Apr 10 AT 12:04 PM Anthony Domanico 24 Comments

Amazon adds in-app purchases to its app store


Like it or not, the freemium model is here to stay. Last year, Google started allowing in-app purchases for applications on the Play Store, allowing developers to put out a bare-bones application for free and charge customers for additional content from within the app itself. This move only applied to the Play Store, and not third-party application markets.

The Amazon App Store is certainly the largest of the third-party app stores and today they have announced that they too have started allowing in-app purchases on applications hosted on their store. Amazon’s integration brings with it one of the primary advantage Amazon brings to the table: one-click purchasing.

As an Amazon Prime member, I’ve come to trust and depend on Amazon’s payment process, a process which makes it stupid easy for me to throw more and more money at Amazon every day. Now developers of Android applications will have the option to provide this same type of experience to their customers. Several developers are already on board, most notably ZeptoLab, Disney, Glu, Gameloft, Conde Nast, Dow Jones, and the New York Post.

Developers interested in integrating in-app purchasing to their Amazon App Store application can check out Amazon’s Youtube channel for more info. And all you Android users out there, what do you think about the move toward in-app purchases and “freemium” application models? Sound off in the comments.

Show Press Release

Amazon Appstore Announces In-App Purchasing Service for Kindle Fire and Other Android Devices

Developers can now offer digital content and subscriptions within apps and games using Amazon’s

1-Click purchasing

SEATTLE — April 10, 2012 — (NASDAQ: AMZN) — Amazon.com, Inc. today announced an In-App Purchasing (IAP) service, making it easy for Amazon Appstore developers to offer digital content and subscriptions for purchase within apps and games that are available on millions of Kindle Fires and other Android devices.

Amazon Appstore’s In-App Purchasing service is simple for developers to integrate and helps monetize their apps and games, while offering customers a seamless and secure 1-Click purchasing experience.  Top developers including ZeptoLab, Disney, Glu Mobile Inc., Storm8, Social Gaming Network, Gameloft, G5 Entertainment Inc,. and top publishers like Condé Nast, Dow Jones and New York Post have already integrated Amazon Appstore’s In-App Purchasing API and are offering millions of Amazon customers in-app content and subscriptions.  To learn more, developers can watch a video about Amazon’s In-App Purchasing service at http://www.youtube.com/amazonappstoredev.  To find the Quick Start Guide, sample code, tutorials and FAQs, visit the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal at http://developer.amazon.com/appstore.

“Amazon Appstore’s In-App Purchasing service enables developers to generate more revenue from their apps,” said Aaron Rubenson, Director of Amazon Appstore. “In-App Purchasing is simple to integrate and gives developers access to millions of Amazon customers who are already familiar with Amazon’s 1-Click payment system. Many of Amazon Appstore’s customers have shopped with Amazon before and they trust Amazon’s easy payment process, which leads to higher conversion of developers’ in-app content and subscriptions.”


G5 Entertainment

“We found that by offering a product with IAP, rather than other monetization types, our conversion rates went up as did our revenue on a per title basis,” said Larissa McCleary, Director of Marketing at G5 Entertainment, Inc., creator of Virtual City Playground and Mahjong Artifacts. “Although our experience on Amazon has always been great, we are thrilled now that IAP is available.”


Social Gaming Network

“Amazon’s in-app purchasing solution created a great way for us to reduce friction and drive more revenue from our games, as millions of people already have Amazon accounts,” said Michael Ritter, Senior Vice President Licensing & Distribution at Social Gaming Network, maker of Warp Rush, Dress Up Fashion, Bird’s the Word, and Night of the Living Dead Defense.  “Kindle Fire already has a well-integrated store front and marketplace to distribute mobile games.  By enabling in-app purchases we are able to be more flexible in pricing. We can release free games, provide updates and enhancements, and continue to monetize.”



