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December 18, 2013

Peter Heinrich

The Amazon Appstore continues to see tremendous growth, and in fact selection has more than doubled in 2013 over 2012, offering more than 100,000 apps as a result of a growth of 95 percent in app submissions. This momentum would not be possible without the many developers who build apps and games for folks using Kindle Fire and other Android devices. Think of our ecosystem kind of like a pizza parlor.

In just two years since shipping its first Kindle Fire, the Amazon Appstore has established a platform that allows developers to reach millions of Amazon customers worldwide. Amazon also offers a unique discovery and marketing engine through Free App of the Day, Game Connect and other Amazon channels (like recommendations and emails).

 

November 25, 2013

Peter Heinrich

We have been encouraging mobile app and game developers to try Amazon’s Mobile Ad Network because of its great eCPM—effectively, how much you earn for every 1,000 ads displayed—but that isn’t the only benefit.  Performance reports put ad data at your fingertips, such as which of your apps are using ads most effectively, what ad sizes have the best eCPM and fill rates, and how the total number of impressions has changed week-over-week.  These reports are automatically available to any app that integrates the Mobile Ads API.

Now there are even more ways to refine the analysis.  Two new filters allow you to report on performance data by geographical region and mobile device type.


Performance may vary by app

By default, data for all regions and all devices is included in the reports you generate.


Fill rate may vary by app

Amazon serves most if its ads to users located in the US, so running your report with a US categorization draws a more accurate picture of the performance and makes it easier to evaluate the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.  You can also expand the region filter to include North America (Non-US), Asia, Europe, and Others. You will be able to analyze usage of your app outside of the U.S. to help you decide how to monetize your non-U.S. traffic.

You can also filter the data by which type of device made an ad request.  You may find that phone and tablet versions vary widely in ad performance, or that some combination of a particular form factor and operating system typically converts better (or worse) than other combinations.


Ad requests may vary by app

Supported device types include Android phones and Kindle Fire and Android tablets.

Being able to refine your ad performance reports by geography and mobile device type makes it possible to see detailed information on regional fill rates, understand ad request volume by platform, and accurately compare and evaluate the Amazon Mobile Ad Network relative to other mobile ad networks.  All of this reporting is easy to incorporate into your apps. Simply integrate the Mobile Ads API and take advantage of the analysis and insights at no cost.

 

November 14, 2013

David Isbitski

We’re excited to announce a new tool for developers called the Developer Promotion Console (DPC). DPC gives you a self-service way to manage the pricing of all your apps with pricing campaigns. Want to run a 24-hour special holiday sale or discount all of your apps to celebrate the launch of a new game? It’s now much easier.

The Developer Promotion Console is available just in time for the holidays and it’s a great time run a special offer. In 2012, we saw a 50% increase in the number of app downloads during Thanksgiving week as compared to an average week. During ‘Digital Week’ 2012, the week after Christmas, customers purchased and downloaded 600% more apps than any other week during 2012.

What is it?

DPC allows you to create campaigns that run from 24 hours to any amount of time you choose, up to a maximum of 27 consecutive days. Pricing is worldwide so you can set discounts by Amazon marketplace. Best of all, you can run campaigns for the price of your mobile apps and any of your mobile in-app items.


 

What does it include?

Set temporary price drops: Create price drop promotions for your mobile apps and mobile in-app items to incentivize your customers to purchase your products. 

ReportingEasily view your ROI during your price drop promotion. Compare the performance of your promotion with your performance prior to the promotion.

Ease of use: Creating a price drop promotion is simple. Typically, it will take no more than five minutes and three steps to go from start to a scheduled promotion.

How do I get started?

Inside of the developer console, you will see a new tab called ‘Promotions.’ Clicking on the tab will display a new button to create a ‘Price Drop,’ as well as a list of your existing campaigns.

You will be able to set a discount for any of your apps and in-app items available for purchase.

For this example, we are going to create a new campaign for one app and set a price discount for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We start off by giving the campaign a name, in this case the ‘Thanksgiving Holiday Promo’, and then selecting the app (currently blocked out in the image for privacy reasons) that we want to include in the promotion.

We then select the Amazon marketplaces we want the campaign to run in. Since Thanksgiving is a US holiday, we will only run it in the amazon.com marketplace.

