The problem, is Amazon's 'Free App Of The Day' promotion. While Amazon publicly says that it pays developers 20% of the asking price of an app, even when they give it away free, Amazon pulls off deals where it pays developers nothing.
Shifty Jelly make a app called Pocket Casts which was offered via 'Free App Of The Day' promotion and sold 101,491 (sales the previous days was 20) ... amazing sales which generated then nothing.
What's worse than that, the increased sales actually cost the company money:
To add insult to injury Pocket Casts relies on a server to parse podcast feeds (allowing instant updates on your phone), and all these new users forced us to buy more hardware just to meet demand. Hardware that we are going to have to support indefinitely at our own cost.
Shifty Jelly outlines a number of other issues they have with the Amazon App Store:
- Lengthy review times of anywhere up to 2 weeks (I've lost count of the amount of emails from people asking why our Google Market app is newer)
- Amazon gets to set the price of your app to whatever they want, without any input from you, or even the chance to reject their price
- Amazon re-writes your description, and in ours they even made up things like ‘add up to 100 podcasts'. No idea where on earth they got that number from
- Amazon don't provide error reports like Google do making it hard to fix errors
- They don't yet support Google's new multiple APK initiative
- Amazon pays far later than Google does, and to date we haven't received any cheques from them, even though we are listed as being ‘payed'
- US Only
- Much less real-time sales information than Google
- Update: (and this one surprised us) you can't remove apps from their store! You have to ask them for permission via an email. Every other store lets you remove apps from sale.
Seems like there are number of issues for Amazon to address here.