When speaking about the mobile game and app market, we immediately think of Google Play and Apple Store as its essential parts, but the market is much bigger than that. And when dealing with alternative app stores, some issues may arise because we don’t usually know how to work with them.
What is Amazon Appstore?
Amazon Appstore is the store that comes pre-installed on all Amazon Kindle Fire devices. This category of tablets is based on the Fire OS, which, at a closer look, turns out to be a modified Android system. The share of Amazon tablets on the world market is about 10% or from one to 1.5 million tablets sold per month:
It’s worth mentioning that Amazon Kindle Fire tablets are limited to the Amazon Appstore by default, which means there won’t be any competition with other stores.
The share of the US users is 80%, and it’s the highest rate among all stores. Of course, this is determined by the countries where users purchase Amazon tablets most frequently.
How to prepare your game
In May 2022, Amazon announced launching Fire OS 8, which will be based on Android 11. The previous version, Fire OS 7, was based on Android 9.
So the first factor to consider when deciding whether to publish your game on Amazon Appstore is that outdated Android versions prevail there. That’s why you’ll have to make sure that your app works correctly on older Android versions (Android 6-9).
Another peculiarity is that Amazon Appstore doesn’t support Android Bundle, so you’ll have to use APK. This isn’t a major issue, but it’s important to be aware of it when preparing the build.
Another crucial thing is that Amazon tablets do not come with some of the Google Play Services, so you need to figure out if your game requires any of these services. For example, logging in with Google, or a pop-up offering to rate your app in the store, won’t be available on Amazon because the platform doesn’t support it. Thus, the more links you have to Google services, the more work you’ll have to do to prepare for the tech release of your app on Amazon Appstore.
But there’s good news from the technical point of view: if your project is based on Unity, it will be easy to adapt it for Amazon Appstore as Unity supports this platform and provides ready-made solutions for it.
Another possible difficulty in working with Amazon Appstore is the undescriptive console statistics: it only includes the number of installs, the volume of in-game purchases made by users, and the total amount of these purchases. This means that you’ll have to process more data manually. Moreover, some of the popular analytics services don’t support this platform or do that only partially.
Specifics of publishing on Amazon Appstore
All promo assets including icons, screenshots, and videos can be made consistent with Google Play to avoid doing double work when preparing the app page for Amazon. There are formats of graphic assets supported by both stores, you only have to define the resolution.
We recommend using 512x512 for icons, 1920x1080 for screenshots, 1024x500 for feature graphics, and 1920x1080 for videos (png format for all files).
In our experience, promo assets that perform well in Google Play usually do the same in Amazon Appstore.
Working with metadata
When preparing text metadata, you need to remember that you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks after the release of the new app version to analyze the results of the new set of ASO texts. In fact, text metadata is indexed the following day, but it takes ten to 14 days for it to consolidate the position and grow.
In Amazon Appstore, all metadata is uploaded together with a new app version, which is similar to the way it happens in Apple App Store. However, unlike in Apple's app store, you don’t need a tech team to perform the release of the new version. You can change all the data by yourself, save the old APK version, and publish the new data with it if you only need to update the metadata.
Unfortunately, the Amazon platform isn’t supported by the popular ASO services, so you’ll have to do most of the work manually, for example, analysing positions in search results or competitors’ graphics.
Search results in Amazon Appstore are the same in the web version and on Amazon devices, so there’s no need to provide all of your specialists with Amazon devices – it will be enough to just go to amazon.com and navigate to the Amazon Appstore section. This way, you’ll see the app store version you can efficiently work with as the data will be identical.
Commission fees and discount plan
The store commission fee is 30% — like in most other stores. And just like Google Play and App Store, Amazon Appstore offers a discount plan for all developers that have a total revenue below $1 million per year. The fee in this plan is decreased to 20% and, additionally, Amazon will compensate 10% of the amount of purchases in the form of bonus points that you can spend on acquiring Amazon services for development.
Ads and acquisition
If you plan to monetize your app through ads or acquire traffic for it via ad networks, it can be easily done on Amazon Appstore as well.
However, there are some intricacies to keep in mind. For example, not all ad networks that you probably use in your work fully support Amazon. Judging from our experience, Amazon is fully supported by Applovin, Adcolony, Chartboost, Fyber, Vungle, and Yahoo. This list is constantly growing, so we’ll definitely see more companies that will add the support of Amazon to their products.
Amazon Appstore has its own ad network, but it only supports banner and interstitial formats for mobile devices at the moment.
To release a game on this platform, it’s important to consider a number of technical peculiarities
To conclude, publishing games on Amazon Appstore can be beneficial both for indie developers and experienced companies that have difficulties scaling their products on well-established markets.
To release a game on this platform, it’s important to consider a number of technical peculiarities and adapt landing page assets.
The advantages of this platform are a concentrated US audience and the lack of competition with other stores within the platform. It’s also worth saying that games really are popular on Amazon. In some of our projects, players on this platform show bigger engagement compared to other stores, and products demonstrate great metrics.
Amazon Appstore is actively developing, and despite the fact that the audience of the platform isn’t that large compared to that of App Store or Google Play, it’s constantly growing, partly owing to the support of the increasing number of companies.
Vladimir Romanov is head of ASO at Zimad. He started his career in a small indie game studio that built its business on organic installs and has a five-year experience in ASO.