Next, we can choose the dates for our campaign, with the minimum being one day and the maximum being 27 consecutive days. We are going to run this campaign for Thanksgiving Day only, on November 28, 2013.


We then click ‘Next’ and define the discount we want to apply to our app. We are going to do a 50% off sale with the price being rounded to the nearest 9. Selecting the amazon.com marketplace from the dropdown shows us that the list price for our app will go from 2.99 USD to 1.49 USD when the campaign is active.

Again, note that the app name in the above screenshot has been hidden in this example for privacy reasons.

Clicking ‘Next’ will give us a final confirmation of our campaign’s details. We have the ability to edit any of the sections before hitting ‘Submit’.

We’re finished. Our campaign is now ready to run on Thanksgiving Day in the amazon.com marketplace, where our app will be available for sale at 50% off.

How much did we increase sales?

Rather than guessing if we made more money with increased sales at a discount, the DPC reports will show us our net results of our campaign sales compared with our normal app pricing.

To view the results of the campaign, we just click on the ‘Promotions’ tab again (the same one we used to create our campaigns), and we will see a list of the campaigns that have run or are planned.

In the above example, we can see that we ran a campaign from October 29th through November 3rd (campaign name hidden for privacy reasons), and we have the option to click ‘View’ to see the results of that campaign.

We can see that during the campaign period, we sold 21 units of our app at 50% off.

The ‘Effect’ column takes the guesswork out of the ROI for our campaign and gives us the net results. Based on sales during the period of time before the campaign ran, we have increased our revenue for the period by 84%, resulting in a nice boost.

We can also click on the CSV icon, which will create a detailed view of daily sales during the campaign period and compare them with previous run rates.

Conclusion

The new Developer Promotion Console helps you manage discounted pricing which can lead to increased sales and customer engagement. Creating a new campaign is easy through the Developer Promotion Console, at no cost to you. With detailed reports that will show you the ROI of your campaign, you can feel more confident experimenting with discounts on your apps and in-app items.
 

-Dave (@TheDaveDev

 

October 02, 2013

Mike Hines

There have been some new features added to the Amazon dev portal (Mobile App Distribution Portal) recently. First of all, it’s not just mobile any more. You can now submit your PC and Mac software in addition to submitting Android apps and web apps for mobile devices. (See this post for details.)

You also have more flexibility with the Androlid apps or web apps you submit.  Previously, when an app was submitted and was under review, you needed to wait until the review was finished before doing anything else with that submission.  Now, you can cancel the submission if you like, change something, and re-submit it again.

Just click the Cancel App Submission button at the bottom of the submission’s detail page (it’s at the bottom of all the tabs, not just General Information), and it will place your submission into the ‘Ready to Submit’ status where you can edit and replace submission elements as required.

Thanks for letting us know this was a feature you wanted. If you wish to suggest other features, please drop us a line.

 

October 01, 2013

Peter Heinrich

Until now, submitting your PC or Mac digital software or video games for sale on Amazon has been a largely manual process. In sharp contrast, submitting a mobile app to the Amazon Appstore for Android has always been completely self-service; to submit a mobile app for approval, you click-through our distribution agreement, supply a title, description, list price and display imagery, upload your binary, and voilà! Even the tax information we are required to collect can be entered online.

Simple and Consistent

You can say goodbye to this disparity as of now. In addition to HTML5 mobile apps and mobile apps for Android (including Kindle Fire), you can now submit your PC and Mac digital software and video games to be sold on Amazon. You can start the process at https://developer.amazon.com/welcome.html. Ingestion has been streamlined and automated to match the mobile app submission process, making the UI more uniform and significantly improving the developer experience.

At present, the distribution portal supports only US sales from Amazon.com of digital PC software and games, but we working hard to add international support.

We’ve also updated our distribution agreement to cover PC and Mac software and video games, and renamed the agreement the “App Distribution and Services Agreement”. You can review the updated agreement here.

The Workflow

Like mobile app developers, digital PC software and games developers need a valid Amazon account to log on to the  our portal. You can use your existing distribution account to upload a PC and Mac, digital software and video game in our portal If you don’t have one,

A)     I don’t believe it, and

B)      It’s easy to set up.

Just go to our portals welcome page and click the big green button labeled Create an Account.

