this is my go to site for all app related things. Pretty much every IOS music app ( and I have purchased many of them) are because of this site and demo's or releases I see here. I wouldn't even know your apps exist without this site, so step up and help keep it alive its a valuable resource for you if you use it correctly.
August 10, 2018  | person Cat Nippurr
On August 10, 2018 - @R3pl1c4nt said:
Discchord has always been my go to site for up-to-date all things musically appy. From there I got to know more about the genre, thusly, increasing my own skills and knowledge, and without that, I'd just be a mindless ape fathoming this new technology. This latest news is heartbreaking, not only for myself, but wholeheartedly for Tim and all those other artists/iOS bloggers etc, who have been unfairly impacted by the loss of work/livelihood from this decision. Plus all the man hours put in to creating how to videos, reviews and the like... But now we are all apes once more, governed by the higher uppers... When is enough enough... Time to start throwing our faeces back... Time to make a stand

That is the problem. How can we consumers strike back? I think it is totally unfair and unsustainable for Apple to think that sites like this can keep giving us such excellent curated access to the kind of content that we can never discover outside of this community. The Appstore will never accomplish that. The context will always be missing, even when the Appstore gets a refined section for music production.
So how can consumers put a stop to the arrogance and stupidity that Apple is portraying? Taking a stand? How? Not buying apps? Hmm that will only hurt sites like Discchord.
Tim is right. Developers need to acknowledge the importance of a vivid communal website like this one. The figures do say alot, the number of comments not so much. If this site goes down it will hurt developers in their pockets. There is nothing wrong with developers becoming big Patreons I guess. If they are not interested in advertisement space, maybe Tim can give them another flair/color as developer-Patreons? Or just take the opportunity and advertise!
Steve Balmer was never my type, also he did not work out, but he had it right when he clamoured: “developers, developers, developers!”
August 10, 2018  | favorite_border Erik
My goal is to become one of the greatest musicians of all time. And this blog has been vital to my process. So if I become famous, I'll be sure to support you however I can. Your contribution to the iPad music community won't be forgotten by history. Also, I dig the costume.
August 10, 2018  | person WilliamC
The best way for people who care about the iPad music community to take a stand, is by becoming famous musicians. People who can actually sway public opinion. Apple already removed the headphone jack and made the phones bigger than my tiny hands.
August 10, 2018  | person WilliamC
He wasn't kidding. I just checked App Store Connect metrics, and Discchord is, by far, our largest non-YouTube referrer of iOS customers. So Audio Damage purchased the monthly ad, in the hopes that, as he pointed out, this symbiotic relationship continues. Thanks for your hard work!
August 10, 2018  | person_outline Chris Randall
Audio Damage are great for iOS too! As well as Discchord that is.
August 10, 2018  | person_outline Sarmad
I don’t buy a music app that hasn’t popped up here and got a few comments... so yeah devs advertise! I love music ads ... so stack em up!

And I did try to do what Tim does... not for money, but for fun. My niche in a niche blog about guitar apps ( Unstringed ) lasted 8 months and became pretty un-fun ... Its a lot of work and there are real overheads!

I think ad supported content is the only way it can be delivered ‘free’.

So advertise away Tim!
August 10, 2018  | person_outline Lee
On August 10, 2018 - @Erik said:

That is the problem. How can we consumers strike back? I think it is totally unfair and unsustainable for Apple to think that sites like this can keep giving us such excellent curated access to the kind of content that we can never discover outside of this community. The Appstore will never accomplish that. The context will always be missing, even when the Appstore gets a refined section for music production.
So how can consumers put a stop to the arrogance and stupidity that Apple is portraying? Taking a stand? How? Not buying apps? Hmm that will only hurt sites like Discchord.
Tim is right. Developers need to acknowledge the importance of a vivid communal website like this one. The figures do say alot, the number of comments not so much. If this site goes down it will hurt developers in their pockets. There is nothing wrong with developers becoming big Patreons I guess. If they are not interested in advertisement space, maybe Tim can give them another flair/color as developer-Patreons? Or just take the opportunity and advertise!
Steve Balmer was never my type, also he did not work out, but he had it right when he clamoured: “developers, developers, developers!”

