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Amazon's App Store: Developers Not Getting Their Fair Share of the Revenue

Yan Matusevich
3

From a consumer's perspective, the Amazon Free App of the Day is an amazing bargain that allows people to download high quality prices without shelling out any money. The flipside of this popular online deal isn't so pretty. As it turns out, developers get zero revenue when their app is selected as the free app of the day. Instead of getting their regular slice of the pie (20% on list price & 70% on the sale price), the developers are left without a dime despite downloads going into the hundreds of thousands.

When developers agree to start selling their apps via Amazon, it is Amazon - and not the developer - that sets the price for the specific app. Although that does take away some freedom from the developer, this hasn't been a very strong point of contention. What most developers were unaware of, however, was the fact that they would get absolutely nothing for having their app be the free app of the week. Some would argue that being selected as Amazon's free app of the day increases exposure, thereby increasing the developer's profit margins. According to Shift Jelly, the developer behind Pocket Casts, not only is this assumption false, but the developers are actually forced to bear an unequal burden. Apparently, the increased number of downloads led to problems with their servers and their support staff was strenched thing trying to deal with new customers. This goes against the proverbial "any promotion is good promotion" strategy that most business models adhere to. 

What do you think? Are Android developers getting the short end of the stick on the Amazon App Store? 

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Comments

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  • David L. Aug 3, 2011 Link

    There are way too many typos/errors in this short article. Maybe someone from the site can re-read it and correct them.

    I didn't know that developers don't set the price, which seems odd, but also that they got nothing for the free app of the day.

    I feel bad for all the unwarranted negative feedback (comments & ratings) that is posted when an app becomes free for the day. The feedback is sometimes meaningless or off-base and it wouldn't have likely occurred if the app wasn't downloaded by people that didn't really need it but were just getting it for free.

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  • Martin Krischik Aug 3, 2011 Link

    When I first read the terms i thought they are a bad deal and I am all so glad I did not add my Apps to Amazon. It is even worse then I thought.

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  • Jeremiah Aug 4, 2011 Link

    I was also scared off from amazon when I read the terms; like Martin. And also even more glad I didn't sell with amazon now.

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