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September 18, 2014

Nathan Lam

A common theme that developers often face is deciding which platform they should make their apps available on next. Are the users on this platform engaged enough? Will I be able to make money on this platform? These are only some of the questions that developers face, before investing their time on transferring their apps. For Playtika, a company which builds highly immersive social games, expanding their apps onto as many platforms as possible has become a core strategy.

Playtika’s app Slotomania currently holds the #8 spot worldwide for highest grossed mobile app on iOS and Android. In addition to iOS and Android, Playtika has also launched on the Amazon Appstore, which has proved to be a big success. According to Playtika, the Amazon Appstore provided the team with the highest ARPU (average revenue per user) compared to other platforms and also contained the highest retention rate amongst its competitors. Recently I had the chance to sit down with Elad Kushnir, VP of Business Development, to discuss how their apps were doing in the Amazon Appstore and their experience working with Amazon.

Amazon Appstore offers 70% higher ARPU compared to Google Play and 15% higher than iOS

“The Amazon Appstore does not only make the migration easy from an existing Google Play app, but it also has outperforming KPI’s as well.” says Elad. The team has seen some impressive results since their app has gone live in the store and have done fairly well for themselves in terms of revenue. “When we compared our 2014 data, we noticed that ARPU on Amazon was 70% higher than on Android and 15% higher than on iOS”- Elad Kushnir

 The team credits the unique audience that Amazon brings in and how engaged they are. “When we looked at retention rates for 2nd day and 7th day metrics, the retention was relatively the same across all platforms. However on the 30th day, retention on Amazon Appstore was 10%-20% higher than on iOS and Google Play.” Says Elad.

Playtika Sees 150% Higher Conversion Rates from Players to Payers on the Amazon Appstore Compared to iOS and 170% compared to Google Play

Getting users engaged is only half the battle. With a free app like Slotomania, conversion rates (paying users/ DAU) is crucial in terms of making revenue which is why Playtika is using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API. So how many of these users are actually purchasing within the game? From Playtika’s data in 2014, they determined that the average user on the Amazon Appstore is 150% more likely to become a paid user than on iOS and 170% more likely than Google Play.

Figure 1In-App Purchasing

From Google Play to Amazon Appstore with Little to No Work

When the team came together to decide on their next platform, they chose the Amazon Appstore immediately. So why did the team decide that Amazon Appstore was the right choice?

“When we were deciding on our next platform, we already had our app on Google Play. We realized that moving our app from Google Play to the Amazon Appstore would be pretty easy since Fire OS is built on Android. Once we started, we got our apps up and running in a couple days and the process itself was seamless. The best part was that it had relatively low development costs.” – Elad Kushnir

From previous tests, we actually found out that more than 75% of the Android apps we tested just work on Kindle Fire with no additional development required. The team has now launched several of their games on the Amazon Appstore and are working on the getting the remaining ones up and running within the next year.

Moving into Fire Phone and Amazon Fire TV

Moving forward Playtika plans to take their apps to the next level by getting them onto Amazon’s newest devices. Their current focus is to get their app on Fire, in which their team is already planning on integrating Fire’s exclusive feature, Dynamic Perspective. In 2015 Playtika is planning to also have their apps on Amazon Fire TV. For now, the Playtika team tells us that they are very happy with how things are going and plan to release even more apps on the Amazon Appstore in the near future.

Learn More about the Tools Used by Playtika

August 25, 2014

Mike Hines

Since the launch of Amazon Coins in 2013, customers have already spent hundreds of millions of Amazon Coins, representing real savings for customers and real dollars to developers who still received their full revenue share.

Today, we’re expanding the Amazon Coins program to Japan and Australia.  Now customers in Japan and Australia can use Amazon Coins on apps, games, and in-app items from their Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, and on amazon.co.jp and amazon.com.au.  Customers can enjoy apps and games for less by purchasing Amazon Coins, and the more they buy, the greater the discount.

For a limited time, every Kindle Fire owner in Japan and Australia will find 500 Yen/$5.00 AUD worth of free coins deposited into their Amazon Account. And as an additional incentive, customers can also purchase coins in bulk and receive a discount of up to 20% to spend on apps and games in the Amazon Android Appstore (regular discount is 10% off apps and games).

Developers Maintain Their Full Revenue Share

For developers, Amazon Coins gives customers more ways to buy, and more incentives to download and use your apps and games.  While customers can save up to 10% when they pay using Amazon Coins, Amazon Appstore developers continue to earn their standard 70% revenue share.  Customers enjoy real savings, while developers get their full revenue share.

We have already seen developers benefit from customers using their Amazon Coins to buy apps, games and in-app items. For many Indie developers, coins have accounted for the majority of their revenue since the US launch last year. Check out results from Halfbrick, PepiPlay, and textPlus to learn more.

Next Steps

  • To download the Amazon Appstore, click here.
  • To buy Amazon Coins in Australia click here.  In Japan click here.
  • Create a free Amazon Developer Account here
  • Test to see if your Android APK will run on Fire OS devices by going to this page, or by dragging and dropping into our tool on the Dev Portal home page here.