 

Log in to your account from the welcome page above and you’ll see a dashboard view like the one below showing unit sales for each mobile app, digital software product or video game. This list will be empty, of course, until you actually submit an app, so hover over the Add a New App button to see a pop-up menu of supported product types. Select PC & Mac to create a new entry and present a form where you can enter general information about the digital software or video game to be sold, like title, platform, and minimum system requirements.

After you’ve filled in the required fields and clicked Save, a green checkmark should appear on the General Information tab. This confirms that the new product has been registered successfully and you can proceed to fill in information on the other tabs. You can do this in any order (once the general information tab is complete), but keep in mind that all tabs must have a green check before you can complete the submission process.

Continue to fill in the product information, tab by tab. It’s a good idea to pay close attention to the details here, since much of this information will be displayed on the product page seen by Amazon customers. Make sure that what you enter is accurate and compelling; this is your opportunity to let your work shine. It’s always good to spend a little extra time on the description, and be sure to include several screenshots. They really make a difference to customers.

Once you’ve completed all the data entry and each tab has a green check, you’re ready to complete the submission. A new Submit App button will appear below the data entry area.

After you complete the submission, you’ll be directed to the My Apps page, which lists all the products currently associated with your account. The status of each will also be displayed so you can keep track of its progress through the submission pipeline..

Key Management

You may be required to complete one additional bit of data entry after you submit, before the product summary screen above is displayed. If your digital software or video game will use product keys to unlock content or functionality, you can indicate that on the last data tab. In that case, you’ll be required to upload keys that Amazon can distribute to paying customers, though not until you actually complete the submission. Then you’ll be directed to the Key Management page to complete the upload.

That’s It!

Unless they also created PC or Mac digital software or video games to be sold on Amazon, most developers probably never even realized how manual that submission process was, especially compared to releasing applications on the Amazon Appstore for Android. Today’s update and unification of the ingestion processes should greatly streamline the  process for selling your PC and Mac digital software and video games on Amazon. Set-up will be easier and deployment faster.

If you haven’t submitted digital software or video games to Amazon before, now’s the perfect time to get started. If you have comments or questions, please let us know; your feedback helps us make our services better.

April 09, 2013

lisamar

The Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal now offers the ability to submit separate APKs for Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD 7", Kindle Fire HD 8.9", and general Android (all non-Amazon) devices. You can find a brief overview of device targeting use in the Distribution Portal here. Below is a more detailed example of exactly how this new feature can be used.

In this example we will target all non-Amazon devices with one binary, and all Amazon devices with another binary. In order to accomplish this using our device targeting, you should create two APKs, following these steps:

Create your first binary—let’s refer to it as Binary1. Edit the Binary1 manifest.xml file so that it conforms to standard Android device targeting naming conventions. Let’s use a version name of { 1.0 } and a version code of { 1 }. Your package name stays the same for both binary(s).

NOTE: Binary1 is your non-Amazon device binary. Regardless of whether you will be updating this binary in the future, you will need to keep it as part of your future submissions for backward compatibility.

Create your second binary—let’s refer to it as Binary2. Edit your Binary2 manifest.xml file so that it conforms to device targeting naming conventions – this is done in your apps manifest.xml file. Let’s use a version name of { 1.0 } (note that version names must be the same) and a version code of { 2 } (note that version codes must be different). Your package name stays the same. Make sure that your version names for Binary1 and Binary2 are the same, and that your version codes for Binary1 and Binary2 are different.

NOTE: Binary2 is your Amazon device specific binary { xx.apk, 1.0 , 2 }. This will be submitted along with Binary1 later in the process.

You now have everything ready to submit your new app version to the Distribution Portal for testing.

1.     Sign into the Distribution Portal

2.     Go to My Apps > [choose your app]

NOTE: If you are creating a new app, you will need to select Add a New App and complete all of the tabs prior to the Binary File(s) before you will be able to upload your binaries. If you are simply creating a new version to an existing app, Add Upcoming Version (your metadata will be copied from the prior version).

