Was thinking about amazon type affiliate vs. advertising today

I’ve seen websites using amazon etc. “affiliate” links (i.e. website earns some percentage of any sale through that link) and I was wondering today if instead of using advertizing that the android app showed a separate page of links to products either related to the app, or maybe even general products that the developer likes.

Perhaps even replacing the initial splash screen or time spent showing a full screen interstitial ad and instead show your own page with products you like which are hyperlinked to amazon product pages (with your referral code so you get commission if a sale is made).

Did some reading - here’s an interesting one comparing amazon vs. others - one guy saying while people complain of amazon low rates, they deliver better because seem to cross-sell better:

Amazon seriously resets your referral rate every month?

The numbers were actually slightly in favor of Amazon. While the large retailer was offering 15%, they could not convert as much as Amazon could once visitors got to their site. Only 35% of the purchases on Amazon were of the products I was promoting. That’s huge. Most of the time, people would buy the one item and then usually get an additional 5 to 8 items on top of that. then others would not buy anything I was promoting but still do their Christmas shopping.

Then saw some suggesting that amazon doesn’t like app-based referral links (is this true ?):

Advice on Affiliate Programs for Music for Android app - Stack Overflow

Amazon seems to have a grudge against mobile apps and its in their TOS that the affiliate program cannot be used. Not really sure why, but its stopping me from using them.

Is it possible to build an Android app that do Amazon associate?
Is it possible to build an Android app that do Amazon associate?

java - Android music affiliate / associate programs - Stack Overflow

Amazon seems to have a grudge against mobile apps and its in their TOS that the affiliate program cannot be used. Not really sure why, but its stopping me from using them.

Did you try Affiliate Program ? They seem pretty open by reading the FAQ. Note that I have no experience dealing with it.

There’s also Best Buy affiliate progam.

And, finally, how can we forget about Walmart?

mobile - Android equivelent to iTunes Affiliate Program, streaming music api and profit share - Stack Overflow


Background: iTunes have an affiliate program that offers monetization opportunity for music downloads, also since iTunes is integrated into iOS devices, it is easy for users to purchase music on device. Also there is a 30 second preview available.

Even if Amazon referral links were ok - why are they not ok if they are just urls which point to browser ? Or do they disallow referral links used within non-desktop browsers ?? That would be odd …

In any case, then I rethought that with an android app you may have 5000 daily active users (DAU) - out of those maybe 10 may eventually buy something - which could get referral fees which are say $25 (if it is a large appliance say) - and maybe $1 or less if it is some book (as suggested by some webpage).

So that may get you like maybe $10-50 from this - one would have to do a trial to actually see how this would work.

So the questions which arise are:

  • is Amazon actually hostile to android browsers (referrals ignored coming from mobile app browsers ?)
  • how does the arithmetic work for apps use of such things vs. it’s traditional use on websites

If the numbers support such a thing it could be a way to do direct advertising (instead of having to use a full screen advertiser).

Happy Holidays.

I’ve seen websites using amazon etc. “affiliate” links (i.e. website earns some percentage of any sale through that link) and I was wondering today if instead of using advertizing that the android app showed a separate page of links to products either related to the app, or maybe even general products that the developer likes.

Perhaps even replacing the initial splash screen or time spent showing a full screen interstitial ad and instead show your own page with products you like which are hyperlinked to amazon product pages (with your referral code so you get commission if a sale is made).

Did some reading - here’s an interesting one comparing amazon vs. others - one guy saying while people complain of amazon low rates, they deliver better because seem to cross-sell better:

http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-ppc-seo-discussion-forum/480122-amazon-seriously-resets-your-referral-rate-every-month.html

The numbers were actually slightly in favor of Amazon. While the large retailer was offering 15%, they could not convert as much as Amazon could once visitors got to their site. Only 35% of the purchases on Amazon were of the products I was promoting. That’s huge. Most of the time, people would buy the one item and then usually get an additional 5 to 8 items on top of that. then others would not buy anything I was promoting but still do their Christmas shopping.

Then saw some suggesting that amazon doesn’t like app-based referral links (is this true ?):

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4709857/advice-on-affiliate-programs-for-music-for-android-app

Amazon seems to have a grudge against mobile apps and its in their TOS that the affiliate program cannot be used. Not really sure why, but its stopping me from using them.

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1691496
Is it possible to build an Android app that do Amazon associate?