 

Amazonコインのサービスを日本とオーストラリアで開始しました。

Amazonコインは2013年にローンチ以来おかげさまで好評を博しており、お客様はお得な価格でアプリを楽しむことができるようになる一方、開発者の方々にはより一層のマネタイズの機会を提供してきました。

本日、Amazonコインのサービスを日本とオーストラリアで開始いたしました。日本とオーストラリアのお客様はamazon.co.jpamazon.com.auにおいて、Kindle FireタブレットやAndroidスマートフォンやタブレット上でアプリ、ゲーム、アプリ内課金のお支払いにAmazonコインをお使いいただくことでアプリ・ゲームをお得な価格で購入することができます。

サービス開始を記念し、Kindle Fireタブレットシリーズをお持ちのお客様には500円相当のコインがアカウントに無料でプレゼントされます。さらに、期間限定で、Amazonコインのまとめ買いをさらに割引価格で販売しており、Amazonコインを使ったアプリやアプリ内課金アイテムの購入が最大20%お得になります(通常は10%の割引になります)。

 

開発者様の収益配分は変わりません

Amazonコインはお客様にアプリ・ゲームをよりで多くご購入いただけることで開発者様のアプリビジネスを支援します。お客様は最大10%の割引を受けられる一方で、開発者の皆様はお客様がAmazonコインを使ってお買い求めた場合であっても、これまでどおりアプリの70%の収益配分を得ることができます。

米国やヨーロッパにてAmazonコインのサービスを開始した折に同様のプロモーションを実施いたしましたが、開発者の皆様からは好意的なフィードバックをいただいております。特にインディーズの開発者の方々は昨年の米国ローンチでAmazonコインからの大きな収益がありました。HalfbrickPepiPlaytextPlusの事例をご覧ください。

Amazonアンドロイドアプリストアの利用方法

  • Amazonアンドロイドアプリストアの利用方法はこちらをクリック。
  • Amazonコインを日本で購入するにはこちらをクリック。
  • Amazonの開発者登録(無料)はこちらをクリック。
  • お手元のAndroidアプリのAPKファイルがFire OSで動作するかを確認するにはこちら。開発者向けポータルサイトでドラッグ&ドロップをするだけです。

July 18, 2014

David Isbitski

Harpan, the developer of popular games Solitaire, FreeCell, Sudoku and Pyramid Solitaire, distributes more than 12 gaming apps on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Harpan was interested in a cross platform mobile ads solution, which can provide the needed earning lift without compromising their user experience. In order to focus more on app development, Harpan needed a solution that was easy to integrate and could help track app performance.

Harpan decided to use the Amazon Mobile Ads API for monetizing their apps across platforms. Tim Oswald, co-founder and CEO of Harpan shared that Amazon was their solution of choice.  The Amazon Mobile Ad Network delivered higher eCPM, provided a great experience for their users with high-quality tailored ads, and enabled app optimizations through actionable performance tracking and reporting.

20% higher* eCPM versus other ad networks

Harpan’s earnings increased with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.  The biggest factor driving this was the payment structure.  Amazon pays on ad impressions served instead of clicks on ads. “With the Amazon Mobile Ads API, we are consistently getting 20% higher eCPM on our Android, iOS and Kindle Fire apps compared to other ad networks. We were extremely pleased to see the Amazon Mobile Ads API performing better than other ad networks on iOS, said Tim Oswald.

Macintosh HD:Users:skaush:Documents:Launches:iOS 07152014:Harpan Solitaire Screenshot.png

25% higher* CTR on ads delivered by Amazon Mobile Ad Network

The quality of ads was very important for Harpan to provide a great experience for their users. Tim explained, “While we want to increase our earnings, we don’t want to compromise our users experience. Amazon provides an engaging experience for our users by delivering relevant ads from Amazon and brand advertisers. We are seeing 25% higher CTR on ads delivered by the Amazon Mobile Ad Network compared to other ad networks.”

Easy integration & tracking

Harpan was able to integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API in minimal time and focus their efforts on app development. Tim shared, “Enabling the Amazon Mobile Ads API in all their apps was very easy and took just few minutes to integrate the API. We really liked the integrated tracking, which helped us in monitoring and optimizing the performance of our apps in real-time.”

To learn more about the Amazon Mobile Ads API check out our Developer Portal here as well as our blog with tips on ad mediation and tracking ad events inside your apps.

*Your results may vary.

 

June 23, 2014

David Isbitski

We recently had the chance to talk to developers from across Europe and the United States about their experience with Amazon. They shared their insights on monetization, customer acquisition, ease of submission, and the marketing of their apps.

You can also check out some of the highlights from the video below:

Developers like Pixowl are Seeing Higher ARPU than on Other Platforms

According to an IDC survey of 360 developers sponsored by Amazon, 74% of the surveyed developers said that Average Revenue per App/User is the same or better (38%) than other platforms. Sebastien Borget, CEO and Co-founder at Pixowl, and Stephan Berendsen, Founder and President at BBG Entertainment, were excited to see their apps monetize better on a per-user basis than on competing platforms.

‘Revenues Per User on Kindle are for us up to 4x times higher than on Google Play’ Sebastien Borget, CEO and Co-founder, Pixowl

Stephan points out that Amazon customers are used to paying for content and that the standard Amazon one-click payment method makes purchasing apps even easier for customers.

Reach More Customers with Amazon Marketing Tools

To tap into this customer pool and leverage the monetization potential, Ben Howard from Viewranger actively uses the Amazon Appstore capabilities available and has added the Amazon Appstore badge to their website to leverage the Amazon brand with its customer base.

