Amazon Appstore, More Than Google Play, Making Dollars for Developers

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-04-02 Print this article Print

Developers banking on in-app purchases have more to gain from tying their carts to the Amazon Appstore than to Google Play, according to new data from Flurry.

The Amazon Appstore is proving more beneficial to developers than Google Play€”the search site's renamed Android Market€”according to new data from analytics firm Flurry.

With in-app purchases now accounting for the greatest amount of app revenue, Flurry examined the most popular apps available in the Apple, Android and Amazon mobile marketplaces€”apps that, combined, average 11 million daily active users (DAU). Flurry measured the revenue that these apps generated for each store over a 45-day period from mid-January though late February, and found Amazon's Appstore to be walloping Google's Play.

For every $1 Apple's iTunes App Store brought in, Flurry found Amazon's store revenue per DAU to be $0.89, while Google Play made $0.23 per user. Looked at another way, Google Play's revenue was 23 percent of Apple's iTunes App Store revenue.

"Amazon's bet to fork Android in order to put consumers into their own shopping experience on Kindle Fire appears to be paying off," Flurry's Peter Farago wrote in a March 30 blog post. "Showing its commerce strength, Amazon already delivers more than three times the revenue in its app store compared to what Google generates for developers."

Farago pins this on Apple and Amazon's experience and strength in retail€”mobile or otherwise €”while Google's core competency is in sales and advertising.

The ramifications, Farago said, go well beyond initial dollars. Developers go where the money is, which means more of them will be working in support of Amazon.

"We also believe that companies such as Samsung, the leading Android-supporting OEM, could also consider emulating Amazon's move to fork Android," said Farago.

Farago added that with the recent departure of Eric Chu, the group manager for the Android platform, Google will need to work extra hard in its courting of developers.

"From an ecosystem perspective," said Farago, "the emergence of Amazon as an additional distribution channel appears to be a boon for developers."

The Amazon Kindle Fire made no small entry onto the tablet scene, roaring past analyst sales estimates€”Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps originally expected the Fire's November arrival to be a hindrance in its fight for holiday shopping dollars€”and ultimately warming the holidays for millions of consumers. Pricing was a big part of how it achieved this; Amazon priced the Kindle Fire at $199, taking a hit on the hardware side, in expectation of a long-term software payoff. It's a gamble that's paying off.

The tablet app market is certainly worth fighting for, and increasingly thanks to the Kindle Fire. Between mid-December and early January, tablet ownership among U.S. adults shot up by 90 percent, according to the Pew Internet Project. Considering the minimal change it saw in ebook reader and tablet ownership from mid-2011 into the autumn, Pew called the holiday ownership jump "striking."


Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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