With the roll-out of Apple Music in June, Apple updated the way iTunes links behave. For all users with the latest version of iTunes or with iOS 8.4 or higher – essentially anyone who could potentially become an Apple Music subscriber – iTunes links will open in Apple Music by default. This becomes an issue if you fall into one of three buckets:
- You’d prefer users be sent to iTunes where they can purchase the product
- Your product is not available on Apple Music
- You’d like to earn affiliate revenue on iTunes sales, not Apple Music subscriptions
If any of these is the case, you can choose to have your iTunes links open in iTunes. When you create an iTunes smartURL, you’ll see the option to choose where your links open. The iTunes Store will be the default option selected:
You may not see this option displayed if you’re using a link that begins with https://geo.itunes.apple.com. In these situations, smartURL will still default to sending your traffic to iTunes. This is done by appending the parameter “app=itunes” to your link on the back end.
You can manually add the “app=itunes” parameter to any iTunes link to ensure your traffic will be sent to iTunes. Make sure to use a question mark to separate the iTunes link from the parameter. Example: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/25/id1051394208?app=itunes.
The iTunes parameter can also be added after other parameters. Just make sure that there is a question mark before the first parameter in your URL, and that all parameters are separated by “&”. Example: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/25/id1051394208?ls=1&app=itunes.
If you pull your iTunes URL from a tool like Apple’s Linkmaker, you may find that your URL includes the parameter “app=music”:
If this parameter is included in your URL, your URL will open in Apple Music. In order to force your URL to open in iTunes, you’ll need to update the parameter to “app=itunes”:
If you’d like to send users in certain countries to Apple Music and users in other countries to iTunes, you can use the “app=itunes” and “app=music” parameters in your country destinations to indicate where you’d like users to be taken.
For more information, visit the Apple Music FAQs.