“It’s a very unique device and comes with a lot of brand recognition. We get to use the Kindle Fire logo, we get to say that the app is available on their platform, which just means that more and more people are going to use our app.” Ben Howard, App Marketing and Sales Executive, Viewranger

Submit your App Today

The IDC survey also noted that 65% of surveyed developers are experiencing total revenue on the Kindle Fire on par or better than other platforms. And since most Android apps just work on Amazon Appstore without any additional development, it’s a great time to get started. Sign up for a free developer account here.

Additional resources on getting started

 

June 05, 2014

Corey Badcock

IDC conducted an Amazon sponsored survey of 360 mobile application developers to understand their key motivators and gather feedback on their experience developing apps for the Kindle Fire platform versus Android and iOS. According to the survey, 65% of surveyed developers say that total revenue on Kindle Fire was similar or better than on other platforms. 76% of surveyed developers say that Amazon helps them connect to new customer segments.

To download the full report, click here.  

65% of Developers Say Total Revenue Similar or Better Than Other Platforms

IDC asked developers who currently build apps for the Kindle Fire to describe the return-on-investment profile of Kindle Fire and compare it to other platforms.

65% of the surveyed developers also say that the Total Revenue achieved on the Kindle Fire is similar to, or even better that, what they experience with other major platforms.  74% of the same developers say that Average Revenue per App/User is similar to or better than other platforms.

76% of Developers Say Amazon helps them Connect with New Segments

Finding new customers can be extremely difficult.  Developers who build apps for the Kindle Fire say:

The Kindle Fire platform can be a significant source of net new business and “reach” for developers at a time when new segments may be difficult to find on competing platforms.

Download the Report

To learn more, click here to download The Case for Developing Mobile Apps for the Amazon Appstore and Kindle Fire report prepared for Amazon by IDC.

 

June 04, 2014

David Isbitski

Gordon Edwards, the creator behind the Scanner Radio app, started serving banner ads in 2010 and was working with several ad networks by 2013. The app provides live audio from over 3000 police, fire scanners, weather radios, as well as amateur radios. The app has over 800 reviews on the Amazon Appstore. Recently we had the privilege to sit down with Gordon to discuss how his app was performing and how he leveraged Amazon’s Mobile Ads API to generate revenue.

Figure 1- Banner Ad

$1.00 eCPM from Amazon Banner Ads

Generating revenue has always been a challenge for developers. With Gordon’s background in ads, integrating ads into his app seemed an obvious solution. But the primary reason why Gordon went with Amazon was that he thought the “quality of ads served would be better than those from other ad networks”.  In short time, Gordon saw an earnings lift of 39% and it only took him less than a day to integrate.

“I see very consistent and high eCPMs from Amazon, as well as very high quality ads” says Edwards. The eCPM from Amazon was consistently around $1.00 which meant he didn’t have to monitor the earnings closely. This allowed him to focus on developing the app and creating a better experience for his users. He was pleasantly surprised to see the strong eCPM continue in Q1 when earnings dipped on other ad networks. His users were also happy to see the high quality ads from Amazon in their favorite app.

43% Earnings Lift from Interstitial Ads

Something that Gordon was not familiar with however, was interstitial ads. Gordon mentions that “I've never displayed interstitial ads in his app until now, but decided to display them from Amazon since he knew the ad quality would be high”. Gordon created a new interstitial ad slot when Amazon reached out about testing the ad format.  Since then, his earnings increased another 43% from the additional ad slot. Gordon mentioned that he has since tried interstitial ads from other ad networks when Amazon ads were unavailable, but none provided the quality he was looking for. Now, he is working solely with Amazon.

      

Figure 2- Interstitial Ad

Try Amazon Ads!

Gordon encourages developers to try the Amazon Mobile Ads API. “Definitely try the Amazon Mobile Ad Network if you’re looking for a high paying and high quality ad solution.”

Click here to get started with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.

*Performance may vary

 

May 28, 2014

David Isbitski

Steve Boymel from Farlex is the creator of the Dictionary app “Dictionary.” Based out of Pennsylvania, the app already has over 1,300 reviews on the Amazon Appstore. The app delivers a comprehensive dictionary that is available in over 14 different languages including English, Spanish, and French.

Testing Mobile Ads on Amazon Appstore

One of Steve’s challenges after creating the app “Dictionary”, was to generate revenue. “After looking at the existing landscape, I felt that Amazon had a great offering,” says Steve, which is why he decided to test the Amazon Mobile Ads API in his Amazon Appstore app. This was Steve’s first time integrating the Mobile Ads API into any of his apps, but he had confidence that the Amazon Mobile Ad Network would monetize well. In the first few weeks Steve saw a $0.70 eCPM, which was much higher than he expected.

Figure 1Example of Ads

Success Brings Expansion into Google Play

With the success that the Amazon Mobile Ads API brought to Steve’s app in the Amazon Appstore, he decided to bring it to Google Play as well since he satisfied the Amazon Appstore distribution requirement.

Integrating the Amazon Mobile Ads API into his Google Play apps was easy. He has one code base for all Android apps so it was just a matter of re-packaging his Google Play binary.  

Steve says “the time was well spent since his earnings from his Google Play apps are just as strong as his Amazon Appstore apps.” After a few optimizations, his eCPM increased to $1.20 for his Google Play apps and $1.75 from Amazon Appstore apps.