3.     Fill out the fields for Binary1 (your non-Amazon version) and upload Binary1

a.     You will need to complete the prior tabs before being able to access the Binary File(s) tab

b.     Select whether or not you wish to have Amazon DRM applied to your app

c.     Click into the Binary File square to upload Binary1

d.Check/uncheck the appropriate boxes for which devices you want Binary1 to support—in this example, we unchecked all but the top box for All non-Amazon Android devices based on my manifest

e.     Select the languages your binary supports

f.      Be sure to check the Export Compliance checkbox

g.     The binary alias will default to Binary1—change the name as desired

4.     Select Save and Add a Binary

5.     Fill out the fields for Binary2 (your Amazon device version) and upload Binary2

a.     Select whether or not you wish to have Amazon DRM applied to your app

b.     Click into the Binary File square to upload Binary2

c.Check/uncheck the appropriate boxes for which devices you want Binary2 to support—in this example, we left the boxes checked for all Amazon devices: Kindle Fire (1st Generation), Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9

d.     Select the languages your binary supports

e.     Be sure to check the Export Compliance checkbox

f.      The binary alias will default to Binary1—change the name as desired

NOTE: The server will automatically fill in any devices that are not yet supported in the Device Support section. If you do not have any further devices to support, the Save and Add a Binary button is no longer active. This is a good check to make sure you have addressed all available devices and everything has been accounted for.

6.     Select Save

If you update an app, make sure you are targeting (at least) the same set of devices as you did with your original version. For example, if you were supporting Kindle Fire (1st Generation), Kindle Fire, and Kindle Fire HD before, ensure that between Binary1 and Binary2 you are still supporting Kindle Fire (1st Generation), Kindle Fire, and Kindle Fire HD.

If you are switching to multi-binary in an app update, it is a good idea to add a release note (the Release Note tab will appear when you update an app) indicating that you are addressing backward compatibility to set proper expectations for your users. Something like the following would be appropriate: “This update addresses backward compatibility for non-Amazon devices in the Amazon store.”

Don’t forget to Submit Your App for testing after making your updates in the Distribution Portal!

March 15, 2013

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

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”.

February 21, 2013

lisamar

When uploading multimedia or binary files to your Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal account, files larger than 100 MB must be uploaded using FTP. To upload your larger assets using FTP, simply follow the below instructions:

On the Images & Multimedia or Binary File(s) tab in your app details, click on the FTP instructions and naming convention link to obtain the app-specific naming conventions you will need to upload via FTP.

 

FTP Upload Steps

 1.  Select the app whose file(s) you will be uploading using the dropdown

2.  Use the generated name list to rename any assets over 100 MB to the specific file name provided—this file name is how Amazon will know what app and asset field to apply the file

3.  Using the FTP client of your choice, login and upload your renamed files using the specified FTP server and username—if needed, reset your password to have a new one sent to you


4.  You’re almost done! Simply review and submit your app once your files appear uploaded

Allow up to 20 minutes for an e-mail confirmation that your assets are processed and available. You will also receive an e-mail if the uploaded asset is invalid or misnamed. E-mails will be sent to the e-mail address you have provided us in your Distribution Portal profile. Once the asset has been uploaded, finish any remaining steps and review your content one last time. After you have satisfied all the asset requirements, you will be able to submit your app to have it reviewed for inclusion in the store.

More about the FTP Naming Convention

Every app has a unique application ID (appId below) that is a required part of the filename when you upload via FTP. Including the package name after the application ID is optional—add the package name only if it helps you organize your files.

Small icon (114 x 114 pixels):  appId-AD-ICON.png  or  appId-package.name-AD-ICON.png

EXAMPLE:  M0A2KAXJX4CATH-AD-ICON.png or M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-ICON.png

Large icon (512 x 512 pixels):  appId-AD-THUMB.png  or  appId-package.name-AD-THUMB.png

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-AD-THUMB.png OR M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-THUMB.png

Screenshots (1024 x 600px or 800 x 480 pixels): appId-AD-SHOTXX.png orappId-package.name-AD-SHOTXX.png where XX is an optional numerical index of the image

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-AD-SHOT.png, M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-SHOT.png, M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-SHOT1.png, M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-SHOT05.png

Promotional image (1024 x 500 pixels, landscape only): appId-AD-PROMO.png or appId-package.name-AD-PROMO.png

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-AD-PROMO.png or M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-PROMO.png

Video(s): appId-AD-VIDEOXX.png or appId-package.name-AD-VIDEOXX.avi where XX is an optional numerical index of the video

