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Amazon Hopes Its Marketing Edge Draws Android Devs

Software development companies, especially smaller ones that may only have a handful (or fewer) of developers, usually know a lot more about writing code than they do about marketing their products. Amazon.com, on the other hand, is a master marketer. And it's hoping to leverage that expertise to draw Android developers into its Amazon Appstore.

The Appstore was announced earlier this year. It will serve as a storefront for selling Android apps, much as the Android Market does. The key differentiator between the Market and Appstore is Amazon's ability to sell and market its products. Developers who use the Appstore have access to Amazon's highly successful automated marketing system, as the company points out in a recent blog. Amazon points to a three-pronged marketing attack:

  • Search results
  • Browse-based results
  • Bestsellers

Search results are obvious. The browse-based results bring up not only a specific item, but related items in several categories, including "More Items to Consider," "New For You" and "Related to Items You've Viewed." Those results, when the Appstore goes live later this year (Amazon didn't give a set date), will include Android apps.

"Bestsellers" is a "top paid apps" and "top free apps" category, like those featured in all app stores. Amazon says it will separate the top paid apps and the top free apps, much as Apple does with its App Store.

Amazon is also working to educate developers on how to market their Android apps. For instance, it recently posted a guide to "Creating Effective Application Descriptions," complete with a list of "Dos" and "Dont's," including "Create an emotional connection between your app and your desired customers." Among the "Dont's" is this advice: "[Don't] Make false, hyperbolic claims -- this type of marketing rarely works and may hurt your app in the long run."

Developers will keep 70 percent of the app sale price, similar to other app stores. When the Appstore initially launches, it will support apps running on Android OS 1.6 and higher. Although there is a $99 fee charged to developers to participate in the program, the first year's fee will be waived.

Belonging to the Amazon Appstore will not be without some drawbacks, though, and some of them are ranklings of Android developers.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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