$1.36 eCPM for UK Banner Ads

When we called Steve with an opportunity to monetize his UK traffic as a beta tester, Steve jumped at the opportunity. After all, he was not serving any ads to his UK users so any earning would be incremental. All he had to do was swap out his Amazon Mobile Ads API jar file.  So how did the banner ads perform?

“Amazon always exceeds my expectation. $1.36 eCPM for UK banner ads is unheard of!”* Steve Boymel

Click here to get started.

*Performance may vary

May 27, 2014

Chengluo

Ad revenue is all about a balance between generating the most impressions and earning the highest eCPM. The more impressions you’re able to generate at a higher eCPM, the better your return on your investment.

Recently, we announced support for full screen interstitial ads on the Amazon Mobile Ads Network for both Kindle Fire devices and other Android devices. Developers are integrating interstitial ads because they generate more revenue than other ad types according to the report from AppFlood. According to a recent interview with the creator of Scanner Radio, he increased his ad revenue by 43%, just by adding Amazon interstitial ads to his app (your results may vary). In terms of getting higher eCPM, we also heard developers telling us they get high eCPM when they put Amazon Mobile Ads at the first slot for their ad requests.

“With Amazon Mobile Ads in the first slot, our eCPM went up 216%!” - Jason Stock, CEO Firecracker Software

Amazon interstitial ads give you not only the opportunities to increase your ad revenue, but also help you to optimize the user experience with well designed high quality ads that work well within your application experience.

In this blog, we’ll show you how to add interstitial ads into your own apps and games with a few simple steps.

Setting up your environment

If you’ve already used the Amazon Mobile Ads API in your apps before, you can skip this step and jump right into the Implementing interstitial ads step.

To start with, download the Amazon Mobile Ads API from here, and import the amazon-ads-5.3.22.jar file from [Your Download folder]/Apps-SDK/Android/Ads/lib into your project. 

If you are using the Eclipse IDE, you can add the jar file by selecting the Build Path dialog from the project properties, and select the Add External JARs from the Libraries tab.

If you are using the Android Studio, you just need to copy the jar file into your project library folder, e.g. SampleProject/libs/. After you copied the jar file, from the Android Studio, right click the jar file, and select Add as library from the menu. For the Android Studio, you will need to update the Gradle script to include the jar in your build as well. To do that, add following line to the dependences section in your build.gradle file.

compile files('libs/amazon-ads-5.3.22.jar')

Now that you have the necessary jar file for your project, you’ll need to add the AdActivity and give certain permissions in your manifest file to use the Amazon Mobile Ads API. For more details, you can refer to the Quick Start Guide for help.

Implementing interstitial ads

The first thing you’ll need to do is to obtain an Application Key. This allows Amazon to track your impressions and clicks and associate them with your developer account so that you can review your ads’ performance from the reporting tool.  If you do not already have an Application Key for this app, you must obtain one by visiting https://developer.amazon.com/ads and following the steps in the Getting Started section. Once this is done, you can use the following code to register your Application Key:

        try {

            AdRegistration.setAppKey(APP_KEY); //replace with your own key

        } catch (final IllegalArgumentException e) {

            Log.e(LOG_TAG, "IllegalArgumentException thrown: " + e.toString());

            return;
        }

Next you need to think about when would be the best time to display your interstitial ads. Many apps show interstitial ads when a user quits the game or when the user is between levels in a game. Apps can also display interstitial ads when the game is paused. In this example, we are using two buttons to indicate when to load a new ad, and when the ad is ready to show.   

public class LoadNextLevel extends Activity {

    private static final String APP_KEY = "sample-app-key"; // Sample Application Key. Replace this value with your Application Key.

    private InterstitialAd interstitialAd;

    private Button loadButton;

    private Button showButton;

    @Override

    public void onCreate(final Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);

        setContentView(R.layout.activity_load_next_level);


        try {

            AdRegistration.setAppKey(APP_KEY); //replace with your own key

        } catch (final IllegalArgumentException e) {

            Log.e(LOG_TAG, "IllegalArgumentException thrown: " + e.toString());

            return;

        }

   AdRegistration.enableTesting(true);

        this.interstitialAd = new InterstitialAd(this);

        this.interstitialAd.setListener(new SampleAdListener());

}

You noticed we set an ad listener for the interstitialAd instance called SampleAdListener. This is the listener class you have to create to get notified when an interstitial ad loaded, failed to load or was dismissed.

Here is the code to implement the SampleAdListener class:

class SampleAdListener extends DefaultAdListener

    {

        /**

         * This event is called once an ad loads successfully.

         */

        @Override

        public void onAdLoaded(final Ad ad, final AdProperties adProperties) {

            Log.i(LOG_TAG, adProperties.getAdType().toString() + " ad loaded successfully.");


            // Once an interstitial ad has been loaded, it can then be shown.

            LoadNextLevel.this.showButton.setEnabled(true);

        }

        /**

         * This event is called if an ad fails to load.

         */

        @Override

        public void onAdFailedToLoad(final Ad view, final AdError error) {

            Log.w(LOG_TAG, "Ad failed to load. Code: " + error.getCode() + ", Message: " + error.getMessage());


            // A new load action may be attempted once the previous one has returned a failure callback.

            LoadNextLevel.this.loadButton.setEnabled(true);

        }

        /**

         * This event is called when an interstitial ad has been dismissed by the user.

         */

        @Override

        public void onAdDismissed(final Ad ad) {

            Log.i(LOG_TAG, "Ad has been dismissed by the user.");



            // Once the shown ad is dismissed, its lifecycle is complete and a new ad can be loaded.