“With Amazon’s impressive track record and tremendous success with the Kindle, we knew the Appstore would be a hit, so we signed up right away. And when we heard that Amazon was launching the SDK with in-app purchasing, it was a no-brainer for us to integrate,” said Perry Tam, CEO and Co-Founder at Storm8, producer of games such as Restaurant Story, Bakery Story, Farm Story, Fashion Story.  “Our experience with the Amazon Appstore has been great. We were thrilled when they decided to add in-app purchasing support to their SDK, and the Amazon team worked closely with us throughout the beta test for this feature. Our games quickly gained traction on the platform; all of the Storm8 apps hit the Appstore’s Top 10 list within a week of launching.”

New York Post

“By integrating In-App Purchasing, our goal was to offer Amazon’s frictionless purchasing experience to our customers. This includes the ability for customers to easily subscribe using 1-Click, take advantage of a 14-day free trial, and to auto-renew,” said David Rozzi, Director of Digital Projects at New York Post.  “We’re excited about the results so far, and we look forward to continuing to provide content to customers on Kindle Fire and other Android devices.”

Mobile Deluxe

“Implementing the Amazon Appstore for Android In-App Purchasing solution was a piece of cake.  We were able to turn it around and get it into internal testing within a few days’ time,” said Sean Thompson, Vice President of Production, Mobile Deluxe. “The documentation was top notch and the SDK contained everything we needed to test the implementation.”


“The Amazon Appstore SDK made it easy for us to enable Digital Publishing Suite to support in application purchasing of both single issues and subscriptions of digital magazines on Kindle Fire,” said Zeke Koch, Senior Director, Product Management, Digital Publishing at Adobe. “Amazon’s well-designed API and rapid support allowed us to help our enterprise publishing customers be first on the Fire.”

To see how simple it is to integrate, developers can watch a video about Amazon’s In-App Purchasing service atwww.youtube.com/amazonappstoreforandroid.  Several of the In-App Purchasing beta test participants will share best practices via the Amazon Appstore Developer Blog at www.amazonappstoredev.com and on Twitter (@amznappstoredev). Learn more about Amazon Appstore Developer Services and submit apps online through the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal at http://developer.amazon.com/appstore.


About Amazon Appstore for Android

The Amazon Appstore for Android is where customers can find, discover and buy thousands of apps using Amazon’s convenient and trusted shopping features, including personalized recommendations, customer reviews and bestseller lists. Customers can access the store directly on Kindle Fire, from any computer, or on an Android phone or tablet. Amazon Appstore has a broad selection of paid and free apps and games, including established bestsellers and new apps from top-tier brands. More apps and games are added daily and the Amazon Appstore offers customers a great paid app for free, every day.


About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes — still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display.  Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G.  Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.comwww.amazon.co.ukwww.amazon.de,www.amazon.co.jpwww.amazon.frwww.amazon.cawww.amazon.cnwww.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.


Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com‘s financial results is included inAmazon.com‘s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I HATE in-app purchases with a passion!

    1) They should be illegal in apps that I pay for! That’s like a bait & switch tactic most of the time. You get my money and then only give me part of what I paid for.
    2) I would like all of my app purchases to be done from the market, not from who knows where.

    I just don’t like in-app purchases. As a consumer, I have yet to receive value from this feature in the Play Store and have only been annoyed and/or angered by it.

    • kazahani

      I definitely agree that I want all my purchases to be through Google Play store and not individual apps, but every time I’ve ever made an in app purchase, it jumped me out to the play store to charge my credit card, so it’s not like the app developers are getting access to my banking information.

      • LukeT32

        Agreed, if I download a freemium game I just play until I need to buy something to advance and quit. It isn’t with it IMO.

        • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jesse Moreno

          Same here.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        It’s not about them having my credit card info. I know they don’t have that. It’s about them doing a bait and switch, and it’s about me being able to bring purchases from device to device. I keep a phone for only 6-10 months yet I’ve purchased 100+ apps. I expect to keep my purchases and not have to repurchase then.

        In app purchases screw me in several ways. Plus it’s annoying as hell.

    • CTown

      I think it’s a great model! It keeps the store clean since every app does not need a paid and a free version. Plus, the paid app model is not… so strong on Android.

