Amazon Coins, the virtual currency introduced by the e-commerce giant last spring, are now available on Android devices, including both smartphones and tablets, in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. This is the first time the Coins have been offered outside Kindle Fire tablets, which is where they first launched.
The goal of Coins to date has been multi-fold: to encourage developers to build for the Amazon Kindle platform; to reduce the “sticker shock” of paying for things in dollars (something that Android users seem especially sensitive to in comparison with their iOS counterparts); and to increase the revenue-generating opportunities for both developers and Amazon.
The idea is to get consumers to think of paying for purchases not as “99 cent” downloads, but rather as a number of Coins they deduct from a bigger stockpile. It’s an idea that’s a holdover from console and PC gaming platforms, but one that is not offered today on either Apple or Google’s official app stores.
Customers can earn Coins by shopping for their apps from Amazon’s Appstore, earning achievements in select titles (currently over 3,800 apps are listed), and they can buy them directly at a 10 percent discount. The more Coins you buy, the larger the discount, which encourages users to purchase the currency in bigger quantities. (100 Coins are worth $1.)
The Coins can be used to buy games and apps, purchase extra features within apps, like extra lives in “Candy Crush,” unlock new levels, and more.
Developers continue to receive a 70 percent revenue share whether the customer spends Coins or dollars, Amazon notes.
In order for Android users to take advantage of Coins, they’ll need to install or update their version of the Amazon Appstore client on their device, which can be done from here: www.amazon.com/getappstore.