Adobe AIR Native Extensions for the In-App Purchasing and GameCircle APIs are now available for mobile app developers. If you create your mobile games using Adobe’stools, you can now use these extensions to rapidly add both In-App Purchasing for virtual goods and GameCircle for leaderboards, achievements, and Whispersync for Games.
The Adobe Gaming SDK enables developers to package ActionScript code into native apps for Kindle Fire, along with other devices. The Gaming SDK and the Adobe Game Developer tools are designed to help developers create rich,interactive experiences expertly and efficiently, supporting popular features such as hardware-accelerated graphics.
The new AIR Native Extensions are available today for free as part of the Amazon Mobile App SDK. You can download the latest version here. Just follow the simple instructions in the documents to get started. Of course, you’ll also need AIR in order to use the extensions.You can learn more about the Adobe Gaming SDK and Adobe Game Developer Tools here.
Soon, Amazon will open distribution in nearly 200 additional countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, South Korea, and even Papua New Guinea and Vatican City. For consumers, this means that they’ll soon be able to access a large and growing catalog of apps and games from Amazon, and for developers, this means you’ll quickly have a much larger audience to download and enjoy your apps and games.
In addition to the new distribution, we’re also adding the ability to price your apps in CAD (Canadian Dollars) and BRL (Brazilian Reals) today. The ability to submit localized descriptions is also available today for Brazil (Portuguese), and will be available soon for Canada (French and English).
Recently, we announced new opportunities to monetize your apps on Amazon, including our new Mobile Ads API with competitive eCPM, and the fact that we will be distributing tens of millions of dollars worth of Amazon Coins to U.S. Amazon customers in May, to spend on apps, games or in-app purchases; and developers will receive their standard revenue share for these purchases. We offer tools to make implementing our APIs simple, including the new, faster Kindle Fire emulators, and the Amazon Mobile App SDK Eclipse Plugin.
If you’re new to distributing apps on Amazon, get started at the Mobile App Distribution Portal. If you already have apps on Amazon, no action needs to be taken.
Here's the full list of countries we’ll be distributing apps in:
Amazon Coins is launching in May. Tens of millions of dollars of Amazon Coins will be given to customers for free to spend on Kindle Fire apps, games, and in-app items. If your apps are already on Kindle Fire, then no action is required. If you have new apps or games ready, submit them by April 25th to ensure we have time to review your apps before millions of dollars in Amazon Coins arrive in customers' accounts.
For more information on Amazon Coins, click here. Stay tuned to the Distribution Blog for more updates and announcements regarding the launch of Amazon Coins.
Last fall we launched Whispercast for Kindle, a free online tool that helps organizations easily manage their Kindles and distribute Kindle books and docs at whispercast.amazon.com. We’re excited to announce that recently Whispercast also began supporting distribution of apps from Amazon to Kindle Fire tablets. This means that schools, businesses, and other organizations can now easily procure and distribute apps in bulk to their users.
In the past, organizations would have to manually make a purchase through each of their user accounts--this was a lengthy and often laborious process. Now, an administrator can simply login to Whispercast, find the app they want to buy, and push it out to their managed Kindle Fire tablets. If their users have their own personal Kindle Fire, the organization can also use Whispercast to invite them to “opt-in” and gift Kindle Fire apps directly to their Amazon account.
For example, schools can now discover an educational app and purchase it for all of their students, Additionally, enterprises that want their users to access corporate e-mail using an app like Touchdown (from Nitrodesk) can easily distribute that app to all of their employees.
For more information about Whispercast for Kindle, click here.
Earlier this week, we launched a new feature in the Mobile App Distribution Portal, allowing you to easily see all customer reviews for your apps, by marketplace, in a single, unified location. This provides you the opportunity to review your customer reviews (and filter by marketplace and star rating), and use this feedback to build new features, identify potential bugs, and improve your app over time.
To access this new feature, go to “My Apps” in the Distribution Portal, hover over the app you’d like to look at the reviews for, and click “View current version” in the menu on the right. Under your app title in the header, click “Reviews”.
Starting today, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” is now available in Europe and Japan, in addition to the previously released Kindle Fire HD 7” and Kindle Fire (2nd generation). As a reminder, we have resources available to help you optimize your mobile apps for Kindle Fire tablets, including Kindle Fire HD 8.9”:
Kindle Fire is the best-selling, most gifted, and most wished-for product across the millions of items available on Amazon worldwide. This is another opportunity for your apps to reach new customers on Kindle Fire. If you’re new, get started at the Mobile App Distribution Portal. If you’re updating your app and optimizing for Kindle Fire tablets, send us a request to market your apps after they’re submitted.
