Reports Detail Amazon Appstore’s Growing Influence, Revenue Potential

Amazon doesn’t share details on how well its Amazon Appstore apps sell, but according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie, the app marketplace is seeing growing traction among developers. The company surveyed over 1,500 developers, and found that 22.5 percent of them were now publishing to the Amazon Appstore, and half of that group (50 percent) cited the game category on the Amazon Appstore as their leading revenue driver.

Previous reports have confirm roughly the same thing: that Android developers are turning to Amazon’s Appstore in greater numbers, and are seeing the benefits. Amazon Appstore’s revenue per user tops that of Google Play, or even iOS, in some cases. Last summer, for example, mobile gaming startup TinyCo, was saying that its revenue per user was higher on Amazon than on iTunes or Google Play. However, another report from Flurry said that iTunes was number one, and Amazon was in second place in terms of its revenue generation capabilities. Flurry had found that for every $1 spent on the iOS store, Amazon’s store generated $0.89, and Google Play $0.23.

But this was over a year ago; App Annie itself said this month that Apple’s was still the store to beat, in terms of revenue.

Today’s report also found that top paid iOS and Google Play applications have higher average price points than those on Amazon. Comparing the average price of the top 400 paid apps, the company noted that Amazon’s average was $1.73 compared with $2.21 on iPhone, $3.39 on iPad, and $3.55 on Google Play.

However, it might be a little early to paint such a rosy picture, depending on whose data you believe more. For instance, App Annie competitor Distimo also released a report this month, examining similar trends among the two leading Android app marketplaces. Its findings were a bit different.

Although it too saw Amazon’s influence growing, it found that overall, Google Play was still beating on revenue. Distimo said that the number of paid downloads in Google Play is twice the size of paid downloads on Amazon, but the revenue gap was smaller. According to its analysis, the top 200 paid applications in Google Play in the U.S. made $5.2 million in March 2013, making Google Play 1.7 times bigger than the Amazon Appstore by revenue.

However, that report noted that there were some examples of applications that did better on Amazon, which essentially backs up the broad strokes of what App Annie is saying here. Simply put, for some developers, Amazon is proving more successful than Google Play, and its potential is growing as Amazon’s store scales.

Also in the new report, 56 percent of the developers App Annie surveyed were said to focus on gaming, and over half (51 percent) said they decided to publish on Amazon because of how easy it was to port apps. Other top reasons included a belief that Amazon’s Appstore marketshare would grow, and that the Kindle Fire would become a leading device.

That second reason – marketshare growth – is already happening, of course. Amazon announced on the 17th that it was expanding its Appstore to cover nearly 200 countries, including notable additions like Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and South Korea. Before, the store was only available in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

But Amazon’s potential isn’t only tied to its growing reach, but also to its deep experience with e-commerce and related infrastructure. Amazon customers have their account information on file, and can use 1-click purchasing to buy apps. The store lets users test drive apps, and promotes free apps daily, which drives traffic. Amazon also curates apps, so unlike Google Play, those that fill its charts have been scanned for malware and for other bad behavior.

For developers looking to have their app found, and more importantly, purchased, these strengths can add up to drive sales.

Correction: an earlier version of this cited Amazon’s Appstore as a leading revenue driver. This should have said the games category on Amazon was. This has been updated.