    • yankeesusa

      That is a great way of putting it. Bait and switch. I know bait and switch here in florida is illegal and it can be reported, I don’t know what the difference is in apps. Only problem is in app purchases are here to stay. I just hope that developers don’t start using this too much. I don’t mind paying for an app as paying for an app means that the developer is more likely to keep the app udpated and more efficient but some are just trying to nickel and dime you every step of the way.

  • professandobey

    For all y’all TL;DR folks: Amazon found a way to get a cut of in app payments now.

  • alexanderharri3

    Great, just what we needed…..Free versions of Paid app of the day with in-app payments to make them regularly playable…..hidden costs beyond the upfront gets the app on our devices only to find out later there’s a cost….

    At the very least, I hope there is a notification on the app information page that lists that there are in app purchases available and what they are…but overall dislike.

  • fletchtb

    Whether you like in-app payments or not they appear to be here to stay. The iTunes App Store and Play store both have them. It is just a natural progression for the Amazon App Store to get them too.

    It is scary as hell to let my kids play games where they can inadvertantly (to them) buy upgrades within apps, but it is up to me to manage that.

    • fletchtb

      I will also add, that I have been playing The Pinball Arcade (from the play store) and I am very happy to buy their latest tables (with an in app payment) as they release new tables each month.

      I can’t believe I get to play Theatre of Magic and Bride of Pinbot on my Android devices any time I want!

  • skugern

    I’ve avoided a lot of Android games for this very reason. Provide me with a quality product for a flat price or I won’t use your product.

    I don’t have any children but if I did, I’d be even more wary of using these types of apps – I don’t want to see my credit card with $30+ worth of in-app charges.

  • kazahani

    I think freemium has a place. There are some really cool games out there that I won’t buy, because I’m not sure how well they will work on my device, and the refund window is only 15 minutes.

    I will say that the notification bar ads that most freemium titles pester me with can go to hell.

  • Nathan D.

    I really don’t like in app purchases because they are annoying and even more so when I pay for the app. Also in app purchases apps usually are harder games which makes you tempted to buy something to help you out in what ever you are doing.

  • bellken

    In your Amazon App Store settings, you can disable in-app purchases. I have disabled In App purchases for all of my Android devices.

    I have, also, disabled, it for the Play Store.

    • honourbound68

      yes. but i’ve also noticed that whenever the app store gets updated, the settings default back to allowing in-app purchases. dangerous for people with kids. my 3 yr old niece made purchases on some princess game because the amazon app store settings got reset. luckily it only cost $0.99 lol.

      • yankeesusa

        I really hope they start putting in some type of security in these. My kid almost purchased a 3.99 upgrade on one of the games. If this continues to happen I will just leave bad review on the app and uninstall. Its as easy as that.

  • Aaron Sentell

    I refuse to use the Amazon app store. I don’t support the forking of Android. They’re only encouraging companies like Samsung to do the same.

    • CTown

      That’s just the way Android was made. Google knew something like this would happen when they put Android under the Apache license (one of the “do what you want with our product, just gives credit in the about dialog” licenses).

      That is why Google makes it hard to get their store on your phone. For compatibility reasons Google gave OEMs the following: Make your phones to our specifications or build your own app store. Amazon chose the latter.

    • yankeesusa

      What is the reason you refuse the amazon app store? Because of in app purchasing? don’t get it.

  • Paul Atreides

    I don’t really mind these, just wish they were done in a less obstructive way on some apps. Also, don’t make it a requirement for me to finish your game. It’s cool if someone wants added features or cheats, but allow for normal play since you will bombard us with ads still anyway.

  • yankeesusa

    All i know is that if i buy a kids game for kids 10 and under they better not put any inapp purchasing on these. It is so easy for my kids to select buy if thats the case. I understand in app purchasing is here to stay but something needs to be done on how its managed within an app.

  • spazby

    hate these freemium games with a passion

  • bln

    there needs to be a kill switch on the whole app store to block all apps with in-app purchases. some people don’t even want the possibility of installing crapware on their devices.