            LoadNextLevel.this.loadButton.setEnabled(true);

        }

    }

Our SampleAdListener class extends the DefaultAdListener interface, which is the listener also used by banner ads. It’s recommended to extend the DefaultAdListener instead of implementing AdListener to safeguard against having to update your code if any additional APIs are added to AdListener in the future.

We override three callbacks from the DefaultAdListener interface: onAdLoaded(), onAdFailedToLoad() and onAdDismissed(). Let’s look at each of the callbacks in more detail.  

 onAdLoaded() is immediately called each time an ad is successfully loaded. But you don’t have to display the ad right after it’s loaded. You can choose to display the ad in a transition point as we mentioned above. In our example, we enable the “Show Ad” button to indicate the ad is ready to show. In your games or apps, you can also use a flag (e.g. set isAdReadyToShow = true) to indicate the ad is ready to show. When you want to show the interstitial ad, you can check the flag to tell whether the ad is ready. Loading the ad ahead of time and then waiting to show it until arriving at the app’s transition point, will result in the best customer experience because the ad will appear on the screen much faster.

onAdFailedToLoad() is called whenever the retrieval of an ad fails. From this callback, you can tell why your ad failed to load. An ad can fail to load for many reasons. We categorize them into two groups: transient and non-transient errors.  A transient error could be, for example, caused by a poor network connection or an ad server internal error.  If transient errors occur, you can retry the loadAd() call when the network becomes available or after a thirty-second timeout. A non-transient error could be, for example, that there is something wrong with your ad request. It’s recommended to investigate non-transient errors before you retry the loadAd() call.  In our sample, we enable the “Load Ad” button when the ad fails to load, so that you can reload a new ad. Similar logic you could try in your app is to set the flag (e.g. set isAdReadyToShow = false) to false to indicate the ad is not ready to display, and retry the loadAd()call at the next transition point.

onAdDismissed() is called when customers click the close button of the interstitial ad. It’s important to remember only one interstitial ad can be shown at a time. The previous ad has to be dismissed before a new ad can be shown. In our example, you re-enable the “Load Ad” button after the ad is dismissed in order to load a new ad.

Testing your ads

Testing your interstitial ads is simple. You enable the testing mode by calling the following line of code in your app:

AdRegistration.enableTesting(true);

During your integration, the server will block your ad requests if you forget to flag requests as tests. You will get error messages, such as NO_FILL or INTERNAL_ERROR from the server. But be sure to set it back to

AdRegistration.enableTesting(false)

before you publish your app in the store.

After updating your code to render ads, you will see the nicely designed full screen interstitial ads shown as the examples below:

    

To learn more about the Amazon Mobile Ads API, visit here. Some resources to check out are:

@chengluo

 

May 21, 2014

Mike Hines

In the realm of classic puzzle games for mobile apps, Bitmango is no newcomer to this genre. The South Korean company launched in 2011 and has a focus on casual mobile games that challenge the way people think. Games such as Draw Line Classic and Draw Line Bridge, (downloadable here) are available on the Amazon Appstore.

We recently chatted with Yewoon Seo who is the publishing team lead for Bitmango. Yewoon took us in depth on how Bitmango is performing on the Amazon Appstore, the team’s experience on getting their app onto the platform, and some things that surprised their team about our services.

 

“The decision to get our app onto Amazon was obvious”- Yewoon Seo

Expanding and reaching more customers has always been one of Bitmango’s priorities, which is why Bitmango decided to look into the Amazon Appstore. “I noticed that the Amazon Appstore platform was similar to Android so I immediately knew there was a huge potential here,” says Yewoon. The team initially built their apps on Google Play, so the team worked on moving their apps over onto Amazon Appstore. So how hard was it to transition their game over? The team was pretty surprised at the little amount of work needed to complete the task.

“There’s not much effort at all to port our app from Google Play to the Amazon Appstore. It took us approximately one to two hours per app, by just tweaking the API. For our app the certification process was only a day, which was something we have never seen before in any other store. ”- Yewoon Seo

The team has already received tens of thousands of downloads, which has given them the kind of expansion they were looking for.

ARPU that was worth the investment

“Results were great,” according to Yewoon. Their main app “Draw the Line: Classic” has performed really well in the Amazon Appstore in the US in terms of average revenue per user (ARPU).

But their app success didn’t stop there. When “Draw the Line: Classic” was compared to other app stores in terms of all the countries where the game was available, the app consistently outperformed others in terms of average revenue per user.

“Since the platforms between Google and Amazon are so similar there was not much effort needed to move our app over,” says Yewoon. In terms of effort needed to achieve these results, the team was very satisfied with the results.

From customer centric to developer centric

“The amount of detailed feedback that the Amazon reviewers provided during the submission process was a huge surprise to us and something we’ve never seen before. These are things that really saved us time and something we really appreciated,” says Yewoon.  Yewoon mentions that they appreciated that the Amazon team provides help for their developers in a variety of ways to answers their questions. “Sites such as the Amazon Apps and Services Developer Portal  really helped us when we needed help on specific topics or issues,” says Yewoon. The Amazon Apps and Services Blog is always updated with the latest announcements, updates, and also provides detailed tutorials.