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6241026/android-music-affiliate-associate-programs?lq=1

Amazon seems to have a grudge against mobile apps and its in their TOS that the affiliate program cannot be used. Not really sure why, but its stopping me from using them.

Did you try http://www.barnesandnoble.com/affiliate/index.asp ? They seem pretty open by reading the FAQ. Note that I have no experience dealing with it.

There’s also Best Buy affiliate progam.

And, finally, how can we forget about Walmart?

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8438396/android-equivelent-to-itunes-affiliate-program-streaming-music-api-and-profit-s?lq=1


Background: iTunes have an affiliate program that offers monetization opportunity for music downloads, also since iTunes is integrated into iOS devices, it is easy for users to purchase music on device. Also there is a 30 second preview available.

Even if Amazon referral links were ok - why are they not ok if they are just urls which point to browser ? Or do they disallow referral links used within non-desktop browsers ?? That would be odd …

In any case, then I rethought that with an android app you may have 5000 daily active users (DAU) - out of those maybe 10 may eventually buy something - which could get referral fees which are say $25 (if it is a large appliance say) - and maybe $1 or less if it is some book (as suggested by some webpage).

So that may get you like maybe $10-50 from this - one would have to do a trial to actually see how this would work.

So the questions which arise are:

  • is Amazon actually hostile to android browsers (referrals ignored coming from mobile app browsers ?)
  • how does the arithmetic work for apps use of such things vs. it’s traditional use on websites

If the numbers support such a thing it could be a way to do direct advertising (instead of having to use a full screen advertiser).

Happy Holidays.

Adding later:
Example of use of affiliate links in iphone app:

http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/386127-iphone-amazon-affiliate-app.html

I work with a local school charity and they get Amazon affiliate revenue from their parents who buy through their site. The parents want an Iphone (or Android) app that would get the charity their affiliate commission when they buy through their Iphone, similar to the standard Amazon Iphone app. Is there such an app anywhere?

Interesting read, thanks. I, too, wondered why no one used affiliate advertising in mobile apps.

Also, no idea why amazon won’t allow it. I can imagine have a calculator app linking to a ti-83 or a game guide link to the game (not thought out so don’t over analyze these examples).

Just saw this:

https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?messageID=297369
Re: How to do Amazon referrals from a mobile Android app?

The terms of service state that any mobile app that uses the API data must get the OK from Amazon. The term Mobile app is a little lose by them. Even formating a web page for “mobile” can get you a nasty gram from Amazon.

To get the refer via mobile you need to get the user to check out with said mobile device. That part can be a real trick to get anything worth you time.

That’s a shame. I can see my app with several hundred thousands installs, and people very motivated to buy a certain type of product after using the app.

Just create a web site with links to Amazon and have your app send users to your web site.

While the suggestion there is that use be taken to your website and from there to amazon.

Is that legitimate in the eyes of Amazon - after all it is still being used from a “mobile device” ?

Or are websites that have referrals to Amazon products acceptable ? So you could link to your webpage that takes users to Amazon ?

In such a case, would one use a WebView or using an Intent launch of browser would be better I suppose (?).

Additional info on Amazon excluding mobile stuff:

phonegap - Is it possible to use the Amazon Associates referral program in an Android app? - Stack Overflow

I have been researching the same question and while the answer is not official it seems so far the answer is NO:

From the operating agreement: "You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to the Amazon Site, on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device, or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).”

In addition I was thinking about just recommending other apps - not possible either: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/operating/exclusions

  • any product, including games and other applications, sold through the Amazon Appstore for Android;

I have sent email to Amazon asking for the “prior written approval” but no response after 14 days and I don’t expect any…

https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread...ssageID=297369
Re: How to do Amazon referrals from a mobile Android app?

The terms of service state that any mobile app that uses the API data must get the OK from Amazon. The term Mobile app is a little lose by them. Even formating a web page for “mobile” can get you a nasty gram from Amazon.

To get the refer via mobile you need to get the user to check out with said mobile device. That part can be a real trick to get anything worth you time.

That’s a shame. I can see my app with several hundred thousands installs, and people very motivated to buy a certain type of product after using the app.

Just create a web site with links to Amazon and have your app send users to your web site.

