Apple is playing the peer group card, announcing its new iTunes Affiliate Program, and confirming over 125 song downloads since launch.

Available initially in the US only, the iTunes Affiliate Porgram lets Web sites small and large make money by referring site visitors to iTunes to buy songs. Apple is offering participating sites 5 per cent of revenues earned through sounds purchased by iTunes visitors referred by a site.

The company says the iTunes Affiliate Porgram will complement its other programs, which include iTunes on Campus (free site licenses to colleges and universities), and the iTunes Volume Discount Program (announced last week), which provides bulk song downloads at a discount, though participants must buy at least $25,000-worth of tracks to take part.

Bonus for the little guys

"This program is a clear win-win for Apple and our partners, both large and small," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of applications.

"By working with affiliate websites we're not only expanding access to iTunes, but are giving site owners the ability to connect to one of the hottest brands online, creating a quick and easy way for them to generate additional revenue."

Information on the new scheme, which pays accounts receivable each month and requires that sites achieve at least 1,000 unique visitors each month, is available online.

The company is offering new affiliates signing up before September 15 tyhe chance to win an iPod mini.