“We’re so impressed with the service that moving forward we plan on integrating additional APIs from the Amazon Mobile App SDK over to our existing apps. We’re thinking of integrating Amazon Mobile Ads API and Amazon GameCircle API with WhisperSync for Games, for a better in game experience.” – Yewoon Seo

Learn more about the tools used by Bitmango

 

May 14, 2014

Mike Hines

One of the questions we hear frequently from developers is which platform they should target first when building their app. Adrian Barritt, head of development at Barnstrom Games, along with his team asked the same question when planning their app The Chase. The Chase first launched in August of 2013 and was the first app that the team decided to launch in the Amazon Appstore. The app allows a team of four challengers to play against a machine to test their knowledge. When asked why they chose the Amazon Appstore, Adrian said that “the opportunity was huge, and [we] saw similar apps performing really well on the Amazon Appstore”. The team also mentioned that “it doesn’t hurt when you hear good things from others [Square Enix] and how impressed they were with the coverage they received” says Adrian.

Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Adrian to discuss how they got their app to rise to the top of the charts in the UK, and how they view their experience with Amazon Appstore. Here are some of Adrian’s observations:

500% Increase in Sales Upon Launch of Amazon Coins

“Our sales went pretty ballistic when Amazon launched Amazon Coins.” says Adrian. Amazon Coins are generally used by customers to explore and try out new apps. Customers can get Amazon Coins in a variety of ways such as purchasing or earning Coins for free. Developers can really benefit from this since there are a lot of customers waiting to use up their Coins on different apps. Barnstorm Games specifically saw their app benefit from this.

“Our sales went up 10-fold (1000%) for about a week during the Amazon Coins promotion when Amazon gave away a vast amount of Coins to their customers. Even after the promotion we saw a 500% increase in sales from what we used to get.”- Adrian Barritt

Part of Adrian’s strategy is understanding when consumers usually purchase apps. The team made sure that their app would be ready for launch before the holidays. As a result the team saw a “2000% increase on Christmas Day compared to our average sales we usually get per day”. Since then, the team continues to see a consistent increase of 200-300% in sales after the Coins promotion ended and is now consistently ranked among the top 3 apps in the UK.

“We are more than happy with our performance in the Amazon Appstore and our expectations have been exceeded” – Adrian Barritt

Amazon Coins

Transitioning the App to Google Play with Ease

One of the goals for Barnstorm was to expand their app onto more platforms. Since the team initially built their app on the Kindle Fire, they knew that Android would be a natural transition. So how was the process for transitioning the app over to Android? “The transition for creating an Android version was very easy since Kindle Fire was just designed that way.” says Adrian. You may recall that 75% of Android tablet apps that we tested just work on Kindle Fire with no additional development needed so it’s not surprising that Adrian said that “there was no additional work needed beyond supporting GameCircle and thinking what services to use. Other than that it was very simple.”

“Even though we are on Google Play as well now, the majority of the time the Amazon Appstore still performs better than Google Play in terms of revenue”.

Using GameCircle to increase Engagement

One service that Barnstorm is using to increase customer engagement is the GameCircle API. “With GameCircles’s achievement feature, it’s definitely helped us retain and engage our users” says Adrian. The team uses achievements to mark how well players are performing against others in “The Chase”, which has really improved average session length. After seeing the success with GameCircle, Adrian is currently looking into more services such as Amazon’s Device Messaging API to engage the audience even more by pushing out notifications to them.

  

Next Step for Barnstorm

The team has a new app that they just released in the Amazon Appstore called Tipping Point. The app is already topping the charts in the UK as well and the team has high hopes for it. Barnstorm also just participated in Amazon’s Free App of the Day program as well, helping them get even more exposure to customers.

Learn more about the tools used by Barnstorm Games

Amazon Coins

GameCircle

Free App of the Day

 

May 13, 2014

Chengluo

Last year, we launched Amazon Coins in the US, UK, and Germany. As of today, Amazon Coins are available to even more customers in Europe as we are expanding the program to France, Spain, and Italy. We’re giving millions of Euros (100 Coins = €1)  worth of coins to customers in France, Italy, and Spain, so this is a great time to submit new apps to the Amazon Appstore and ensure your existing apps are available for distribution in these countries.

Amazon Coins allows Amazon customers to buy and enjoy Android apps and in-app items at a discount, with savings of up to 10%. As a developer, you are paid whether your apps or in-app items have been purchased with Amazon Coins or another payment method, and you’ll continue to get your full 70% revenue share. Since the launch of Amazon Coins in the US, UK, and Germany, customers have already purchased hundreds of millions of Amazon Coins and are actively using them on Android phones and tablets, including Kindle Fire devices, representing real dollars to developers.

500 Coins for Amazon Appstore Customers

Kindle Fire owners will receive 500 free Coins automatically in their accounts and, for a limited time, users of the Amazon Appstore on Android phones and tablets will receive 500 Coins once they’ve updated the client and downloaded an app. During the promotion, you’ll have additional opportunities to boost your sales while customers enjoy buying apps with their free Coins. We ran a similar promotion after we launched Coins in the US, UK, and Germany, and developers gave us positive feedback about the monetization they achieved in conjunction with the promotion. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

“Sales went up 10-fold (1000%) for about a week during the Amazon Coins promotion and 500% afterwards.” –Barnstorm Games

“We saw a significant increase in revenue after the Amazon Coins announcement. Revenue from Amazon Coins during the launch week was higher than previous week’s revenue. What was also interesting is that our cash receipts also saw a lift from Coins.” — Halfbrick Studios Pty Ltd

 “Our SMS texting and calling app revenues grew more than 300% on Kindle Fire the day after Amazon Coins went live, with a staggering 78% coming from Coins. We’re convinced that this virtual currency makes sense for developers no matter what category their app is in; it certainly does for us.” — textPlus, Inc.

