Amazon Underground Gives Users, Developers an Alternative to In-App Payments

Aug. 31, 2015

Amazon Underground Gives Users, Developers an Alternative to In-App Payments Amazon recently released an app for Android devices in which it is offering premium versions of content that usually require in-app purchases for free. Amazon Underground is essentially the original Amazon app with an extra component that will bring paid apps to users, along with other services, free. Because the app offers acess to other apps, however, users cannot download Amazon Underground from the Google Play store. They have to go through, which requires several extra steps. Amazon Underground is not available to iPhone users at all.

According to Amazon, developers who normally get revenue through in-app payments will be paid by the Seattle-based e-commerce giant according to the length of time users engage with the app. Experts say this model will appeal to developers, whose in-app revenue is increasingly reserved for mega-hits like Clash of Clans.

“We were hearing that sometimes it’s frustrating when you’re involved in a game and have to stop and make a transaction,” Amazon Appstore director Aaron Rubenson told Wired. “What we realized is that a model like the one we rolled out in Underground, where customers can simply download and use all of the features of a given app, or explore a game without having to worry about transactions in the middle would be wonderful for customers.”

Amazon insists the free apps included in Amazon Underground are not a temporary promotion but part of a “long-term program” that will be expanded over time as the company “continues to invent and add more benefits to Underground.”