Amazon Targets App Developers with Lower Fee, AWS Credit

To attract more developers to its Android and Fire OS Appstore, Amazon — following similar moves by tech giants Apple and Google — is cutting costs for developers with its Amazon Appstore Small Business Accelerator Program. Whereas both Apple and Google halved their cut of a developer’s first $1 million to 15 percent from 30 percent, Amazon instead will lower the cut to 20 percent but also give developers 10 percent in “AWS promotional credits” to use its cloud services, bringing their Appstore revenue to “an equivalent of 90 percent.”

The Verge reports that, “like Apple’s program,” the developer must apply for the program and could get booted out if his or her revenue exceeds $1 million. Fanhouse — which pays its creators 90 percent of their earnings — argued that, “an app that’s designed to profit creators, not its developer, might make far more than $1 million in revenue and not be able to afford 30 percent of the money that changes hands there.”

Apple is currently engaged in a lawsuit with Epic Games, which is opposed to the 30 percent cut, “which has long been the norm.”

AFTVnews reports that, “this change by the Amazon Appstore brings its revenue share more closely in line with the new policies of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.” It notes, “if smaller Amazon Appstore developers don’t use the extra 10 percent in AWS credits, which expire 12 months after being earned, they will not benefit as much from Amazon’s new policy as they would from Apple or Google’s new policies.”

For developers “that already spend more than 10 percent of their annual revenue on AWS fees, the new Amazon Appstore program will be more beneficial than Apple or Google’s program.” To get the AWS credit, “developers must link their AWS accounts to their Amazon Appstore accounts.”

On Amazon’s Appstore Developer blog, Appstore director Palanidaran Chidambaram states that the Small Business Accelerator Program will start in Q4 and that, “all qualifying small developers will receive an 80/20 revenue share by default.”

He notes that, “in a recent survey of mobile developers over 94 percent indicated they use cloud services in their application development efforts” and points out that, “with AWS, developers can access more than 200 fully featured services so that they can spend less time managing infrastructure.”

The AWS credits, valid for 12 months from the date they are granted, can be used for “infrastructure technologies like compute, storage, and databases — to emerging technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, data lakes and analytics, and Internet of Things.”

Further, Chidambaram states that Amazon will “help developers promote their content in new ways by highlighting smaller developers within our Appstore experience via a new dedicated application row.” “We believe these investments in our global developer community will generate more innovation within Amazon Appstore and increase the selection of apps for our customers,” he says.