We continue to receive positive feedback from developers about the monetization they see on Amazon and their ability to connect with new customers via Amazon Appstore. Learn what developers like Pixowl, TuneIn, and Toca Boca have to say in our latest developer blog.

No API Integration Necessary

To benefit from Amazon Coins, you do not need to integrate an API. If your apps are already available on the Amazon Appstore and available for distribution to customers in France, Italy, and Spain, you’re already set. If you have new apps and games that are still in development, then you’ll want to submit them soon to take advantage of this promotion. If you have a new Android app, we’ve found that 75% of Android apps we’ve tested just work on Amazon Appstore, with no coding changes required. Test your APK in less than 10 minutes with our drag-and-drop testing tool. It’s also a good idea to ensure your apps are available in France, Italy, and Spain, which you can check from your account on the developer portal.

May 07, 2014

David Isbitski

The Amazon Mobile Ads API now offers more ways to help you monetize your mobile apps and games. Starting today, we will display ads to customers in the United Kingdom, and in the coming months, we will add support for Germany. On top of that, we are launching full screen interstitial ads across the Mobile Ad Network.

Enabling Europe Ad Support in Your Apps

Our expansion into Europe gives developers the opportunity to earn more money from advertising spending in Europe’s top two advertising market segments. The strong eCPM and high quality ads from Amazon will carry over to all supported market segements.

"Amazon always exceeds my expectations. $1.36 eCPM for UK banner ads is unheard of!”* – Steve Boymel, Farlex

To display ads on your app in Europe, here is what to do:

  • If your app is new to the Amazon Mobile Ad Network, simply integrate the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API  included in the Amazon Mobile App SDK to get started.
  • If you have already integrated an older version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API (version 5.1.153 or older), just recompile the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API.
  • If you have already integrated a newer version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API (version 5.1.236 or later), just send ad requests to Amazon and start earning!

Announcing Interstitial Ad Format Support for All Supported Market Segments

Interstitial ads use the entire screen to fully engage users. Industry-wide, interstitial ads generate greater revenue than traditional banner ads.

   

Figure 1- The same Amazon Interstitial Ad in Portrait on Phone and Landscape on a Tablet

We use responsive design when showing interstitial ads to ensure your user experience is not affected. Ads will automatically adjust to the screen size of the device on which your customers are running your app.

We know that every millisecond counts when it comes to the responsiveness of your apps. We preload interstitial ads to minimize the impact on app latency. As the developer, you decide when you want the ad to display (for example, once your user has reached a new level of your game).

“We decided to add interstitial ads from Amazon since the banner ads were outperforming other ad networks. The quality of Amazon’s interstitial ads has exceeded our expectations and our earnings increased 43%!”* - Gordon Edwards

Interstitial ads can be integrated in as little as an hour and offer revenue tracking through the same Amazon developer portal as banner ads. As with banner ads, you can distribute an app that incorporates the Amazon Mobile Ads API through other Android stores as long you distribute it through Amazon.

Integrating Interstitial Ads in Your Apps

To display interstitial ads on your app, integrate the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API. To display ads in Europe, you may not need to do any additional work.  Interstitial ads will then automatically be loaded when the app is first run. You should display them at a transition point in your app (for example, game level transition). The user will always have the option to close the ad.

Let’s take a look at an interstitial ad using the sample app from the unzipped Amazon Mobile Ad API folder located in /Android/Ads/samples/InterstitialAdSample. Running the sample app for the first time you will see a button to show an ad and another button to load a new ad.

Figure 2- Interstitial ad sample app from Amazon Mobile App SDK

Clicking on the Load Ad button will preload a new interstitial ad to cache and then when you click on the Show Ad button it will be displayed.

Figure 3- A high quality Interstitial ad running on a Kindle Fire HDX 7" in landscape mode

Users have the option to close the ad by tapping on the X in the top right. Users can get more information by tapping on the “See more” button. If users tap for more information they will see a new browser window open with the url provided by the ad.

Notice that the ad automatically resizes and fits to the portrait sized screen if you rotate the device.

Figure 4- A high quality Interstitial ad running on a Kindle Fire HDX 7" in portrait mode

Just as you would do for banner ads, you use the Amazon Mobile Ads API to set up interstitial ads. You will need to first register for a free Amazon developer account. Once you do, you will receive an app id that you can use to begin coding. During this time you should set up a tax identity inside the developer console. This way you can continue to code and test your app while the verification process is happening. Once inside your Android development environment, you will need to reference the Amazon Mobile Ads jar file from the SDK and update permissions in your Android app manifest. For a full walkthrough of this process check out the Amazon Mobile Ads API quickstart guide here.

You get the same customization capabilities for interstitial ads as you do for banner ads. This includes setting target values when you are requesting an ad for age, gender, relocation or minimum CPM floor price. For a full list of targeting options check out the developer portal here.

Once you have completed these steps you can start to request ads. Your app will retrieve and display an interstitial ad using an instance of InterstitialAd. To load an ad, call the InterstitialAd.loadAd method, which uses an asynchronous task to request an ad from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. It is important to note that only one ad can be loaded by a given InterstitialAd object at a given time, and only one interstitial ad can be displayed in your app at a given time.