I tried Linkshare and Google Affiliate links in some of my apps and ran into this problem (in bold). If you clicked on a link you would get sent to a giant (desktop) webpage on someone’s e-commerce site. I didn’t run into any stores that served up a mobile version of their site based on user-agent. I couldn’t imagine anyone trying to navigate and purchase something on many of those sites on a phone. (a tablet, of course, but not a phone)

I can’t seem to find anything preventing use-via-mobile on the amazon website (these pages don’t have any occurrence of “mobile”):

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/operating/exclusions
Associates Program Excluded Products

or here:
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_i=assoc_join_menu
Associates Program Operating Agreement
Updated: January 1, 2013. (Current Associates: See what’s changed.)

There seems to be a section:

any Product purchased by a customer who is referred to the Amazon Site through any of the following:
a Prohibited Paid Search Placement; or
a link to the Amazon Site, including a Redirecting Link, that is generated or displayed on a Search Engine in response to a general Internet search query or keyword (i.e., in natural, free, organic, or unpaid search results), whether those links appear through your submission of data to that site or otherwise.

“Prohibited Paid Search Placement” means an advertisement that you purchased through bidding on keywords, search terms, or other identifiers (including Proprietary Terms) or other participation in keyword auctions. “Proprietary Term” means keywords, search terms, or other identifiers that include the word “amazon,” “Kindle,” “myhabit,” or “Javari,” or any other trademark of Amazon or its affiliates ( see a non-exhaustive list of our trademarks), or variations or misspellings of any of those words (e.g., “ammazon,” “amaozn,” “kindel,” and “javary”). “Redirecting Link” means a link that sends users indirectly to the Amazon Site via an intermediate site or webpage and without requiring the user to click on a link or take some other affirmative action on that intermediate site or webpage. “Search Engine” means Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine, portal, sponsored advertising service, or other search or referral service, or any site that participates in any of their respective networks.

This suggests one COULD have your website page shown in a WebView - or launch the browser (using Intent) which shows your webpage.

Another solution could be to allow sharing of the link to your webpage.

Don’t Amazon etc. have mobile versions of the product page ? These usually appear when you go to amazon.com using your phone browser. There is a link there usually for the full website.

However, if the referral links are generally suited for the desktop browser, perhaps there is a way to put a referral code to the mobile version of the URL (or perhaps amazon does that automatically based on the user-agent) ?

It seems at some time (2010 for this link) - there was a section mention mobile devices:

Amazon Affiliate Links from Apps - iPhone Dev SDK
7. You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to the Amazon Site, on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device, or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).

And this section is still there:
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/operating/participation?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_t=501
Associates Program Participation Requirements

  1. You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to the Amazon Site, on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device (which prohibition does not apply to any site that is not designed or intended for use with such devices but that may be accessible by such devices (e.g., on a non-mobile-optimized site via an internet browser on a tablet device)), or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).

So they DO allow use if the affliate links are on a normal webpage - and if it is accessed via mobile browser then that is ok with them.

Now they mention that webpage must not be optimized for mobile - but what if the webpage is a very simple HTML - that WILL show well on desktop as well as mobile browsers ?

Sorry, I meant that my users ran into non-mobile versions of e-commerce stores through Linkshare and Google Affiliates, not Amazon. Amazon is one of the best e-commerce sites I’ve seen that provides a good mobile shopping experience through an optimized page. I’ve just stayed clear of them because of their scary language toward mobile use.

Another thing I tried was an “Email me this deal” button in my app, so a user could get the referral link emailed to them and ideally buy when they get on their computer or tablet. I didn’t have any success with that either.

Another thing I tried was an “Email me this deal” button in my app, so a user could get the referral link emailed to them and ideally buy when they get on their computer or tablet. I didn’t have any success with that either.

That’s the other thing I was going to suggest (i.e. send link to e-mail).

Was your app related to the products you were advertising ?

Yep, the app was related to the advertised products and stores. I actually tried 3 different apps with fairly good traffic in 3 separate niches before giving up. I think there’s definitely potential here as an additional income source, but it’s not as straightforward as I expected.

From looking at Flurry events - the percentage making it to a link hidden in the menu or after 2-3 levels - the percentage going there drops fast.

So perhaps the affiliate link could be presented on the main screen - as related products.

There could also be an issue that the android crowd is not the type who may spend as much - maybe affiliate links would work better on iOS products - a richer demographic base ?

