Announced on Tuesday to roll out in May, Amazon will begin offering ‘Coins,’ a virtual money system used in purchasing apps and games with the company’s Kindle Fire tablets. Users can make Amazon Appstore purchases and in-app purchases using the new currency; a structure Amazon hopes to benefit app developers directly.
The company feels that if Amazon app users have an simple, fun option for buying things in their Appstore, developers will see higher revenues. Developers, who receive a standard 70-percent per purchase through the Amazon Appstore and who offer the same or similar titles in the Apple App Store or Google’s Play store generally report better sales in competitors’ markets over Amazon.
Kindle Fire fans can be extra fired-up for the ‘change,’ as the company also announced their plan to give away “tens of millions of dollars’ worth” of free Amazon Coins at launch. This will be a tactic in seeing how users react to the new payment system and if any potential niche markets can open up.
Some people may prefer to use the pre-paid Coins, which simulates more of a gift card buying experience. Parents for example, can better control and monitor their children’s spending through the Amazon Appstore with ‘Coins’ bought using their personal Amazon accounts.
“Amazon Coins gives customers an easy way to spend money on developers’ apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore,” said Paul Ryder, VP of Apps and Games for Amazon. “Developers who aren’t yet in the Amazon Appstore will want to make sure their apps have been submitted and approved by April 25 so they’re ready for customers to start spending their Amazon Coins.”
Is Amazon truly ‘cashing out’ to benefit software developers or is it more a gimmicky marketing scheme to heighten awareness to their Kindle Fire tablet?