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Study Finds Amazon Appstore Proving Lucrative for Developers


kindle fireGiven that the Amazon Fire runs a flavor of Android, one company thought it would be interesting to compare developer income in the Google Android Market and the Amazon Appstore -- and what it found might surprise you.

Distimo, an analysis firm, based in the Netherlands that studies the app markets, did a detailed analysis of the two Android app stores over the last several months and found that while, as you would expect, there are many similarities, that developers might actually make more money putting their applications at Amazon.

Let's have a closer look at some of their findings.

First of all, the Google Android Marketplace is much larger with close to 400,000 apps. By comparison, Amazon's Appstore has just over 26,000, a much smaller pool, but it's worth noting that 50 percent of the Amazon apps are available on Google (as you might expect). What's more, the Amazon store is growing quickly.

So why can developers potentially make more at Amazon? It could have something to do with power of the Amazon brand and it's ability to market and sell content of all types. If you consider that the Kindle Fire was created specifically as a device to consume content including apps, movies, books, and so forth, it makes sense that as a company it knows how to market and distribute this content and that includes apps.

And it's been doing the job. Since the launch of the Kindle Fire in mid-November, the number of downloaded apps on Amazon exploded.

Distimo reported that there was a key difference between the way the two marketplaces priced Apps. On Google, the developer sets the price, while Amazon sets pricing on its marketplace and guarantees a minimum royalty per app sold.

This method enables Amazon to have daily specials where they price an app that appears in both markets much cheaper than the going rate. For example, the report cites the example of Monopoly which sold regularly for $4.99, was on special for a time for just .99. Of course, it sold much better than when it was at full price, yet the developers made the same royalty. That's the power of Amazon marketing at work.

Distimo also found that while the majority of the apps in Google are free (and make their money with in-app purchases), 63-65 percent of apps at Amazon have been paid apps (and this has held over the last seven months).

The bottom line is that Distimo found that 42 out of the top 110 applications made more money on Amazon accounting for 28 percent of total revenue across both stores. Now I hear you saying, that's not a majority. No it's not, but as Distimo points out this is significant because the Google store was available to *all* Google devices and the Amazon store was available to a far more limited set of devices.

And the Kindle Fire has only been available for about three months. The growth potential is huge as the download volumes aptly demonstrate. And so is the revenue.

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