EBAY/AMAZON and affiliate linking in Android Apps

This is regarding advertising products related to your app - and examining if it is ok to generate “affiliate” revenue via Amazon Affiliate/Ebay Affiliate programs …

From earlier discussion here - it is evident that Amazon does NOT allow affiliate linking from “mobile” webpages - but is ok from desktop. That itself is a bit unclear.

But does eBay also have that issue ?

Reading some of the stuff on eBay affiliate revenue - it seems it is small (i.e. smaller than Amazon ?) - perhaps because eBay products are cheaper/used ?

In any case, what is the status of using links to products on eBay - the only danger I see there is that if the seller is not good, the app could be accused in user comments of having pointed them to disreputable sellers etc. ?

Here is an example of how some folks defrauded eBay - by using a widget which was inserting their affiliate code into ebay links - effectively crediting THEM as the referrers.

eBay, The FBI, Shawn Hogan And Brian Dunning - Business Insider
How eBay Worked With The FBI To Put Its Top Affiliate Marketers In Prison
Jim Edwards May 3, 2013, 8:05 AM

This points to a potential threat from StartApp type of ad networks - which change the home page and search engine on browsers. Users searching via their search engine would also generate affiliate income to StartApp etc.

While similar to what these 2 folks did, if StartApp started doing something similar with their interaction with the “browser”, it may be considered legal - why ? because there is not an element of “fraud” - StartApp or others if they did use affiliate marketing in the future would just have to tell developers that this is what they are doing.

In some ways the 2 folks who defrauded eBay also were not defrauding users - but eBay IF this practice was against eBay policy.

Similarly StartApp type outfits if they did start doing affiliate marketing - could wind up in the same position i.e. eBay or others not liking what they were doing.

However, how would this behavior by StartApp types be considered wrong - if everything is in the open - the user is not harmed - and they really ARE driving traffic to eBay (it is another matter that that traffic would have gone to eBay ANYWAY - so they are not INCREASING/encouraging traffic but merely injecting themselves as middlemen - perhaps THAT is what maybe prohibited by eBay etc. (or should be ?). That is, eBay etc. agreements should spell out that the affiliate market should be actually INCREASING/encouraging referrals - instead of injecting their own links into already existing traffic to eBay.

By this measure (i.e. if acting as middlemen was legal) - firefox could start injecting their referral link into all links going to eBay - and could generate revenue that way - but it would not be doing anything to increase overall traffic for eBay.

So eBay etc. should probably add some type of clause like this to their agreement (though I suspect it would require some thinking to phrase it in the right way - assuming it is checkable in the first play or not …).

Great news !

Amazon has just opened up “affiliate links” etc. to MOBILE.


http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/27/amazon-opens-its-associates-affiliate-program-to-mobile-app-developers/?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=bufferf94a2&utm_medium=twitter
Amazon Opens Its Associates Affiliate Program To Mobile App Developers
SARAH PEREZ
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

This was previously PROHIBITED by amazon (i.e. no mobile apps to do affiliate links to mobile browser etc.).

This thread was discussing the possibilities of using Amazon - this recent Amazon action has just opened up another potentially HUGE revenue source for developers (for some types of apps).

Earlier it was hard to understand WHY Amazon was limiting so (for fraud other issues … !?) - however it could also be that Amazon may not have had the confidence that a hastily planned via-mobile push may cause issues.

In any case, they have now opened it up - to not just Kindle/Amazon users - but to any app store including Google Play apps.

Now I may be overreaching here - but this massively tilts things in favor of Amazon - because Amazon now becomes IN EFFECT a defacto advertiser.

What is to prevent you from creating YOUR OWN BANNER ads (assuming Amazon doesn’t mind that) - that talk about a washing machine worth $300 - and that links earns you say 6% of that (if my understanding of the commissions is correct - maybe it is 6% of some smaller profit for amazon or something).

Also this opens up the “Amazon universe” to developers who may have been wary of venturing into Amazon/Kindle territory.

The Amazon program is open to all international and u.s. developers except a few U.S. states:


https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/mobile-associates/faq.html

Who is eligible to use Mobile Associates API?
A: International and US developers are generally eligible to use MAA. Developers who reside in AR, CO, IL, MN, MO, NC, or RI are not eligible to use MAA because the Amazon Associates program is not available in those states. Developers can only distribute approved apps via US app stores.

