Developer Unhappy With Amazon App Store, Consumers Love The Free Apps – Should You Use It?
Jul 6, 2011 2:53 PM –
We published a report looking at usage statistics around the Amazon App Store along with our parent company, AsSeenOnPhone. Not too long after the report went live, indie developer Bithack has announced they are pulling their game, Apparatus, from the Amazon store, with a blog post detailing why Amazon is unfriendly to small developers. So what is a consumer to think?
The fact remains that, according to the report, consumers are getting a huge benefit from Amazon in the form of the Free App of the Day (full list here) program. The potential savings is estimated at $900 a year in free applications, if Amazon continues to deliver apps at the same price point and with a new free one daily as they have been. For developers like Bithack who participate, this can be a huge push – in act, Apparatus, according to Bithack, received 180,000 downloads when it was the free app of the day. The problem? That’s where, apparently, Amazon’s support of developers ends.
Bithack has detailed a list of problems, amongst those including that he was unable to respond to feedback in the Amazon market, even when people were posting things that were incorrect, or misunderstood. On the Android Market, the developer can respond directly, make changes, and have a happy customer with quick and responsive feedback. On Amazon, they found themselves having to sit back and watch ratings decrease and people slam their app with no ability to join in the conversation. This isn’t, the blog pointed out, the only reason they are no longer going to support the Amazon App Store, but it is a big one.
The problem with pulling out completely from the Amazon store, respectfully, is that not only is there one less great game on the Amazon site, but it also means there is one less company fighting for developer rights in that platform. With 72% of consumers who visit the App Store and participate in the Free App of the Day program going on to spend $1-$10 per month on additional apps there, it’s a huge customer base that developers who pull out will be missing out on.
So we have an alternate app store that’s great for consumers but not so great for developers. This is a problem that Amazon needs to address, since they won’t have much of a store if the good developers and apps start deserting them. Consumers need to get educated as well, and join their voice in with the developers for a better system that will leave everyone satisfied with the experience.