Because, people working in the public face, for whatever industry, make it a more human experience.... Something we can relate to having a shared interest/investment in. Having worked my whole life to become self sufficient and then have all that work taken away because it didn't meet the need of the big Corp making their money out of me, I see it all the time. I didn't say, stop buying apps, apples technological decisions to demand the equipment to produce on the level I want, has already nullified me from that side of the game, and I am done spending money just to play catch up for 'the next big app' only for it to be ruled out later down the line. Dabbling in iPad music making for me was all about the fun and being accessible, heck, even easier for someone without any background in music on an educational level. At the end of the day, the world won't change, as it still comes down to money. What can you afford, ones things for sure... Time is precious.
August 11, 2018  | person R3pl1c4nt
On August 10, 2018 - @WilliamC said:
The best way for people who care about the iPad music community to take a stand, is by becoming famous musicians. People who can actually sway public opinion. Apple already removed the headphone jack and made the phones bigger than my tiny hands.

Not only famous humans... I'm thinking in terms of an educational based platform, bring music ipadding to the schools as part of the curriculum.
August 11, 2018  | person R3pl1c4nt
Hi Tim.... so sorry to hear that Apple's super-dumb decision is tipping your income base in the wrong direction. Without some sort of rational discussion with whoever made the call, it's so hard to see exactly what will have driven it other than a desire to get that 7% into Apple's accounts rather than than those of the affiliates.... but surely it will kill a lot of the review sites that sent people to the App Store across all the app niches (music included).

Having chosen to suspend my own work on the Music App Blog some months ago to spend more time focused on my production/library music work (although I'm still doing the occasional iOS app review as part of my SOS stuff, so I keep track of what's going on), I'm now even more certain that was the right call for me personally.... This change by Apple would have done the same for me as it looks like it is doing for you (without things like greater ad uptake or more paterons) and pushed things to the point where the income earned simply didn't justify the time spent.... and that's sad for the whole iOS music making scene which the various websites/channels you mention have done so much to give a focus to....

I find it difficult to imagine that the mainstream music tech media are going to provide anywhere near the amount of coverage required to replace it.... and for developers, that will mean less people seeing and reading about their apps.... that's going to be a loss for them also....

..... I can't help but speculate that, for developers - they might have been better served if Apple had simply suggested a global increase in the price of all apps on the App Store by 10% to cover the 7% and a bit of extra to make things work better for the developers and/or cover the cost of maintaining the affiliate programme.... The economic model of the App Store has always been something that works against serious or niche applications. If you sell a million copies of a game of $0.99 maybe you make a profit (maybe).... but 1000 copies, 10,000 copies, 100,000 copies? Once costs are dealt with, at what point do you get into profit? Maybe some developers might tell us? We have all speculated that the pricing model (or rather the pricing model that users have come to expect to operate) in the app ecosystem is unsustainable.....

Anyway, here's hoping that you find a way to resolve things that let you keep discchord active.... Good luck....

Very best wishes,

John
August 11, 2018  | person JohnMAB
Why do you call the Infowars supplements purely nonsensical? Did you ever try them? I tried Super Male Vitality and it really worked. And they are backed up by actual science. And yes, there is a purge going on in Silicon Valley. They are trying to take away the power of the people. It's a globalists plan.
August 11, 2018  | person_outline Greg
When I was developing Windows apps I was paying more for useless random advertising than you are charging. For targeted ads with the view count you are getting devs would be crazy not to advertise on your site.
August 11, 2018  | person_outline Mark
Do Amazon affiliate links pay much? If so, maybe you could feature or review iOS music-centric gear with Amazon affiliate links.

I’ve bought several do-dads, mics, portable mixer, headphones, headphone amps, cables, etc. all related to my iOS sound hobby.

Maybe you could start mixing into the blog feed, some recommended and/or reviewed gear items that would be of interest to your audience? Gear costs more than the average app so commissions could be higher.