What currency will I be paid in?
A: Developers will be paid in USD only. US developers will be paid via EFT. International developers will be paid via check. Checks will be mailed to the address provided by the developer during its account set-up. Developers can view or update the address associated with their developer account in the Settings section of the Mobile App Distribution Portal.

They only seem to offer checks for foreign developers - but maybe in practice they may change - while they seem to have understood the international nature of the developer base for android (it’s not just U.S.), they may not have fully understood current-standing developer expectations from ad networks …

Further details:
https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/mobile-associates.html
https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/mobile-associates/code-obfuscation.html
https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/mobile-associates/api-reference.html

The question now is - how does this fare under the new Google Content Guidelines as examined in this thread:


http://forums.makingmoneywithandroid.com/advertising-networks/2320-registering-google-developer-account-failed.html

http://www.android.com/market/terms/developer-content-policy.html
The new Google Content Policy

https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/113474
Google Play Developer Content Policies

This is the only section which could have relevance:


Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to:

  • Drive affiliate traffic to a website or
  • Provide a webview of a website not owned or administered by you (unless you have permission from the website owner/administrator to do so)

So if you are showing it as “ads” - that would not be the “primary” function of your app - so should be ok, one would think.

Now if it was an Amazon App Store app - maybe that would be prohibited (which is perhaps why Amazon is not listed on Google Play - or maybe this is just Google’s way of keeping the competition away from it’s turf).

However the new Amazon webpages refer to the placement of affiliate links as “ads” - I don’t know if this is Amazon language from earlier (it seemed a bit new to me given my own very superficial perception of what Amazon Associates pages looked like earlier … ?) - but Amazon may be trying to portray their affiliate links in the right light i.e. as “ads” so it is not seen as problematic.

However in any case, I don’t think Amazon ads by themselves (if it is just a link in a webview - similar to an AppWall that is shown occasionally) or like a “More Apps” it is a “More Related Goods” or “Gift Ideas” (related to the app) - then that SHOULD NOT be very different from what regular “ads”.

Just from a rudimentary understanding of the docs - it seems the fastest way to include would be as a URL generated using their SDK - and shown in a WebView perhaps (or maybe their SDK provides that). More complicated integration schemes seem to exist also - for example showing an Amazon like interface inside your app.

But I am guessing the lowest level of integration (link) maybe a reasonable start for many app developers …

What do folks think about this development ?

EDIT:

Here are the docs for the minimal integration “direct linking”:

https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/mobile-associates/linking-service.html

Details:
https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/mobile-associates/linking-service-implementation.html

Forum:
https://forums.developer.amazon.com/forums/category.jspa?categoryID=27

EDIT2:

https://developer.amazon.com/post/Tx1IHGY6BIA4ZWM/Announcing-the-Amazon-Mobile-Associates-API-Earn-Advertising-Fees-by-Selling-Pro.html
Announcing the Amazon Mobile Associates API—Earn Advertising Fees by Selling Products from Amazon in Android Apps and Games
August 27, 2013
Mike Hines

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/landing/referralfees.html

https://developer.amazon.com/post/Tx2DM396B7OVY2M/How-Amazon-Helps-You-Monetize-Your-Apps.html
How Amazon Helps You Monetize Your Apps
August 30, 2013
Mike Hines

One thing which is really amazing is that Amazon is offering a “Rewards” type of (like GetJar/Tapjoy) functionality - where a user could buy a real (or I assume an imagined i.e. some “digital” good you create ?) - and they can get rewarded for that in-game.

The example given is that of buying a toy character and getting that same character enabled in your game.

Now by new Google policy, it is ALLOWED to show a “store” for goods that are outside or real. What is to prevent the use of “rewards” from that to be used as “virtual currency”.

In my opinion it will get REALLY REALLY hard for Google to control this - if they clamp down too hard (and the Amazon route is REALLY lucrative) - there maybe a move by developers to move out of the sphere of influence of Google by actively pushing users (if all developers do this it will be powerful) - so that users start looking for Amazon App Store on their phones.

If Kindle etc. have faltered - this could be one way for Amazon to take over a portion of the general android market. (though it’s utility is limited to U.S. users currently, but I don’t see why it could not be extended eventually to the world).

