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Showing posts tagged with Monetization

May 16, 2013

Mike Hines

Amazon Mobile Ads

The Amazon Mobile Ads API now includes the Auto Ad Size feature, which automatically selects the appropriate ad size to display based on the user's device and your app’s ad layout. Auto Ad Size significantly reduces integration and testing time for each app, and it provides a better user experience.

If you're working on updating your app, be sure to download the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API, integrate the API into your app (technical documentation), and submit your app to Amazon and any other Android stores where your app is available. You can also view our introduction video. (This API is not included in the bundled SDK)

Steps to integrate:

  1. Sign in to your Distribution Portal account. If you do not already have one, you will be prompted to create an account.
  2. Submit your payment and tax information. (Skip this step if you have already submitted this information)
  3. Get an Application Key by clicking on your app under My Apps or adding a new app.
  4. Download and integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API. Submit your app for approval.

     

    May 14, 2013

    siwapin

    Adding advertising to your apps is easy. Integrating ads doesn’t require a major redesign of your app and has minimal impact on your app’s functionality.  It is as simple as making space for the ad on the screen.  The Amazon Mobile Ads API (Beta) enables you to display high-quality ads provided from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network in a matter of minutes.  This article explains how to place ads into an existing app using the Amazon Mobile Ads API.

    Set Up Your Payment Information

    First and foremost, submit your payment information through the Payment Information Page and your tax information through the Tax Identity Interview. You can skip this step if you have already submitted this information through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. This is required to receive ads.

    Retrieve Your Application Key

    The Amazon Mobile Ads API utilizes a unique Application Key to identify and interact with an app.  Every app will have its own Application Key.  If your app is already on the Distribution Portal, you can find your Application Key on the app’s detail page.  Otherwise, create a new app and fill in the “App title” and “Category” fields.  Locate the Application Key value and set that aside.  We will use that later to register with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.

    Application Key

    Incorporate the Amazon Mobile Ads API Into to Your Project

    Next, you will need to add the Amazon Mobile Ads API to your project.  For the purposes of this example, we will use Eclipse.

    Download the Amazon Mobile Ads API (Beta) from here (this should link to our API landing page which has the file for download and the legal verbiage) and unzip it locally.

    Add the JAR to Your Project

    Modify the build path of your project and add the amazon-ads-<x.y.z>.jar found in the zip under the /Ads/lib folder.

    • In the Eclipse project explorer, right-click on your project and open the properties
    • Navigate to Java Build Path in the left pane
    • Choose the “Libraries” section
    • Press the “Add External JARs…” button
    • Choose the amazon-ads-<x.y.z>.jar from the zip

    Java Build Path

    • Choose the “Order and Export” section
    • Check the box on the amazon-ads-<x.y.z>.jar

    Order and Export

    Add the amazon_ads_attr.xml to Your Project

    This step is required to set up ads through the xml layout.  Copy the amazon_ads_attr.xml file from the zip located in /Ads/res/values/ into your project’s res/values/ folder.

    Add the amazon_ads_attr.xml

    Modify the ApplicationManifest.xml

    The Amazon Mobile Apps API requires the following permissions and activities:

    • Add the following permissions to your manifest

    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_WIFI_STATE" />

    • Add the following activities within the application tag

     <activity android:name="com.amazon.device.ads.MraidBrowser" android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation"/>
    <activity android:name="com.amazon.device.ads.VideoActionHandler" android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation|screenSize"/>

    Place the Ad in Your Project Layout

    Now that the project is set up to use the Amazon Mobile Ads API, the next step is to add an ad to the application layout. 

    • Open the layout xml you want to display your ads on from your project’s res/layout folder
    • Add the following namespace to the parent layout filling in with your package name

    xmlns:Amazon=http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/<my.package.name> 

    • Add an AdLayout into your layout and configure the adSize attribute.  You can find the supported ad size values here
    • Set the layout_width and layout_height to match the adSize.

    <com.amazon.device.ads.AdLayout
            android:id="@+id/adview"
            Amazon:adSize="1024x50"
            android:layout_width="1024dp"
            android:layout_height="50dp"/>

    Modify Your Activity Code

    Now we can call the Amazon Mobile Ads API to load ads.

