19 February 2016

When Amazon Appstore came to GearedApp – what we learnt

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Andrzej Schmidt

When launching a new Android app, deploying to Google is normally a no-brainer. It’s a given that all Android devices will also have access to Google Play to browse and install apps. However there is another alternative that, until recently, wasn’t on our radar.

Today we spoke to Mario Viviani, Technology Evangelist, and Bijal Nagrashna, Developer Marketing Manager, from Amazon Appstore UK about the advantages of deploying your app on Amazon market place.

Here are a few interesting facts we took away from the meeting:

  • Amazon Appstore can be downloaded and accessed from all Android devices, plus Amazon Fire tablets and Amazon Fire TVs (none of which have access to Google Play, and can only download apps via the Amazon Appstore). That’s a lot of extra users.
  • Millions of Amazon Fire tablets were bought through the Christmas period, with the most popular device being sold at less than $50.
  • People are much more likely to PAY for apps and in-app purchases on Amazon Appstore than on Google Play. This may be down to the fact that people are used to buying from Amazon anyway, so buying apps or extra features is more ‘natural’. A definite bonus.
source: http://flurrymobile.tumblr.com/post/113378362340/for-generating-app-revenue-amazon-shows-google
  • Amazon Underground – offer paid apps for free, but still get paid! Rather than making users pay, or littering apps with ads, Amazon will pay commission to developers based on the amount of time users spend on apps. Good news for games and paid apps.
  • Merch by Amazon – Sell merchandise to your app fans with a purpose built platform. It’s a straightforward way to increase revenue and sell T-shirts branded with your app. Especially cool for games. Check this for more info.
  • It’s normally pretty easy to launch your app on Amazon Appstore too. 85% of Android apps will work straight away on Amazon without any adaptation. It’s a bit more tricky if your app uses Google Play services, such as in-app purchases, Google maps etc. But Amazon provides documentation and other APIs to make the app compatible.
  • Developers can check if their app will work in seconds with the app testing service  – Just drag in your APK to check.
  • Apps get reviewed, so the general quality should be higher compared to Google Play. Bonus points for being much quicker than Apple – depending on the app, it is normally a 12-48 hour review time.
  • Amazon Apps don’t have to be locked to a specific price. You could start with a free app, then increase the price over time, which isn’t possible on Google Play.

We can see some compelling reasons to consider Amazon Appstore when launching a new app. It might not yet have the same market share as Google Play, but with its straightforward and free service, we’ll definitely be considering it for our apps.