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Amazon Appstore director defends pricing model

Aaron Rubenson explains why Amazon's promotional and financial strategies are so different

Aaron Rubenson, director of the Amazon Appstore for Android, has spoken about the company's controversial pricing structure.

"We certainly recognise that itís a different model," said Rubenson in an interview with VentureBeat.

To be featured on the Amazon Appstore for Android, developers must hand control over pricing to Amazon, and cut prices to match the lowest price on other platforms. It's a set up that drew negative attention from the IGDA.

"The reason we made that decision was that it gives us the broadest amount of flexibility in terms of marketing and merchandising and proactive promotional activities we were talking about, which we think is a real value for the customers."

He argued that the tactic had been successful, and pointed to marketing as a major factor in the decision.

"We decided that it was the one that made the most sense for us so that we could do the best job of marketing developersí products effectively. I think if you look at the site today, what you find is that the vast majority of the products are simply priced at list price."

He also spoke about collaborating with developers to ensure maximum exposure.

Unsurprisingly, Rubenson refused to comment on rumours that Amazon is planning to develop its own games.

"So here is where my answers have to be very boring unfortunately. We havenít announced anything and I canít speculate before we have, unfortunately."

The Amazon Appstore for Android launched in March and currently has 14,000 apps.

"Games is our biggest category both from a selection standpoint and from a sales standpoint," said Rubenson. Currently Plants vs Zombies is the Appstore's biggest seller.

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Latest comments (2)

Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 5 years ago
Yeah, as a developer I stay away from amazon (unless I'm already 'succesfull' on other distributors), because they can decide your app will be the app of the day/week/month/whatever and during that time everybody can get it for free or very low price, wihtout you being compensated, because after that time your app will ofcourse be less sold due to a lot of people it already owning.. not a good deal for me as a developer..
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Shaun Farol Studying Computer Information Systems, California Polytechnic State University5 years ago
As a consumer I find myself liking the Amazon Market a lot more. I like the way fellow consumer reviews are organized, its recommendation engine, and the garantee that it is for the best price.

I can of course see where developers are coming from but Amazon knows how to promote/market apps. Through Amazons promotions you to charts and gain exposure that you could not otherwise gain on other platforms.
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