    Import the Ads Classes

    import com.amazon.device.ads.*;

    Register with Your Application Key

    Time to put that Application Key to work.  In your activities onCreate, call the AdRegistration method to register your app and then call the Amazon Mobile Ads API to load an ad.  Please note that you may only use an Application Key to display ads on the specific app for which it was issued. 

    //Register App with the Ad Network
    AdRegistration.setAppKey(getApplicationContext(), APP_ID); 

      //Load ad on to AdLayout
    adview = (AdLayout)findViewById(R.id.adview);
    adview.loadAd(new AdTargetingOptions());

    Publish Your App

    Submit your app to Amazon to display ads to your U.S. users and follow the attribution guidelines set forth here. The Amazon Mobile Ads API can also be used with apps that are distributed through any Android stores. Apps that use the Amazon Mobile Ads API may be distributed through any Android store as long as they are distributed through Amazon.

    Congratulations!

    Your app is ready to display high-quality ads from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.  This is the simplest of configurations but the Amazon Mobile Ads API has several features for customizing your   ad layout, ad targeting, error handling, debugging, and more.  Read more about the many features of the Amazon Mobile Ads API (Beta) here.

    April 29, 2013

    Mike Hines

    With the recent announcement that Amazon will be distributing in nearly 200 countries worldwide, it’s a good time to revisit making your app available internationally. In this post, I’ll be covering the steps to review before you should consider selling your apps internationally, including API availability, localization, pricing, and reviewing local feedback.

    First Things First. Can you sell internationally?

    Do you have the right to distribute your app internationally? It is your responsibility to verify that you have the necessary rights to distribute your apps and content everywhere you designate for your apps and content to be distributed.

    Are all services/APIs available internationally?

    The following services/APIs are available in all marketplaces:

    • Amazon In-App Purchasing API
    • Amazon A/B Testing Service
    • Amazon Device Messaging API
    • Amazon GameCircle API

    The following APIs are available in only some marketplaces:

    • Amazon Maps API is currently supported in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France
    • Amazon Mobile Ads API only serves ads to users in the United States

    For more information on APIs, see this link.

    Should you localize?

    Amazon does not require apps to be localized (though we think it is a good idea to do so). While you must have an English product description; you can also provide a localized product description. To localize your product description:

    1. Sign into the Distribution Portal and click My Apps
    2. In the dashboard or using search, find the app that you would like to edit and select the Description tab
    3. Click on the Add a Translation link at the top, and you will see the following screen where you can select the language you wish to add, and you can type in your translation

    For more on localization, see this post.

    Making your app available internationally

    Just two steps for this.

    1. Select the Countries in which you want to sell your apps
    2. Set your list prices

    1. Select the Countries in which you want to sell your apps:

    Whenever you create a new app, it is set to be available in all countries by default. To change international availability, click on the Availability and Pricing tab in My Apps and select the countries where you’d like to sell your apps.

    Developers are responsible for ensuring their apps comply with all applicable export and import restrictions and the laws of the countries in which the apps are sold.

    2. Set your list prices:

    By default, Amazon will calculate the list price used to calculate royalties for sales of your app in foreign currencies based on recent exchange rates when you use this tool, but you can change this if you wish. In the example above, you can see that $2.99 in USD became ₤1.96 Pounds in Great Britain. You may wish to change this (and other) list prices to end in .99, .49, or other common values.

    List prices for apps and IAP items do not automatically change when currency rates do. If you need to update your list prices, simply make changes via the ‘Availability and Pricing’ tab, and re-submit your app or IAP items.

    For more detailed information on the steps above, please see this post.

    Royalties and Taxes

    When your app is sold, you will earn a revenue share of the app’s list price net of applicable taxes. The revenue share does not change by country; however you will get a separate payment for each marketplace in which sales occur. For electronic payments, the currency of your payment is determined by the currency of your bank account location and for payment by check, you will receive funds in the currency of sale or in US dollars.

    List prices include any VAT or similar taxes that Amazon includes in the purchase price shown to end users, but those taxes are excluded from the list price when calculating your royalties. For example, if the list price for your App for an Amazon marketplace is 1.15 Euro and we display prices to an end user of that Amazon marketplace inclusive of 15% VAT, the list price for royalty calculation purposes for a sale to that end user is 1.00 Euro.  