In a recent study of more than 500 games that utilize in-app purchasing on Amazon, we found that mobile games using Amazon GameCircle’s leaderboards and achievements monetized significantly better than other games.
For the three-month period from November 2012 to January 2013, games using GameCircle produced 38 percent higher conversion rates and 33 percent more in-app orders per paying customer than games that didn’t use GameCircle. Conversion was measured by calculating the percentage of app users that made at least one in-app purchase. Combining the impact of both of these variables, GameCircle-enabled games earned 83 percent more average revenue per user (ARPU) than non-GameCircle games.
The free-to-play (or freemium) model, where consumers download and play a game for free, has become one of the most prominent business models in mobile gaming today. However, the biggest challenge for game developers following the freemium model is figuring out how to generate more revenue by converting non-payers into payers and keeping those paying users engaged.
Many of Amazon’s mobile game developers have discovered how GameCircle’s services–Achievements, Leaderboards and Whispersync–have contributed to their success at Amazon. GameCircle lets players connect with other players to compare achievements and compete for higher scores. These social elements get the competitive juices flowing, which may increase a user’s willingness to pay for in-game content, leading to higher conversion rates for developers. “PlayFirst's games on Amazon have performed above and beyond our expectations, and we believe GameCircle has enhanced our ability to connect and engage with Amazon customers, encouraging more play sessions," said Paul Chen, VP of Business Development at PlayFirst.
GameCircle also offers new discovery mechanisms that are an important factor helping drive increased engagement rates. For games that have integrated with GameCircle, players can see their friends, achievements, and leaderboard activity before launching the application, since all of this information is visible right from the user’s game library. Leading games such as Skylanders Cloud Patrol, Diner Dash, and Temple Run 2 have already integrated with GameCircle. The image below showcases how a user’s library is populated with GameCircle meta-data.
This added visibility is a powerful engagement tool. A related study that we conducted in January 2013 found that, on average, games using GameCircle over-indexed on the number of player sessions (defined by the number of times users opened the applications on their device) by 32 percent when compared to the average for the entire games category. For freemium games that monetize by selling in-game content, this enhanced level of engagement is critical to expanding customer lifetime values. "We see superior engagement, retention and monetization from players who download our games from Amazon. The GameCircle integration is helping us achieve 40 percent better per user monetization rates compared to non-Amazon players," said Sean Thompson, Vice President of Mobile Deluxe.
For you, GameCircle represents another opportunity to provide gamers with a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience, which can lead to increased engagement and monetization. Please visit the following links if you would like to learn more about the Amazon GameCircle and In-App Purchasing APIs.
We’re on the road again—this time, we’re heading to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress before heading south to Austin to attend SXSW. We’d like to give you a heads up about our sessions and other conference activities. If you’re going to be attending these conferences as well, we hope we will see you there!
Making Money with Mobile Apps: Best Practices from Amazon on App Monetization
Wednesday, February 27th - 1:45pm to 2:30pm CET
Speaker: Aaron Rubenson, Director, Amazon Appstore for Android
App Planet, a mini-conference within Mobile World Congress, is a place where mobile app developers can gain knowledge and network with other developers. Aaron Rubenson will be speaking about monetization trends in mobile apps and games and information about new services available to mobile app developers.
We will be at Austin Convention Center during the SXSW Trade Show from March 10th through March 13th. Stop by our booth and learn more about distributing your mobile apps and games through Amazon, meet with our marketing and technical representatives, and get information about running your apps in the cloud from our friends at Amazon Web Services. We hope to see you there!
Democratization of Publishing: Survive and Thrive
Sunday, March 10th - 5pm to 6pm CST
Aaron Rubenson - Director, Amazon Appstore for Android
Libby Johnson McKee – Director, Kindle Direct Publishing, North America
Colleen Hoover – New York Times best-selling author of Slammed and Hopeless
John Densmore – former drummer and founding member of The Doors
The publishing industry is evolving as authors, indie appand game creators, and musicians are empowered to self-publish and distribute real-time, on-demand content to millions of potential customers. There are more opportunities than ever to get content in front of the right audiences, but discovery continues to be a challenge as the distribution channels fragment. Hear from industry leaders on what the future might hold, and tips for getting the right eyeballs on your content.