Here’s an iOS sound-centric item I bought off Amazon and like, that I could’ve easily bought off an affiliate link on your site: (Just Mixer)

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/pop/ref=oh_aui_i_d_old_o12?_encoding=UTF8&gen;;=canonical&lineItemId;=jojnlpjsmktpsny&orderId;=111-7053226-6808208&packageId;=1&returnSummaryId;=&returnUnitIndices;=&shipmentId;=D0bqPJ3GB
August 11, 2018  | person skiphunt
For what its worth I will say Tim has been the conduit in which I have learned about and bought ios music production apps since 2013. Discchord has from day one been number one among the top three go to sites to keep up on what is happening currently day by day, and sometimes hour by hour. His coverage of events in this niche corner of the web, his complete expert grasp of the topic, this site is a golden platform by which to advertise music production related products, apps and app tutorials particularly. In the future perhaps Tim could have a section where we can find deep tutorial and instruction material for apps. Ive always wished there were links to deeper info on the apps I learn about here. Perhaps this could generate revenue to the site...?
August 11, 2018  | person_outline Ian
Wow... I don't even know where to begin here, other than a huge heartfelt thanks to everyone!

On August 10, 2018 - @Chris Randall said:
He wasn't kidding. I just checked App Store Connect metrics, and Discchord is, by far, our largest non-YouTube referrer of iOS customers. So Audio Damage purchased the monthly ad, in the hopes that, as he pointed out, this symbiotic relationship continues. Thanks for your hard work!

Thank you so much, Chris! I'm super psyched to have Audio Damage represented on the site.

On August 11, 2018 - @skiphunt said:
Do Amazon affiliate links pay much? If so, maybe you could feature or review iOS music-centric gear with Amazon affiliate links.

Amazon does, but it is a weird sliding-scale that goes as low as 2% for some items. It is honestly too confusing to figure out without consulting their chart, and then some items simply aren't eligible. I do include Amazon links with my referral when appropriate. I don't want to try to force it, like I'm suddenly trying to hawk gear. So for songs that use hardware I might include a link to them. Like this: http://discchord.com/gear/2018/07/30/coster-scott-live-dark-techno
Yeah I would buy music gear through this site at thomann in germany. I would also love to learn about new drum machines, samplers, synths n such here. All these companies should have intrest in discchords wellbeing. If for no other reason than to earn respect by showing some.
August 11, 2018  | person_outline Ian
I do hope you find a workable model for discchord. It would ,be a shame for this community to fall apart and independent app reviews to become unworkable . Good luck!
August 12, 2018  | person_outline Slippin
Tim I have to say this is the only place I go other then maybe Perplex On, on YouTube, Jakob Haq and soundtestroom. For any info regarding apps. I am sorry that Apple is just that greedy. Once Steve Jobs Died Apple took a very bad turn for the worst. I would gladly give you a few dollars a month and used to be a Patreon but I have my own bloody headache I am currently dealing with and unfortunately money is tight as tight can be right now. I truly am sorry and once my air 2 dies I will not purchase another Apple product. Strictly Ableton on a Windows box for me from that point on. I know this doesn’t help you but that is my plan. If things change rapidly for me I will be the first person to sign up for Patreon again.
August 12, 2018  | person That guy
@That guy: I hope things turn around for you for your own sake!
I just doubled my Patreon contribution. I started a good paying job and I thought I’d share the good times a bit more. Even though I’m not very active in the music community Discchord brings me too much joy. Thank you Tim!!! I would follow you however you choose to approach electronic music. Fuck Apple. I’m a Discchord fan.

Note to developers: I bought over 300 music apps in the last few years and most of them through Discchord. I rarely buy anything music related that’s not featured here.
On August 12, 2018 - @Be The Noise said:
I just doubled my Patreon contribution. I started a good paying job and I thought I’d share the good times a bit more. Even though I’m not very active in the music community Discchord brings me too much joy. Thank you Tim!!! I would follow you however you choose to approach electronic music. Fuck Apple. I’m a Discchord fan.

Note to developers: I bought over 300 music apps in the last few years and most of them through Discchord. I rarely buy anything music related that’s not featured here.

Thank you very much!

And thank you to others who have been joining me on Patreon this weekend!
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