As it stands, Google does not have an iTunes like store - Amazon does - it could happen that Google after creating this ecosystem - and then not providing the monetization to support the bottom half of the apps - has a huge rebellion on it’s hands - if it became known that “all the best apps” are delivered via Amazon App Store or something … anyway … just thinking …

One structural weakness with the “rewards” use of Amazon may be in the long time gap between user being sent to Amazon to buy a toy figure, and the time when user has paid and the app knows to reward user with an in-game version of that toy figure.

This seems like a GetJar-type situation where a lot can happen between “the cup and the lip” - since GetJar is required to ensure delivery of a callback to your app. Since each user action needs to be acknowledged. In contrast Tapjoy adopts a very simple model based on a user’s “balance” - this means an app can always query to see if a specific user has an app-specific balance increase.

This means Tapjoy maintains a database of each user for each app using Tapjoy. An app can maintain an internal conception of what the balance was - and if a query reveals a change in balance it knows to reward user etc.

For this reason, it MIGHT be simpler if Amazon adopts a model like Tapjoy - where each user/app balance is maintained separately, instead of relying on the delivery of messages from server to app via callbacks.

Anyway, just thinking out loud here - in case there are folks here with better familiarity with Amazon model and if there are any issues with it.

I’ve been experimenting with LinkShare affiliate links shown in house ads. It’s difficult, but I could find some partners that have mobile websites (Orbitz for example). I also added a highly relevant product, but they only have a clunky desktop website.

So far, CTR is decent (2.8%), but conversion rate is 0%. Revenue: $0.00. Now that may be because transaction reporting simply does not work on mobile; maybe the redirect to the mobile version is not passing through the affiliate ID from the original link.

But let’s say CTR is 2%, and conversion rate is 5% (one in twenty people who click through actually make a purchase), and your average commission is $2, your eCPM would be $2. There’s also lots of work involved creating the banners, sourcing products etc. Is it really worth it?

The new Amazon API is really interesting, but what’s holding me back from testing it is that (1) you would have to upload your app to the Amazon store to be able to use the API and (2) of course you’d have to code and release an app update.

Right you have a point there. I was thinking about the revenue one could generate from this and it may not be that huge.

Sure one could target in intelligent way to products that you know your users would be interested in - however if you have 3000 DAU and of hose maybe 5 do purchases and you get good commissoin of %5 on say a $100 product. That is $25. So it could approach the money made by banner ads and interstitials - but not be huge.

And the work maybe harder ?

I am not sure you have to upload to Amazon Store - if you just use the url links (i.e. minimalistic integration) - but you may be right.

Yeah, I checked extensively. The documentation is pretty clear: you have to initialize the API by calling a method with your Amazon App ID, and then use the API to construct the link using a product ID. Maybe there’s a way to “hack” this and create URLs without that API, assuming that there’s no token in it, but you still need an App ID to attribute the purchase to an app.

Has anyone tried this?

I’ve been thinking these last 2 days but I feel that it wont be very profitable. Maybe on some kinds of apps that is very tied to a certain theme or product it could have a bigger return, but I cant think of a very specific product for my game’s audience, so I dont think it would be very profitable. And obviously this would work well only on where Amazon is strong, which is mostly US I’d guess (dont know which European countries Amazon is relevant).

Also with apps being reportable for “Third Party Market” or “Third Party Store”, I wonder what the risk is from some users reporting an app (does Google have automatic ban engine or some human who does final decision - why can’t that human answer questions on a chat - be available 24 hours to developers … anyway …).

The Amazon Mobile app (for shopping real-world goods) has been available on Google Play since Jan 2012 !! (I was not aware of this):

Amazon Mobile - Google Play Top Apps | App Annie

This should be a VERY GOOD sign that it is ok to incorporate and sell Amazon products within apps …

Would be great to hear of developer’s conversion rates.
In certain apps, it might work well. For an audio app, you could sell or “recommend” (that have greater conversion) products that YOU like or which work well with your app etc.
The value of the Amazon referral is that any further purchases the user is directed to will ALSO be credited to you …

A secondary question arises about directing users to Amazon App (the app for downloading Android apps - which is CLEARLY not supported by Google Play). What would be the appropriateness of directing users to download the paid version of your app from Amazon App (requires downloading from Amazon website etc.). Would even mentioning this (or providing a http link to the download) be considered bad by Google ? I ask because Google Payments are not available to me in my developer location.

Why wouldn’t it be OK? If it’s physical things or things you can use on something else than Android device you are allowed to use your own payments.