Will Amazon's in-app purchasing API entice developers?

Amazon has rolled out its in-app purchasing API and subscription functionality for Kindle Fire and Android developers.

The new API will allow developers to offer digital content and subscriptions--such as in-game currency, expansion packs, upgrades, and magazine issues--for purchase within apps. Amazon will take a classic 30% cut of revenues.

The announcement will be welcomed by developers who, a year after the launch of Amazon App Store which runs on the new Kindle Fire and Android devices, have found it to be a patchy cash generator.

Amazon, unlike other app store owners, sets the prices of apps itself; also occasionally offering downloads for free under its “Free App for a Day” promotion. While this has left an unpleasant taste in some developers’ mouths, they will now be able to set the prices of subscription and in-app purchase items themselves.

The system utilises Amazon’s well known “1-Click” payment system, familiar to users around the world, which Amazon reasonably suggests, should increase conversion rates.

“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,” he added. “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.”

Amazon’s three month beta programme partners appear to back up these positive noises.

“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.

“By integrating In-App Purchasing, our goal was to offer Amazon’s frictionless purchasing experience to our customers,” added David Rozzi, Director of Digital Projects at New York Post. “This includes the ability for customers to easily subscribe using 1-Click, take advantage of a 14-day free trial, and to auto-renew.”

Does this new functionality make Amazon's App Store more attractive to developers? Does it deserve your attention? Let us know...

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