Google Play to Amazon - issues and hints

Hoping to start a thread which can be a repository of info for those on Google Play who would ALSO like to publish on Amazon (or are exploring it).

Anecdotal evidence on this forum suggests developers have varying success with Amazon, with some claiming it is not worth the effort, while others saying it may contribute 20% of downloads etc. For low download apps, probably Amazon provides a higher percentage than 20% (I am guessing from the types of numbers I’ve seen on the forum).

I think some mentioned some hassle of developing for Amazon - but I don’t know how that opinion stands with a seeming more eager Amazon which several developers here have stated is e-mailing developers to get them to - not necessarily developer for Amazon hardware - but just LIST heir apps on the Amazon App Store - which presumably is not just for Amazon devices.

I have previously used Amazon App to download some apps which were not visible on Google Play (or which were being offered for free at that time on Amazon). I had to download Amazon App from their WEBSITE (since Google Play does not allow that app - although they DO allow the regular Amazon physical goods buying app).

So the questions:

  • How viable is Amazon App as a means of distributing to not just Amazon hardware but also regular android users (who have bothered to download the Amazon App separately)

  • Is the Amazon App going to become a standard (more commonly available - replacing SlideMe etc. as the dominant alternate app store ?)

  • What are the variety of Amazon hardware - are they are non-phone ? so lack certain hardware you would expect on a phone. Should we think of them as non-phone tablets generally. Is Amazon making or planning to place Amazon App in a lot more phones in the future ?

  • What are the compatibility requirements for publishing on Amazon App - typically are there certain things one needs to be careful of (this probably deserves it’s own thread) - hardware compatibility and any software idiosyncrasies. What should one do about ads - rip them all out or all Google-compliant ads are ok for use on Amazon

  • Amazon gives 70% of paid app price to developers (similar to Google Play) - however Amazon is available to many more developers (who cannot currently sell paid apps on Google Play - because Google not bothered to expand to their location yet)

  • what is the REALISTIC way one can point users on Google Play to Amazon - should one point to the Amazon App website link to download APK, tell them to check “Unknown Sources” in Settings etc. - or is there a simpler way ?

  • Some developers on this forum have pointed to Amazon sales making an app free for some time - that some developers don’t like. Ignoring that issue, is there any danger that an app that has been sold on Amazon (and thus has no ads) is easily redistributable as APK ? Or is the Amazon DRM which they mention a reasonable solution ?

  • How should one price on Amazon - I understand it (like iOS) is a more ready-to-buy user base. Does that mean one can price an app 2x-3x higher than what you would want to on Google Play - esp. if it is some essential app which you cannot sell on Google Play but which you are pointing users to Amazon to get from there.

Well, it turns out the standard Amazon app on Google Play DOES have listings for android apps (free and paid).

Now this is MUCH better than what I was thinking - now user can download the Amazon app from Google Play and buy the paid version of the app.

Even better - with Amazon’s new SDK - you could offer that produce IN-APP - so the user sees a product page for your paid app on Amazon right there in your app.

While doing this for physical goods is allowed by Google - this in-app selling of paid apps MAY NOT BE allowed by Google. In contrast if you point users to an Amazon link outside your app (say to open in a web browser) - maybe that is allowed ?

What happens when a user buys a paid app this way - do they get to download an APK - then turn on “Unknown Sources” in Settings and then install ? That is, is it that complicated ?

I am not sure how the referral cookie lasting 24 hours works with Amazon Associates program ?

On a web browser it is clear what would happen - the cookie stays active for 24 hours.

On an android phone, what should an app do ? Direct linking - which takes a user to a web browser - is that preferred - there I can understand a cookie being active.

For a user who has the Amazon App on their phone - does direct linking take to that app ? If that does happen is there still a concept of a “cookie” when user is taken to an Amazon App product page ?

I am currently trying to gather information wheather or not I should make my android apps available on the Amazon store. Any feedback on pros / cons would be great to read. Would also be awesome if people could tell what % of users Amazon store is bringing vs Playstore to know if it is worth the effort :slight_smile:

Cons - some work you need to do (removing links to Google Play etc.).
Pros - more downloads, but not much. Unless you get lucky.

This confirms what I thought. At first I just submitted all my apps without editing the code because I didn’t want to spend time on it. They got rejected for normal reasons (I was cross promoting to PlayStore apps). Now most of my apps have IAP, it took quite some time to implement for Android and I don’t want to waste time reimplementing it woth Amazon’s code :slight_smile:

I just turn off IAP for now for Amazon (my games are designed that they are playable without IAP). I’m also interested in an answer though if it’s worth to implement Amazon IAP SDK.

To give you an indication for the first question: The company I work for has an Android app with ~1 million downloads in Google Play. They published the app on Amazon (free), but disabled support for Kindles because of some incompatibilities they haven’t bothered to fix. Downloads on Amazon: less than 1,000. So it seems pretty much only Kindle users use the Amazon store.

My own app worked on Kindles without any changes at all. Except I was surprised to find that even the Kindle Fire doesn’t have a microphone. Amazon allows foreign ad networks, and they also allow other payment provides, e.g. I’m using Google IAP. It adds three extra steps for the publishing process on the Amazon store (download APK, sign it, upload APK).

I sell more paid apps per day on Amazon than Google Play. It absolutely is worth it to publish on Amazon, trust me. Games tend to do better on Amazon than other types of apps from my experience and the approval process takes a little longer and is VERY strict but again, paid apps do very well.

that sounds great. maybe I’ll give Amazon a try :wink: thank you

It’s all about having MULTIPLE distribution sources if you want your apps to be successful…The more exposure your app gets, the better. Also, Christmas through January sales are off the charts for me on Amazon.