Halfbrick CEO Shaniel Deo Discusses Amazon Underground
In 2015, Amazon introduced a new monetization model called Amazon Underground in its continuing effort to make mobile developers successful. Instead of charging for each download or encouraging in-app purchases, developers can earn revenue through Amazon Underground for every minute that their app is actually in use by every customer.
By removing the usage friction associated with pay walls and in-app selling, Amazon Underground leads to a more engaging user experience, helping you attract more users to your app with the promise of 100% free content. We recently sat down with Shaniel Deo, founder of Halfbrick, to talk about the results his company has seen with Amazon Underground.
Creator of blockbuster games like Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja (which Deo says have worldwide downloads of more than 500 million and 1 billion, respectively, across all platforms), Halfbrick has released many popular mobile games over the years using traditional monetization models like premium, freemium, and ad-supported. According to Deo, “We had varying degrees of success. [Amazon Underground] really piqued my interest when I heard about it. This is something that I think is innovative, and allows us to reach a different audience, while at the same time generate revenue from that audience.”
Colossatron was the first game Halfbrick published to Amazon Underground, and Deo has been pleased with the customer response.
“Session lengths went up, and the overall hours that we saw in the Underground version (compared to the regular version of the game) were incredible—hundreds of percent higher. It was really amazing to see. All of that translates into more hours played in total, and ultimately, revenue.”
In fact, monthly downloads nearly tripled after the game became available through Amazon Underground, and total revenue rose by more than 750%.
Deo believes one of the keys to the success of Colossatron makes it well-suited to Amazon Underground. “It’s one of those games that has a real ‘stickiness’ about it; people engage with it and play it for a long time.” Still, even Deo was surprised by the bump in revenue, though he’s not complaining. “We wouldn’t have been able to do that without this unique business model. I’ve been very happy with the performance.”
Now several games from Halfbrick’s catalog are available on Amazon Underground, and Deo believes there are opportunities to get even more from the platform. “There’s a lot of scope to really look at the strength of the model: the fact that you can monetize your entire audience. I would definitely recommend getting your apps onto Amazon Underground; it’s another viable platform and it’s incremental revenue.”
You can download Amazon Underground onto any Android phone from www.AmazonUnderground.com and play Colossatron—or any of the other great Halfbrick games above—100% free!
It’s Easy to Get Started
Deo says bringing Colossatron to Amazon Underground was straightforward. “We took a very light approach and didn’t really change how the game worked at all. We just did the minimum we needed to do to get the game onto the service. We achieved those revenue results just based on minimal efforts.” These efforts comprised making all IAP items free and updating the in-game imagery to reflect that.
If you want to submit your own app or game for Amazon Underground, simply follow these three easy steps:
- Prepare Your App – Learn how to get your app ready.
- Register for Free – Sign up for your Amazon developer account.
- Submit Your App – Opt in to Amazon Underground during the submission process.
What Is Amazon Underground?
Amazon Underground is a new app for Android phones. It has all of the functionality of our regular Amazon mobile shopping app, plus an exciting addition: more than twenty thousand dollars in apps, games, and in-app items that are 100% free for customers. For you app developers, Amazon Underground includes a new monetization model where Amazon pays you based on the amount of time your app is used. With Amazon Underground, you can turn 100% of your Android users into revenue-generating customers.