    Please note that this is different than how sales taxes are applied in the U.S.

    For more details, click here.

    Customer Ratings

    All right! Now you’ve got apps available internationally, and you’re getting paid. How are your apps doing? You can see the reception they are getting by looking at the Reviews section in the Distribution Portal. Reviews of international apps are included as part of the Amazon marketplace that customer is shopping in. You can select the marketplace’s rating you wish to view by:

    1. From the Distribution Portal, click on your app
    2. Clicking on the Reviews link near the top of the page
    3. Click on the Left drop down button (Amazon.com in the picture below) to select the marketplace for which you would like to see reviews.

    Hopefully, you’re feeling more worldly now, and you should have a good idea of how to make your app available internationally. Here is a list of resources you can read for more details:

     

    April 25, 2013

    Mike Hines

    Amazon will be sending tens of millions of dollars to Kindle Fire users; money that can only be used to buy apps for Kindle Fire.  If you don’t want to miss a minute of that action, make sure your app is available for sale on Kindle Fire devices, or submit a Kindle Fire compatible app by April 25 for the best chance of getting in the Amazon Appstore in time. (If you submit after 4/25, your app will still be eligible, but may not make the start of the gold rush.)

    What kind of money is this?

    In May, Amazon is introducing Amazon Coins, a new virtual currency that customers can use to pay for apps and most in-app-purchase items. To help promote this new currency, Amazon is going to give away tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins to Kindle Fire users. This money will be burning a proverbial hole in customers’ pockets as they look for places to spend it. We’d like your app to be one of the tempting places to spend that currency.

    How do Amazon Coins work?

    U.S. customers will be able to spend Amazon Coins on apps and most in-app purchase items. (Subscriptions cannot be purchased with Amazon Coins.) Each Amazon Coin is worth 1-cent, so a $2.99 app will cost 299 coins. The way you get paid doesn’t change if the customer pays with Amazon Coins or a credit card; you get paid in real U.S. Dollars, at the same 70% revenue share you normally receive.

    What do I have to do for my app to be eligible for Amazon Coins?

    If your app is available for sale on a Kindle Fire device, then you’re done; nothing else to do. It doesn’t matter if your app is also available on other Android devices, as long as it is available on a Kindle Fire device, it is eligible.

    My app isn’t available on Kindle Fire now. How can I fix that?

    If you already have an app in the Amazon Appstore for Android, it’s fairly easy to make it available for Kindle Fire Tablets. Take a look at the Kindle Fire Development Best Practices here for hints on how to make your app shine on Kindle Fire, and then re-submit your app with the appropriate Kindle Fire devices selected on the Binary Files tab (see below).

    Please submit your apps by April 25th to give us the best chance of having enough time to review them and get them in the Amazon Appstore before tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins arrive in customers’ accounts.

    If you don’t have an app in the Amazon Appstore, don’t worry. You may be able to submit your existing Android app without too much work.  If you use Google Play Services for In-App Billing, Messaging, or Maps, you will need to replace them with the corresponding Amazon APIs before submitting. These APIs are:

    • Amazon In-App Purchasing API
    • Amazon Device Messaging API
    • Amazon Maps API

    Learn more about these APIs here.

    For more information on making your app available on Kindle Fire devices, check out these links:

    1. Create an account on the Mobile App Distribution Portal
    2. Download the Amazon Mobile App SDK
    3. Review the Kindle Fire development resources

    For more detailed information on Amazon Coins, see the FAQ for Amazon Coins.

    April 11, 2013

    Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

    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.

    March 05, 2013

    alexbow

    Following the success of the In-App Purchasing API, we are pleased to introduce a new monetization option for app developers, the Amazon Mobile Ads API. Now, whether you monetize through paid apps, in-app purchases, or mobile advertising, Amazon offers a solution to help grow your business.

    The Amazon Mobile Ads API is an in-app display advertising API, which offers:

    • A monetization opportunity with a competitive eCPM
    • High-quality ads from Amazon and brand advertisers such as Duracell Powermat and Nature's Bounty
    • Easy integration and revenue tracking through the Mobile App Distribution Portal
    • Distribution at scale through Amazon and other Android platforms

    The Amazon Mobile Ads API serves ads to U.S. users, and works with mobile apps on Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Android phones and tablets. Apps that use the Amazon Mobile Ads API may be distributed through any Android platform as long as they are available for download from Amazon as well.

