My Take on the Shifty Jelly vs Amazon App Store Debate
Aug 12, 2011 8:33 AM –
So recently there has been a lot of buzz about the Amazon App Store and how horrible it is to developers. One development company, Shifty Jelly (The makers of my favorite podcasting application), gave out a bunch information about their negative experience with Amazon in a recent blog post. Which sparked us to gather your opinions about the various app stores.
They stated in their post that they were not given a cent by Amazon. Instead Amazon said that Shifty Jelly would benefit from the premium placement in their app store as well as the increased public exposure that this placement would bring. Knowing they wouldn’t receive a cent for the application, the developers posted the application on Amazon hoping to reap the benefits of the application’s exposure and get their name out there.
When the application went free on the Amazon App Store there was an incredible amount of downloads. I was one of those people that downloaded this application for free. Like many others, I did not know that developers made no money whatsoever by posting their application as the app of the day. However, perhaps unlike many others I assumed they were not gaining a large majority of any profits made.
Shifty Jelly wrote their post on their blog as an angry outcry at Amazon and to allow the users of their application to know exactly how the Amazon App store works. While I am glad that they have allowed us all to know how Amazon really works; I am not sure that I agree that Amazon is purely negative for developers.
Before seeing Pocket Casts on the Amazon App Store I had searched far and wide for a good podcast player. I had found and tried Doggcatcher Podcast Player, Podkast, Google Listen, Stitcher, and many others. Yet through all of my extensive searching for the perfect podcast player I never found Pocket Casts.
I know that I am not the only one that falls in to this category because in my line of work, I also had the opportunity to ask many others for podcast player recommendations and have never once heard of either Pocket Casts or the company Shifty Jelly.
I think that majority of Pocket Cast’s current users would also fall in to this category and ended up discovering the application through Amazon’s App Store as well. Also like me, I think many users since the Amazon App Store scandal have proceeded to purchase Pocket Casts in order to support the developers.
I recently went through the comments for Pocket Casts and uncovered over 45 comments referencing the purchase of Pocket Casts back to the Amazon App Store scandal. At $2.76 a download that makes $124 for the developer, and that is just from the people that referenced the blog post about Amazon. I have to imagine that many more people purchased this application after using it on Amazon and hearing about the issues that Shifty Jelly experienced and just never commented on the market.
Now $124 is definitely not enough to live on, and I personally think the company that made Pocket Casts deserves more, but I think this issue brings up an interesting question. Is offering an application for free through a major advertiser such a bad thing? Pocket Casts gathered much of its following through this placement in the Amazon App Store. It went from just a few downloads a day to thousands in one day, and while this may not provide an immediate monetary payment is does give a lot to the developers in the form of new customers.
- By placing “Pocket Casts” on the Amazon App store Shifty Jelly went from a small unheard of podcast application to a podcasting giant in a matter of a few minutes.
- By informing everyone about Amazon’s payment plan for developers, Shifty Jelly gained income from many of the people who had downloaded their application for free.
- By gaining a huge user base Shifty Jelly was able to pick up a huge crowd of customers eager to consume new products from their company.
What I believe is that services like Amazon App Store provide a useful advertising platform, but need to be limited in scope.
Imagine if the Amazon App Store’s “App of the Day” was free to try for a week before you were forced to buy it. People would be allowed to try out an application before they buy it; which allows the consumer to be sure they are making a wise purchase. It would also allow developers to showcase their applications, that were previously unheard of, on a platform that provided greater exposure to their target audience and profit protection for their applications.
Yes, there will be people that will try to remove any protection on the application in order to keep it for free. However, those people are already doing this with applications from the Android Market. There should be no noticeable difference in pirating for the common user.
Finally, I think people will always be willing to pay for a quality product. With a trial based model consumers would be able to ensure the quality of product, and then know that their purchase would be well worth it.Yes, poorly made applications will make less money; but isn’t that the way it should be?
I love “Pocket Casts” and I can’t wait to see what Shifty Jelly has in store for us in the future, but Amazon App Store isn’t all bad. With a little bit of modification it could provide an extremely beneficial service to developers while remaining a valuable resource to consumers. Hopefully Amazon can see the value of supporting its Android developers, because if they forsake developers then developers will forsake them. However, on the same note I hope developers realize that Amazon does play an important role in the Android community and has a great value for increasing product exposure.
, Amazon App of the Day
, Amazon App Store
, Amazon Rotten to the Core
, Android News
, App of the Day
, Pocket Casts
, Shifty Jelly
Categorised in: Apps Blog, Featured, News