Announcing the release of a new Active Subscribers report for mobile app developers who sell subscriptions within their apps. This report uses data on customer acquisition and retention to explain changes in the size of your subscriber base. This data will help you more easily measure the impact of product and marketing decisions, like extended trial periods or new content strategies. The report is now available as the default view in the Subscriptions section of the Sales Report. Our previous Subscription Sales Report, showing transactions and revenue, is unchanged.
To use this new report, select a date range and a particular subscription period you’d like to analyze. For that date range, our data displays the inflows of new subscribers and outflows of expired and cancelled subscribers. We use that data to reconcile changes in your active subscriber count over the period. By organizing the data in this way, users can see every active subscriber is accounted for.
For convenience, we calculate a few key metrics from these numbers: app-to-trial subscription conversion, trial-to-paid subscription conversion, and the churn rate of the paid subscriber base.
This new report is available starting today in the Mobile App Distribution Portal, in the Reporting section under Sales Reports. To access your old Subscription Sales report, select it from the drop down which says Show: Active Subscribers.
Today we announced the upcoming launch of Amazon Coins, a new virtual currency for U.S. customers to purchase apps, games, and in-app items on Kindle Fire. When Amazon Coins launches in May, we will be giving out tens of millions of dollars worth of Coins to customers to spend on Kindle Fire apps, games, or in-app items.
For customers, it's an easy way to spend money on Kindle Fire apps and games. They'll be able to purchase as they do now, but with the ability to choose to pay with a credit card or using Coins. For you, it's another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads, and increased monetization. Plus, there's no integration required--you'll get paid the same 70% revenue share whether the customer chooses to use Coins or their own money.
To take advantage of this unique opportunity, you only need to do one thing: make sure your new apps and app updates are submitted and approved by April 25th so they'll have the best chance of being available for Coins purchases at the launch of the program (and when we give customers their free Coins).
Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.
SpinFall is a small indie mobile game development company based in San Antonio, Texas. The husband and wife team of Franklin and Stephanie Lyons have been developing mobile games as a hobby for the past three years, and have recently decided to dedicate all of their time to creating fun, family-friendly games. Their latest game is Frog on Ice,where you use tapping motions to propel Plop (a frog) across an icy terrain,while defeating bad guys and collecting treasures.
When the Free App of the Day team reached out to SpinFall to see if they were interested in participating, they were excited to hear more about the opportunity, knowing that it would give them an opportunity to expand their customer base. “For indie developers like us, this kind of exposure is priceless,” said Stephanie. The Free App of the Day team worked closely with SpinFall,providing tips and assistance leading up to their scheduled day.
“Watching our download number skyrocket all day was really exciting,” said Stephanie. “What we obtained that day was more important than cash. We acquired a solid customer base and received a ton of customer feedback.” Frog on Ice received more downloads on that day than it has previously in all markets combined. Plus, the app had more than 100 new reviews.“The reviews have enabled us to improve our game based on what people really want,” said Stephanie. “Plus, our revenue went up on other app stores that day too.”
“Our profits on Amazon are still at least double than what they were prior to Free App of the Day,” said Stephanie. “Since then, we’re earning more on Amazon daily than on iTunes or Google Play.” Plus, the added awareness caught the attention of the San Antonio Express News, who has recently written about their company and games. “Anywhere else, marketing efforts of this caliber would have easily cost thousands of dollars to implement,” said Stephanie. “But with Amazon’s Free App of the Day program, we didn’t have to spend a dime.”
SpinFall’s advice for future Free App of the Day participants:
SpinFall was very pleased with the results of Frog on Ice in Free App of the Day. They gained added visibility, a new customer base,access to analytics they’ve never had before, customer feedback, and even a bitof local fame. If you’re interested in participating in the Free App of the Day program, you can submit your app for consideration here.
Mike Hines, Technical Evangelist for Amazon Kindle, is our guest blogger for this post.
So writing your app was the hard part. Okay, true enough;but it’s not the last part. You still need to sell your app, and a great product description will help you do that. Here's how to make sure your description puts your app in the best light.
Make sure your description is clear, honest, and straightforward. If you have a personal finance app that tracks income and expenses and helps you budget, explain why and how this is helpful and how the app works. Don’t make grandiose promises about how your app will make users wealthy; customers see through inflated claims, and your description will lose credibility.