    Developers who participated in the private beta program reported an increase in ad revenue, especially on their Kindle Fire optimized apps, after integrating with the Amazon Mobile Ads API.

    “We switched to Amazon from another major ad network and have seen revenue lift of 200%. Now, I call Amazon first, then another network, so my overall revenue increased 250%. The results from Amazon have greatly exceeded our expectations.”
    -- James Farrier, Founder (Simple-List Free)

    “Our experience with Amazon has been nothing but great. We were able to integrate in 15 minutes with the easy to follow API and documentation. We’re excited about the eCPM and fill rate so far. Our users have been happy with the quality and relevance of ads they are seeing.”
    -- Steve Boymel, Co-Founder of Farlex (Dictionary)

    “We decided to try Amazon's ads because our overall revenue and eCPM was low on tablets when we were using another network. We initially integrated the Amazon Mobile Ads API in one of our apps distributed through Amazon since the majority of our users there are on Kindle Fire devices. Our effort has paid off! We saw eCPM jump 300% and our revenue doubled even though fill rate was lower at the beginning. Now we have the Mobile Ads API integrated in all our free apps distributed through Amazon.”
    -- Anatoly Lubarsky, Founder of x2line.com (Baby Adopter)

    For more information on the Amazon Mobile Ads API, click here. We’ve also posted a short introduction video on our YouTube channel.

    February 20, 2013

    alexbow

    At Amazon, we love apps—so much, in fact, that we develop many mobile apps ourselves, and even have an in-house game studio. On the heels of the recent press from the Localytics report that the leading Android tablet is Kindle Fire (with 33% of market segment share worldwide and more than half in the US), we wanted to post some best practices for using in-app purchasing from our colleagues at Amazon Game Studios—developers of the recently released game Air Patriots.

    This post is from Ernie Ramirez, Executive Producer, Amazon Game Studios:

     

     

    Air Patriots is a new type of tower defense game where players control a squadron of airplanes by drawing the attack paths they use to engage the enemy. Air Patriots launched on November 1, 2012, on Amazon, iOS, and Google Play. Although our monetization on Amazon has been great (generating 73% higher ARPU than iOS, and both stores generated similar total revenue), we had some key learning during our initial launch. For example, our focus groups indicated that the two things customers would like to buy were more maps & more planes, in that order. This meshed with our goal of providing Air Patriots customers “big value” for in-app purchases. We reasoned that we would emphasize additional maps for purchase because it would give customers significantly more play time and provide a feel that they paid for something really big and worthwhile.

    We originally structured Air Patriots to provide gamers 2 of the 7 maps for free, with the remaining 5 requiring an in-app purchase. Additional airplanes were available using the in-game “soft currency” (gears). As a test, we also included a fully-loaded helicopter available via in-app purchase. It turns out that, after launch, the helicopter was our top-selling individual in-app item, and customers were responding negatively to the 5 additional maps. We received feedback that customers were feeling arbitrarily blocked from progressing in the game, which was not our intention!

    We updated the game—reduced prices of our in-app items, increased the amount of maps available with the in-game “soft currency” and offered more planes for sale with in-app purchasing. Customers responded immediately—the sales picked up and we started receiving reviews describing the game as “so darn addicting—pay a couple bucks for different planes. So cool!”

    To recap, here are a few things that we recommend to other mobile game developers:

    • We discovered that selling main-line game content like levels or expansion packs via in-app purchasing in a freemium game risks making customers feel arbitrarily blocked and frustrated

    • Customers prefer to buy things that improve their performance and/or give them new abilities to make them feel “stronger”

    To learn more about the Amazon In-App Purchasing API and Amazon Mobile App SDK, head to our documentation here. To get started with our program, go to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal, and once your app is submitted, submit a request to get your app marketed.

    February 20, 2013

    Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

    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 PatrolDiner 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.

    February 04, 2013

    Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

    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.

    Blog-image

    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). 

    To learn more, visit the Amazon Coins FAQ on the Mobile App Distribution Portal.

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