It is hardly enough to notice the alternatives beyond such “big behemoths” as Google Play and Apple App Store. Being preinstalled on the best selling gadgets, the giants continue dominate both in app amount and total revenue. However, today we will look at one of them – Google Play – from the other side, from the side of a developer, to compare it with a smaller but promising app market – Amazon Appstore. A great amount of users do not even realize the alternative exists, but it does: there are several quite successful ones, providing new opportunities and services both for users and mobile developers. No wonder that mobile development industry always seeks for a growth, for more sales and downloads, so it is reasonable to overview all the alternatives to know, how to beat competitors and gain more customers. From this point of view, let us find it together whether they worth paying our attention to, and compare Google Play vs Amazon Appstore.
The Reasons to Use Alternatives
At once, let us make a deal that there will be separate reasons for users and developers, mainly because of their goals and needed functionality differ. And, of course, we will start with users as they are the core of every business.
1. One of the main reasons of looking for an alternative is gainful proposals and discounts. Often smaller markets are trying to attract users by discounts and sell-outs. Thus, there is a big chance to download really worthy stuff by a comparatively low price or even for free.
2. The giant-markets are overloaded with both useful and useless apps, which are all mixed and mingled into a grim cocktail. Anything is hardly ever findable, and all this mess with no proper sorting prevents users from downloading best solutions for their unique needs.
3. As Google Play or the other giants are pre installed applications on a certain types of devices, they take much of responsibility on the content it publishes. This forces its managers to apply several restrictions on the products to be published at their markets. As a result, not all apps are available in all countries, ad blockers are prohibited and adult content is mainly restricted.
It is also necessary to mention that in Google Play, in particular, the preliminary check of the application before they will be published is not so efficient as it might be. That is why, to be honest, it is overloaded with different rubbish. However, there is one more problem with it, as several malware apps were already revealed in this marketplace. Mainly they were stealing users data and spying, but there also were those that got their customers out of money. That, as we think, is a significant reason to start looking for an alternative.
Now let us switch to the developers reasons.
1. The mobile development industry is not limited to only Android or iOS applications. There are many different technologies available. Alternatives provide more freedom in technologies used. For instance, Amazon Appstore for Android developers allows to sell HTML5 apps in addition to regular Android apps.
2. Every mobile development company seeks for revenue growth. There are plenty of different gadgets with different characteristics on the market. It means that by making the app available not only for regular OS developers can attract additional customers and revenue.
3. As a rule, the number of published apps at the alternative markets are much lesser, that means less competition.
Amazon Appstore for Android Developers
There is no need to describe Google Play. This market is known for everyone who has a smartphone. On the contrary, Amazon Appstore has very limited popularity, so it is necessary to look at it closer.
Primarily, it is an appstore for tablets, which means completely different market. It was founded to sell the apps for Amazon Kindle readers, then for Fire OS tablets. That is why most of its users got to know about it because of having bought a Kindle tablet or reader, where this store is pre installed. For the customers using any other device it is necessary to download Amazon Underground – a tool for apps download. The biggest audience of the market is located in Europe and North America, which means comparatively low downloads but, at the same time, higher paid apps sales rates.
Being a market for tablets in case of Amazon Appstore does not mean it is closed for other apps. Almost everybody can publish the app there. As the rumors about Amazon Phone launch are spreading across the Web, more and more developers publish their apps at the store. Also, it is lenient towards with such a technologies as HTML5 and allows to publish HTML5 apps.
Specialization on tablets also caused difference in pre-download information representation. The 7–8.9 inches displays require more info displayed. That is why it allows to add additional keywords and upload more screenshots and videos to attract the user’s attention. Moreover, it has brilliant promotional opportunities and provides pleasant discounts, such as 30% cashback for download, 25% off Amazon Web Services and 500 thousands free ad impressions in the Ad Network. Every day users can download one paid app for free. All this shows that the question to sell apps on Amazon Appstore or Google Play is answered in favor of Amazon so far.
In comparison with Google Play, Amazon has strong content guidelines that meet copyright policies and restrict offensive content, gambling with real currency, privacy/publicity infringements and pornography. This is a benefit for users and thus for developers, because provides higher sales. But still, Amazon also implements country-specific restrictions, which might be frustrating for developers.
With only a limited range of devices and form factors of Amazon hardware products to adjust apps for, the problem of device fragmentation is washed away at this marketplace. The current range of devices consists of Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD and a lightweight Kindle Fire HD X. All these devices are based on Fire OS and coming in with a small display size ranging, which means no tiresome adjustments and testing of apps for numerous device model & OS version combinations.
Let’s Take a Look at Statistics
Amazon App Store vs Google Play in numbers.
Number of apps available in most popular app stores, March 2017 (the data is given from statista):
1. Google Play – 2,8 mln
2. Apple App Store – 2,2 mln
3. Windows Store – 669 000
4. Amazon Appstore – 600 000
Number of available applications in the Google Play Store from February 2015 to March 2017:
1. February 2015 – 1 400 000
2. February 2016 – 2 mln
3. March 2017 – 2,8 mln
Number of available apps in the Amazon Appstore from January 2015 to April 2016:
1. January 2015 – 293 000
2. March 2015 – 400 000
3. April 2016 – 600 000
App Monetization Index (average revenue per app US$, source: flurry.com):
1. iOS – $1.00
2. Amazon – $0.89
3. Android – $0.23
Google Play is still second to none when it comes to the amount of apps available, but it also means there are less competitors in Amazon. Together with the fact that Amazon monetization index is surprisingly high, it is the right place to choose it for an additional revenue. However, the rise of app number in Amazon is at a standstill right now, when Google continue prospering.
Amazon Appstore vs Google Play
So, it is time to compare Google Play and Amazon Appstore by the most significant features.
• Easy publication procedure
• The biggest amount of customers across the globe
• The biggest revenue among all the markets
• The highest downloads
• Must-have for each app
• Complicated ASO
• High level of competition
• Device (and OS) fragmentation
• As a party of interest, Google can interfere with the success of some apps
• A plenty of low-quality apps and complicated search
• Everyday discounts
• HTML5 apps are allowed for publication
• Simple ASO
• Higher level of monetization
• More qualitative content
• Content restrictions
• Limited audience
• Focused on tablets, not smartphones
• Low downloads (nearly 5 times lower than at Google Play)
• Limited presence outside US and Europe
Should You Publish an App on Amazon Appstore or Google Play?
Today it is obvious that Google Play is the most significant marketplace for mobile apps. This makes it must-have for all developer companies. The worldwide spread and integration with Google services are enough reasons to continue publish the apps there first.
Should you publish an app on Amazon Appstore? Certainly, yes. It is a promising app store (the biggest from all the alternatives) with tons of useful features both for users and developers. However, for most of Android app it is more like an additional platform for additional revenue, not the basic one. The range of devices and worldwide spread are still limited here. But still, it is worth consideration, at any rate.