This post was written by Sylvain Gauchet, Co-Founder of Apptamin and Chelsea Andrews, EVP & Co-Founder of DevMode Strategies, in coordination with Amazon Appstore. Follow them on Twitter: @sylvainww, @Chels_LA and @AmazonAppDev.
Since its launch in 2011, the Amazon Appstore has grown exponentially to offer high quality content to millions of consumers.
With over 600,000 apps and available in 236 countries, the Amazon Appstore is globally competitive and has distinct advantages that developers can - and should - take advantage of.
With record breaking holiday smartphone and Amazon device sales in 2015, here are 5 reasons why developers need to consider publishing on the Amazon Appstore now to ride the wave of opportunity this holiday season.
1) Amazon’s long term strategy and growth
Amazon is here to stay.
Its CEO, Jeff Bezos, is famous for his commitment to long-term growth and most of the company’s profits are reinvested.
Luckily for developers, the company sees a future in mobile, TV apps as well as Smart Home technologies.
Sales of smartphones, tablets, streaming TV and smart home devices are projected to skyrocket during the holidays - as they have in years past. In 2015, Amazon reported that sales of its own devices on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday were the best ever (Fortune).
To add to that:
- The new 7” Fire tablet became the fastest-selling tablet ever, with millions sold since its launch. In Q1 of 2016, sales of Amazon’s tablets more than doubled, reigniting consumer interest in tablets and making Amazon the third-largest seller of tablets in the world (The Motley Fool).
- Amazon’s Fire TV continues to gain market share. Taking it to the next level, the Amazon Fire TV is enhancing its Alexa voice features to be more responsive - users can now ask the voice-enabled virtual assistant to search for and retrieve information.
In 2015 the Amazon Echo topped the most wished-for and gifted items for Amazon.com customers (Amazon Developer). Again, enhanced voice features are increasing demand for this product.
This is great news for the developer community. To match market growth, Amazon is doubling down on developer support and resources for smartphone, tablet, streaming TV, and smart home devices.
There’s A LOT of opportunity for developers to capitalize on. These are some of the key things developers need to take consideration of.
2) Little or no work to publish your already existing Android apps
The market for Android devices continues to soar with more than 1.4 billion users to date. Obviously, the diversity in affordable Android devices offers worldwide consumption of Android apps. With availability in 236 countries, the Amazon Appstore is highly competitive, reaching millions of customers in the most major consumer markets in the world.
Amazon made it easy to bring your Android APK to Amazon devices, and states that 85% of Android apps just work as is.
Because Fire OS 5, the operating system running on Amazon Fire TV and the Fire tablets, is based on Android 5 and API 21 making it more compatible with existing Android devices than ever before.
You have an Android app? Try their free compatibility testing in 90 seconds or less to see how fast you could publish on the Amazon Appstore. This service is awesome because with the results you can easily and immediately identify potential issues with your app’s capability, and if all good, you can submit your app right then and there. Voila.
3) Discoverability Advantages
In an increasingly competitive marketplace it’s difficult for apps to get noticed. Because of the large Amazon customer base, the Amazon Appstore gives your apps an additional way to make it to customers’ devices.
Further, Amazon offers unique opportunities for developers to be discovered more easily through built-in cross-selling functionalities, such as algorithms that display apps in product search results on Amazon.com. Some features like the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” or the “What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?” can allow your app to get more downloads. Looking for hiking boots? Maybe you’ll also enjoy this mountain climbing game.
Something else you can leverage is Amazon Underground. Amazon Underground is an innovative monetization model, where developers are paid on engagement. With the Amazon Underground Android app, it is also a great discoverability tool. The app combines the Amazon mobile shopping app with thousands of free versions of what are normally paid apps and games. Customers receive free premium apps which are ‘actually free’, and this allows you to reach new audiences. Plus it’s a win-win: you get paid for every minute a user is in your app!
Exploring Amazon Underground could be an entire blog post in of itself - if you want to learn more, check out this link.
With the UK Developer Spotlight, Amazon has also started an ongoing initiative to connect developers and their customers to great content. Developers can indeed submit their apps and games to be featured on the Amazon Appstore, learn more about the current UK Developer Spotlight opportunities here.
Last but not least, for PC and Mac app developers, you can enjoy greater visibility with a number of dedicated storefronts on Amazon.com for you to sell your software and games. Each PC & Mac application, game, and virtual good has a product detail page and can be found by customers in search results, search refinements, recommendation widgets, and bestseller lists across Amazon.
4) Monetization and Engagement Services
Show me the money. By now that’s probably what you’re thinking, right?
As an e-commerce behemoth, Amazon understands the importance of customer satisfaction. They take content seriously and ensure developers have the resources they need to not only build quality apps, but also generate revenue and increase user engagement to keep them publishing on the Amazon Appstore.
Therefore, Amazon offers a variety of great Fire OS, Android, and iOS APIs to monetize apps, improve user experience, and increase user engagement.
For app and game monetization, check out these services and programs:
For user experience and engagement, check out these services and programs:
5) Beyond Android: Cross-platform Support
To further the last point, Amazon is committed to supporting developers in creating the best possible content by offering resources for cross-platform development. Amazon offers a wide range of plugins, extensions, and APIs for some of the most popular cross-platform engines, including Unity, Adobe, Apache Cordova, and Xamarin.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon provides services, SDKs, and APIs to enhance iOS app development, including:
- Amazon Drive SDK enables iOS app users to access the photos, videos, and documents saved in their Amazon Drive.
- Login with Amazon offers iOS developers a way to securely connect with Amazon customers, personalize their experience, and secure customer information.
- Last but not least, Mobile Ads is available for iOS to monetize apps and games with in-app advertising paid on ad impressions (as opposed to clicks).
So, in conclusion
With continued exponential growth, little work needed to publish an existing android app and all the added benefits of monetization, discoverability and cross platform support, it already seems like a no-brainer to publish your apps on the Amazon Appstore. Add the fact that as a top priority to maintain consistent quality in their apps, Amazon offers excellent developer support, discover for yourself here.
And that’s not all...
The UK Developer Spotlight is an ongoing initiative offering the opportunity to get premium billboard featuring on the UK Amazon Appstore*. AND, if you submit your app by December 7th you’ll be in with a chance to reach the Christmas Billboard - yep, your app, in a spotlight, at the busiest time of the year!
*Not a UK developer, but your core user base is in the UK? Go ahead and register as a UK publisher!
Wherever you are in the world, you can sign-up to receive updates and incentives from Amazon.