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Forget iTunes. It’s Amazon App Market All the Way!

By on July 7, 2012

This is a guest post by Douglas Glover of Slime Sandwich


Recently, we launched our new game, Chuck The Chilla on iOS and Android tablets and smartphones through iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. We wanted to test the game on as many devices as possible, before the big marketing push.

Our initial results caused us to take another look at Amazon. Absent almost any push, our downloads averaged 3,900% more daily downloads than Google Play and iTunes. So why was that and what does it mean for those seeking to launch a game app? I have a few thoughts:

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  • Competition. In March, Amazon had eclipsed 31,000 apps. That certainly is a lot less noise than the 500,000 apps being touted on both the iPhone App Store and Google Play and a greater chance that lightning will strike.
  • Releases. Amazon features new releases divided into terms of 30 and 90 days, so your app will be featured in this section for a good amount of time. Also, the competition is not terrible; at the time of this writing, there are only a total of 894 new game releases in the last 30 days and 2,894 in the last 90 days.
  • Categories / Rankings. In order to succeed, nothing helps more then to get into the top 25 rankings on any market. With 500,000 apps in iTunes and Google Play, it is very difficult for people to find your app, much less achieve a high rank. We’re not yet a big hitter, but you will see our game, Chuck the Chillla, is ranked number twenty-two in the Game / Adventure section. If you take games that have four or more stars in the same category that are free, Chuck comes in at a decent number nine.
  • FAD. Amazon has a “Free Paid App of the Day” program. Obviously to get featured in iTunes is the holy grail of apps; however, since there is far less competition on Amazon, there is a greater chance of getting featured, and that feature has some teeth. Not only do you get substantial visibility but your app is more likely to show up on the product detail pages of other apps in the “Customers Who Bought this Item Also Bought” feature.
  • Better Earnings. Apps analytics firm, Distimo, recently laid out how despite its much smaller collection of apps, the Amazon Appstore is becoming the place to do business. Distimo said that out of the top 110 apps that appear in both the Amazon and the Android market that 28% of revenue in those top apps came from Amazon.
  • Kindle Fire. Recent numbers by Flurry indicate that Kindle Fire is the most sold Android Tablet on the Market and it is dirt cheap. If rumors are true, Amazon may be preparing to simultaneously unveil an updated Kindle Fire 2 tablet while slashing the price of the existing Kindle Fire to $149. We think the market will further expand and Kindle Fire owners will look to the Amazon AppStore to download their apps.
  • Launching Pad. With F2P, you have to build numbers. Yes, we know iTunes and Google Play are bigger market places, but we believe Amazon will gain ground and if we rank well on Amazon that our increased numbers will translate into larger downloads in other markets.

Doug Glover is CEO of Slime Sandwich, which has released SCAPS Agent and Chuck the Chilla and will be launching Action Air Hockey later this month.

About Douglas Glover

  • ShiftyPumpkin

    Thanks for the article.  We’ve had a similar experience with a game we released recently (“Villagers Vs. Vampire” if you want to take a look).  I’ve been very surprised that we’ve had 3X the sales on Amazon compared to iTunes, and I think we’ve had about 2-3X the downloads. 

    It’s made me rethink some of the conventional wisdom that says “you’ll get 10X the revenue on iTunes vs. Android” because Amazon seems to have changed the equation a bit.  I’m going to do a better job of targeting them and the Kindle Fire in future game releases.