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Report: Amazon pulling ahead of iTunes in average revenue per user

Amazon’s app store is beginning to push ahead of Apple’s iTunes, according to a new report from TinyCo. The mobile developer recently tracked how well its game Tiny Village did across iOS, Google Play (Android), and Amazon markets in an effort to evaluate each platform’s revenue share. The results show that the Amazon store (for the Kindle Fire) is earning more revenue per user than iTunes, but both markets are much more profitable than Google Play.

“We were once in the same situation that most developers find themselves in,” wrote TinyCo’s director of business development, Jennifer Lu, in her report on Tiny Village. “80-90 percent of our time and resource was focused on iOS leaving little for Android, our games worked perfectly on iOS but crashed on Android, and our Android version lacked many of the features found on iOS. Furthermore, with the complexity of Android’s device fragmentation, we needed to be spending even more time on our Android version than our iOS version in order to maintain the same game quality and performance, which we clearly were not doing.”

Tiny Village infographic

App analytics and traffic acquisitions company Flurry released a similar report earlier in the year that also showed Amazon gaining traction as a viable app platform, but its data on Google Play’s average revenue per paying user (ARPU) was much lower than TinyCo’s.

Where Flurry represents Google Play at 23 percent of the iTunes store’s ARPU, TinyCo’s results showed the marketplace at 65 percent of iTunes total ARPU. This percentage combines all Android and iOS devices, but if the field is narrowed to only look at the revenue produced by smartphones, Google Play leaps to a whopping 82 percent.

TinyCo’s and Flurry’s reports both agree that the Amazon marketplace is steadily gaining momentum. If the iOS app store is still used as a revenue benchmark, TinyCo’s report shows that Amazon’s ARPU is actually 180 percent, 80 percent higher than Apple’s. Flurry’s results showed Amazon at a modest 89 percent, but the dramatic difference between it and Google Play hints at a rise in the Amazon market’s profitability.

TinyCo was able to collect their data by observing trends on all three platforms. Tiny Village was released simultaneously in each marketplace and is currently a top-grossing app across the board.


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