Use the following checklist to get the basics right:
But wait, there's more! Remember—this is the Basics checklist. If you just do the things in the list above, you’ll only get an okay product description. We can do better.
Consider the following description:
This is a clever, addictive game that’s a lot like a word search game. It also makes you think instead of just looking for words. Create words by linking letters that disappear when you link them. When they disappear, they are replaced with letters from the grid above.
If you’re clever, you can set yourself up to create long words and get lots of points and you’ll never run out of games to play. In addition to Standard mode, there is a 'Timed' mode too. Tracked stats include 'Longest Word', 'Highest Scoring Word', 'Total Score' and more! Play MyGame in Portrait, as well as Landscape view. MyGame is the best game ever for everyone who likes puzzles and games.
This example is not “a bad example.” This product description would do alright as is, because it does several things right:
Still, this product description isn’t brilliant. This writing probably won’t generate the enthusiasm, curiosity, or the confidence required to convert a marginally interested shopper into a buyer. It reads poorly, uses choppy structure, and is imprecise or confusing on a number of items.
Now consider a much better description of the same game:
MyGame is a word search game with a tactical twist.
Create words by linking letters within a grid of scrambled letters. Each word created is then removed from the grid and the letters above fall into the gaps left behind, creating new word possibilities. With careful play, letters can be brought into play strategically and used to create longer, higher scoring words. The starting grid is randomly generated, so no two games should ever be the same.
MyGame offers two modes of play: 'Relaxed' - for those who like to take their time and try to create the longest words, and 'Timed' - where players can test themselves against the clock to see how they score under pressure. Your 'Longest Word', 'Highest Scoring Word', 'Words Made' and 'Total Score' stats are all recorded so you can track your achievements. If you like word search puzzles, you’ll love this game. Download MyGame and start finding words with a twist today!
This description does a number of things differently than the previous description. It completes the checklist, but more importantly, it provides the following subtle improvements.
The improved description:
While these two product descriptions are similar, one of the big differences lies in the implementation of the required checklist elements (and, honestly, a bit of proofreading).
So how do you refine the nuances of your description? Use these three simple checks to see if you've met the bar.
Trust us: It gets better from here. Even if your first few product descriptions are closer to good than great, it is okay to rewrite your description. With practice, you’ll find it easy to develop a solid, recognizable style in your product descriptions that can help establish consistency, brand recognition, and consumer trust.
So, go ahead—why wait? Get started today by using these guidelines to make a small edit or two to an existing product description.
Today, we are extending our In-App Purchasing to PC, Mac, and web-based games, in addition to Android and Kindle Fire. If you build PC, Mac, or web-based games and your games incorporate virtual items (virtual currency, characters, expansion packs,subscriptions, and so forth), this service should be of interest to you. Your users can purchase these items from within your game using the credit cards they already have on file with Amazon, simplifying the purchasing experience,and increasing conversion from free to paid usage.
For more information, and to learn how to get started, click here.
Today we released a new tool to help you integrate Amazon APIs into your Android apps. The AmazonMobile App SDK Eclipse Plugin (beta) allows you to rapidly and reliably integrate Amazon APIs into your Android projects, speeding up development and cutting down on project setup time.
The Amazon Mobile App SDK Eclipse Plugin (beta) is a design-time tool that is easy to install, simple to control, and builds on your familiarity with Eclipse to increase your productivity in developing apps and games for distribution on Amazon. The plugin generates the appropriate config entries for the APIs you select, then copies over the relevant API jar files. If desired, you can also use it to quickly undo API integration, without affecting the original state of your Eclipse project.
Benefits of Using the Amazon Mobile App SDK Eclipse Plugin:
Click here to learn how to install the Amazon MobileApp SDK Eclipse Plugin. Take it for a spin, add it to your toolbox, and then tell us what you think by completing this brief survey. We welcome your feedback and appreciate learning what more we can do to help increase your productivity.
With the OpenFeint shutdown on December 14, 2012, many mobile app developers find themselves having to evaluate other social gaming platforms. One such platform that offers tremendous value to developers is Amazon GameCircle for Kindle Fire tablets.
GameCircle makes achievements, leaderboards, and sync APIs accessible, simple, and quick for you to integrate, giving gamers a seamless and entertaining in-game experience.
Additional benefits of GameCircle include:
For detailed information on how to migrate from OpenFeint to GameCircle, click here.