Amazon says were giving your app away for free, Now shut up!

August 2nd, 2011

When Amazon’s android app store launched not too long ago I think every developer smiled a bit. This was a new store with some compelling features, features that allowed users to try your app in a web browser before buying, and it has the potential to be the default store id Amazon decides to venture into android for future kindles.

When Amazon’s store launched developers were told that there would be a free app of the day in the app store, and that developers would make 20% on each free app downloaded rather than the usual 70% if it was not a free app. This is a little worrying, especially because you dont get any say in wether or not your app can be selected as a free app of the day. However, getting 20 percent of the price may actually be a good deal especially if millions of people are downloading your app because of the immediate exposure it is getting.

OOPS We Lied
Amazon has decided that they dont want to give developers 20%, they like 0% much better. Now with this new model they will ask the developer to agree, but amazon chooses the free apps. A amazon app developer Shifty Jelly received this from Amazon:

“As you may already know, the Free App of the Day offer placement is one of the most visible and valuable spaces on the Amazon Appstore. We would like to include your app “[name removed]” in our Free App of the Day calendar. We have seen tremendous results from this promotion spot and believe it will bring you a great deal of positive reviews and traffic. It is an opportunity to build your brand especially in association with a brand like Amazon’s. The current price of this placement is at 0% rev share for that one day you are placed.”

The developer agreed and sold 100,000 copies of the app that day. Unfortunately after the free day it was pretty much back to business as usual, just with 100,000 more people with the app who paid nothing. Do you think you would want your app to be the free app of the day?

Hank McLaughlin

Hank specializes in mobile software development, specifically software for the iPhone. He also has a background in mac development and development for webOS devices and started developing software in C while attending Virginia Tech. Since then he has taught himself C++, objective C, PHP, javascript and css.

One Response to “Amazon says were giving your app away for free, Now shut up!”

  1. Patricia Reszetylo says:

    Depends if it’s my free starter app or my premium app – either way though, most of my apps will be ad/sponsor supported, so that’s a (very) good thing.

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