Dear Google, Why is There No Google Play Affiliate Program?

Affiliate programs are great. They can be a great way to monetize your website. Simply deliver quality content, give answers to the people in need and refer them to a fitting product or service.

What really bugs me is that Google does not offer an affiliate program for Google Play. Many websites and blogs depend on income through affiliate programs. I would even go that far and say that many websites are even started solely for the purpose of earning money using programs like, for instance, the Associates program.

Affiliate Programs & The Mobile App Economy

Gaming is big in mobile and plays a huge role in the mobile app economy. A PopCap survey conducted in June 2012 found, that 44% of all adults asked played a game on their mobile device within the last month. According to gaming industry analyst IHS Screen Digest mobile gamers in the UK will spent a whooping £300m on mobile games in 2013. That’s huge!

We’re always thinking about expanding the content portfolio of and app reviews could be a great new topic. That’s why I did a quick search for a Google Play affiliate program just to find that the Google product forums are full of threads asking about an affiliate program.

Finding an official answer was quite hard and only got me to a post from April 2013 on the old Google Affiliate Network blog, saying that the network will be shut down.

We’ve made the difficult decision to retire Google Affiliate Network and focus on other products that are driving great results for clients.

Google Play, however, was never part of this network. Another dead end.

Alternative Android App Affiliate Programs

With Google Play being no help, I tried to find alternative programs. The one alternative I found was the App store, but not all Android apps are available there.

So what should we do? I guess we have to live with the situation for the moment and hope that Google will soon implement a Google Play affiliate program. I guess they have their reasons for not offering it, but I personally think that such a program would be very beneficial for the Android platform.

I mean, seriously, giving away a few % of sales for massive exposure, relevant content, reviews and more platforms and people actively promoting Android apps? Why Google, why?

  1. Stefan Shields says

    This isn’t helping Google at all because now I will take the time to promote Ios apps instead.

    1. Jeremy C says

      Well Google needs to fallow suite as Apple is offering an affiliate program and cashing in on the extra exposure. To Join them go to

      1. Jon Thompson says

        Thank you. Better than nothing.

  2. Emily D. says

    I have a music app currently on iOS and am looking to expand to Android. It’s a freemium app with in-app purchase for subscription, but part of the business model is also through affiliate clicks to purchase music. I think I can continue to link to iTunes even from the Android app and would prefer to have a Google Play option, but if I can’t get affiliate commissions I may not bother. It does seem silly for Google not to offer an affiliate option as they could incentivise selling a lot more music.

  3. Vlad Zolotoff says

    Thank you for letting know about the App store. Better less than nothing.

  4. Jon Thompson says

    Very disappointing. I run a mobile phone website and 80% of the products I push are android smartphones so a Google Play affiliate option would be ideal for me. It’s hard enough as it is competing with the big boys so every little scrap counts. I am surprised though, I came looking for this after spotting a Google Play banner on another site an assumed from that there would be an affiliate scheme.

  5. Neil Turner says

    As an Apple affiliate who occasionally writes about apps that are also available on Android, I looked to see if there was a Google Play programme, but as you say, there isn’t. Moreover, Amazon’s affiliate programme excludes Android app purchases from its store, which is a shame. I don’t make much from Apple’s programme but it’s better than nothing, and I’m sure bloggers like me would be more willing to write about Android apps if there was a potential monetary gain available.

  6. Lex says

    In a world of free and $0.99 apps, I’m sure that Google thinks managing an affiliate program for Android is not worth it. Perhaps when, if ever, app prices begin to rise, there will be a place for affiliates. So, it’s bad for us, but an affiliate program may not be good for Google right now.

  7. Hasan Shahzad says

    Indeed that would be an awesome thing for both Google and Affiliate Marketers.

  8. Owen Prescott says

    I would also like to see an affiliate program, the problem is that Google don’t really like the spam created by affiliates.

  9. Ray says

    I am an Apple affiliate and was looking for a google affiliate program when I ran into your article. Sad to learn Google Play offers no monetization options. I suppose my readers will only get Apple download links.

  10. Bryan Granse says

    I also do some basic reviews of the apps and mostly is from the Android Games, wherein I also link apk’s for other blogs, and also linking it first to original copy from google play store, but sad to say there is no affiliate offered for apps and games in google play store, I am hoping soon there is an affiliate program offer for Google Play-store to make my blog “AndroidCrawl” alive, right now i’m depending on my AdSense as a primary source of income to support my blog. thanks for this post, it clears my mind that until now there is no Affiliate for Google Play Store or can anyone suggest something for good affiliate program that fits on my blog niche for Android?

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