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-VIDEO.avi,M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-VIDEO1.avi,M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-AD-VIDEO05.avi

Binary file/APK:

Signed by Amazon (recommended)

With DRM: appId-<binary alias>.apk  or  appId-package.name-<binary alias>.apk

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-my_alias.apk orM0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-my_alias.apk

Without DRM: appId-<binary alias>-nodrm.apk or appId-package.name-<binary alias>-nodrm.apk appId-<binary alias>-nodrm.apk or appId-package.name-<binary alias>-nodrm.apk

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-my_alias-nodrm.apkor M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-my_alias-nodrm.apk

Signed by you

Unsigned binary with DRM: appId-<binary alias>-precert.apk or appId-package.name-<binary alias>-precert.apk

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-my_alias-precert.apk orM0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-my_alias-precert.apk

Unsigned binary without DRM: appId-<binary alias>-precert-nodrm.apk or appId-package.name-<binary alias>-precert-nodrm.apk

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-my_alias-precert-nodrm.apk  or  M0A2KAXJX4CATH-com.example.mobile.app-my_alias-precert-nodrm.apk

Signed binary: appId-<binary alias>-mycert.apk or appId-package.name-<binary alias>-mycert.apk

EXAMPLE: M0A2KAXJX4CATH-my_alias-signed.apk

 

February 20, 2013

alexbow

As part of our series of “how to” blog posts, we’d like to provide updated instructions on how to update your app and app’s metadata using the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. Whether you’re submitting new screenshots, an updated description, or a totally new version of your app, these instructions will guide you through the process of getting the updates to your users.

Updating Metadata (screenshots, descriptions, etc.)

  • Go to the My Apps section in the Distribution Portal.
  • Click on the current live version of your app.
  • Click the “Description” or “Images & Multimedia” tab, depending on what you would like to update.
  • Click the “Edit” button (in the bottom right corner).
  • To remove an existing image, tap the “X” in the top right corner. To add a new image, click the “Upload Image” image.
  • Click the green “Save” button in the bottom right corner.
  • Click the “Submit App” button.

Updating to a New Version

  • Go to the My Apps section in the Mobile App Distribution Portal.
  • Hover your pointer over the app for which you are creating an updated version, and then choose “Add Upcoming Version” from the menu on the right.
  • If no metadata updates are required with the new version, tap the “Binary File” tab, then tap the “Upload Binary” image.
  • Review and certify your app for Export Compliance.
  • Click “Release Notes”, and then click “Edit”. Add in release notes. Click “Save”.
  • Click the “Submit App” button. 

February 05, 2013

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

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.

December 19, 2012

lisamar

We’re coming up on the second anniversary of the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program and wanted to review some of the basics, since so much has been updated in the past year. If you’re new to the Mobile App Distribution Portal and you’re looking to sign up and start submitting apps,the first step is to create a Distribution Portal account. Here’s how:

1.  Go to http://developer.amazon.com/

2.  Click on Mobile App Distribution

1_developer_amazon_com_resized

3.  Click on Create an Account

2_welcome_resized

4.  Enter your e-mail address and ensure the I am a new customer radio button is selected

5.  Click Sign in using our secure server 

3_create_acct_or_sign_in_resized

6.  Complete the fields on the Registration page and click Create account

4_registration_resized

7.  Complete the fields on the 1. Profile Information tab-note that a red asterisk denotes required fields

Optional Fields

  • Developer description - You may enter a company description in this field that will appear on the web and mobile detail pages for your apps
  • Customer support email address, phone, and website - You may provide customer support contact information


8.  Click Save and Continue 

5_profile_info

9.  Review and accept the Mobile App Distribution Agreement by clicking Accept and Continue 

6_mobile_distribution_agreement_resized

10.  Complete the fields on the 2. Royalty Payments tab as applicable and click Save and Complete 

7_royalty_payments_resized

Welcome to your Mobile App Distribution Portal account. You are now ready to submit your apps.

We’re coming up on the second anniversary of the Amazon Appstore for Android and wanted to review some of the basics, since so much has been updated in the past year. If you’re new to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal and you’re looking to sign up and start submitting apps,the first step is to create a Distribution Portal account. Here’s how: go to http://developer.amazon.com, click on "Mobile App Distribution".

 

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