March 15, 2016 2:00 pm

Using the Microsoft Affiliate Program to earn additional 7% on Windows Store sales

Windows Store offers several ways to earn revenue, including paid apps, in-app purchases, and in-app advertising. New with Windows 10 is one additional option that not all developers are taking advantage of yet: the Microsoft Affiliate Program.  As an Affiliate, you can earn revenue when you promote apps, games, music, video and other content in Windows Store and Microsoft Store online.

What is the Microsoft Affiliate Program?

The Affiliate Program is a performance-based referral program that lets you earn commissions by referring customers to paid and freemium digital content in Windows Store and paid content in the Microsoft Store.

If you are already promoting your own apps and games via your website, ads, banners or blogs, using the Affiliate Program will be easy. In your promotions, simply upgrade the Windows Store URLs to the Affiliate URLs and earn an additional commission every time your customer makes purchases. That includes everything that customer buys during the referral period, not just the content you promoted. These earnings come on top of what you earn from your downloads, in-app purchases, and in-app advertising in your own apps.

1_affiliateflow

How does it work?

As soon as a customer lands in Windows Store from your Affiliate link, we record their purchases and attribute them to you. Purchases are tracked across all Windows 10 devices connected with that customer’s Microsoft account. You earn a commission on all purchases made within the following periods:

  • For the first 24 hours, you earn 7% commission on Windows Store sales
  • For the first 14 days, you earn 7% commission on in-app purchases from apps and games purchased above; you’ll also earn $5 on every Groove Music Pass subscription, and a variety of commissions on other devices and software sales at microsoft.com/store
Content type Commission Earning period
Windows Store
App and Game purchase 7% 24 hours
Music song or album download 7% 24 hours
Movie rental and purchase 7% 24 hours
TV show and TV season purchase 7% 24 hours
App and Game in-app purchase 7% 14 days
Groove Music Pass (Annual and Monthly Subscription) $5 14 days
Microsoft Store
Microsoft Surface 5% 14 days
Office 365 (Monthly Subscription) $10 14 days
Office 365 (Yearly Subscription) $15 14 days

See the complete list of commissions for details.

Partner examples

There are many different ways to use the Affiliate Program within your marketing activities.

For example Shazam updated their app with Affiliate links pointing to songs in Microsoft’s music catalog, for both their mobile and desktop Windows Store apps. Shazam product manager Piotr Bar, told us that the implementation was easy and the company is “delighted that our payments have been constantly growing over the past few weeks.”

Martin Geuss is also known in Germany as Dr. Windows. He has built a large Microsoft community in Germany, spanning apps, sites, and social media presence. He replaced content URLs with Affiliate URLs in his Dr. Windows app and web site.  Geuss told us that “the best thing [about the Microsoft Affiliate Program] is that I’m doing what I always did, but now with the chance to monetize it. There is nothing to lose, only to win.”

Karaoke One app features Groove Music Pass banners to help their customers not only sing along to great songs, but also listen to them wherever they are. Domenico Rosito, Chief Technology Officer, shared with us that “using the Microsoft Affiliate Program was natural to our app experience, we look forward to expanding our integrations further”.

Getting started

  1. Sign up for the Microsoft Private Affiliate Program, follow instructions in the welcome mail, and then complete the steps in the Getting Started Guide.
  1. Generate your Affiliate links using the tools we provide. Affiliate links are URLs similar to traditional links but with specific tracking parameters. Here is the anatomy of the Affiliate link:

Affiliate URL:   http://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p=<Country Program ID>&a=<Affiliate ID>&url=<Standard Store URL>

Clk.tradedoubler.com – Affiliate network

P –  Affiliate Program ID. Unique for every Affiliate country

A – Affiliate ID. Unique to every Affiliate

URL – Standard Store URL, linking to an app, game, music or video

  1. Replace the URLs that you are currently using to promote your Windows Store apps with Affiliate links. Place You’ll also want to place Affiliate links on your website, in blog posts, emails, banner ads, videos or even inside your apps.

Helpful tools

There are new tools to help you rapidly generate your Affiliate links:

  • Link Builder: The easiest way to manually create individual text links, image links, or badge links. Access the Link Builder here.
  • Enterprise Data Feed: Spending your valuable time to automatically generate links to multiple products. This can now be programmatically queried. Please note this requires some engineering work on your side. Request access here.
  • Top Content Data Feed: Automatically generate links to top new, paid and free content from the Store. Request access here.
  • Pre-Generated Banners and Ads: Ready-made banners and text links created by the Microsoft Affiliate team. Promote top content and specific campaigns. Banners and text links are located in your Affiliate Portal under Ad Management –> My Ads –> Microsoft Private Affiliate Program.

Wrapping up

Check out this video to learn more how the program works, and sign up at www.microsoft.com/affiliates.

Join the conversation

  1. Recently, I have been unable to access Microsoft Store through Windows 10 Store app. using Edge or IE.
    I get a Microsoft page stating : ” Sorry, there was a problem with your request. Return to the Microsoft Store home page.”
    I noted that just before that page showed up, following url appeared very briefly a second or so: clk.tradedoubler.com which seems to be one of your affiliates.
    Could this be why I and many other users cannot access the Windows Store and that Windows 10 apps have been behaving sytrangely lately preventing any dowkoads of apps?

  2. Does anyone know how to get Microsoft Affiliate Support to reply to requests submitted through the affiliate contact us form?
    I have left several requests for information there and have never received a reply.

    Thanks,
    Tony