InterstitialAd.loadAd will return false if a request for a new ad is ignored because of another pending ad request. To check if there is an ad loading, you can call the method InterstitialAd.isLoading. To check if there is an ad showing, you can call the method InterstitialAd.isShowing.

Below is an example of a simplified InterstitialAd.loadAd call placed in the onCreate function of an Activity that loads the next level in a game. The interstitial ad is displayed as soon as it is ready, and the next level is started after the user has dismissed the ad.

Conclusion

The Amazon Mobile Ad Network now offers more ways to help you monetize your mobile apps and games. Interstitial ads provide advertisers with a unique opportunity to engage with your audience in a meaningful way, leading to superior monetization. Adding support for interstitial ads in your apps is simple, and most developers are able to integrate them within an hour. Similarly, showing ads to EU users will allow you to earn more money from your apps with minimal work. Apps using earlier versions of the API need only recompile with the new Amazon Mobile Ads API jar file in their app to see EU ads: no coding changes are required. Apps using later versions of the API require no changes at all.

To learn more about the Amazon Mobile Ads API, check out our developer portal here as well as our blog with tips on ad mediation and tracking ad events inside your apps.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

*Your results may vary

 

May 02, 2014

Rob Pulciani

At the Amazon Appstore, we’re continuing to create opportunities and services that help app developers reach more customers and make more money. Lately, we’ve highlighted some stories from app publishers who have had success distributing Kindle Fire and Android apps in the Amazon Appstore. You may have read about Soundtracker who increased average session length by 400% and Big Bubble Blue who generated up to 15% better ARPU. Many other developers are experiencing similar success and a recent article from BI Intelligence indicates that Amazon Appstore is “generating strong revenue results.”  

“Popular Kindle Fire apps are generating 59 cents of revenue for every dollar earned by top apps in the Google Play store, according to a Distimo study. Download volumes are about half those on Google Play for top app titles — impressive considering how many more Android devices are in circulation.”

75% of Android tablet apps we tested work on Kindle Fire, with no added development necessary. And with apps available in almost 200 countries and strong monetization potential, there hasn’t been a better time to try the Amazon Appstore. Sign up for a free developer account and get started.


Check out the full Business Insider report here.

 

April 10, 2014

Paul Cutsinger

Since March 1st, we have been guaranteeing developers with qualifying apps a $1.50 banner CPM for serving mobile ads through the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.  We’ve already seen thousands of developers participate in the promotion and you can too.  The  $1.50 CPM promotion is ending on April 30th.

Integrating the Amazon Mobile Ads API is straightforward.  According to YouMail, it took 2 days while working in parallel on other features.

Alex Quilci from YouMail, Inc says:

‘The $1.50 CPM promotion is a 3x bump in eCPM by itself and we’re seeing much higher quality ads. We also expect the strong earnings to continue when the promotion ends.”

Damien Gardner from DamoWare says:

‘The 1.50 CPM is a great risk-free way to try the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. We’ve discovered a high quality ad network as a result.”

In order to qualify for this promotion, you will need to integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API in your qualified apps* and send the first ad request to us by April 30th, 2014. Here are the steps:

1.      Download the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API here.

2.      Integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API in your qualified app and start sending us ad requests. If you don’t have an app on Amazon yet, it’s easy to get started. Test your app using our updated testing service and submit it to us for free.

3.      Earn $1.50 for every 1,000 qualifying impressions displayed on the app during April 2014 (up to 2 million impressions per app).

* Existing apps already sending ad requests do not qualify. Existing developers who integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into another app for the first time will qualify. Qualifying apps may be distributed through other Android stores as long as they are distributed through Amazon.

In addition to this promotion, using the Amazon Mobile Ads API in your app brings you a step closer to meeting the Appstore Developer Select program requirements, which gives you enhanced merchandising on the Amazon Appstore, Coins benefits and more.

Click here for more details about the Mobile Ads CPM Boost promotion. To learn more about adding the API in your app or game, see the online documentation or our quick start guide.

 

April 01, 2014

David Isbitski

PreApps: Improving Monetization through User Feedback

When it comes to monetizing your apps who couldn’t use just a little help? Amazon is consistently looking for solutions to help you simplify the process of attracting new users, increase discoverability, improve IAP performance and grow revenue in your apps and games. While we have built many solutions on our own we know there are a number of solutions outside Amazon that can help increase app revenue and get your apps discovered.

PreApps is one of those solutions, and we are working with PreApps to provide Amazon Appstore developers with discounted offers and services. PreApps connects developers and app enthusiasts, before the launch of an app, to help developers improve app quality and hopefully monetization as a result. The concept is pretty simple – users get access to your apps to help identify bugs and things like UI enhancements and if they like your app, they can help promote it through their social network. More than one-thousand apps have used the service, and we’d like to hear how it works for you..

Free Access to PreApps User Feedback Program

Starting today Developers with a registered Amazon Account can get free access to the PreApps User Feedback program which includes the ability to post your free app, receive customer feedback, access to beta testers, see the number of users asking to be notified when your app goes live and access to PreApps App Analytics.  We’ll be sending a code to all registered developers so keep an eye out for it in your inbox and let us know what you think.

To learn more about PreApps visit their website or you can read what TechCrunch had to say about them here.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

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