Amazon to Pay Developers by Usage With New Service Underground

Amazon Underground

Monetizing your app isn’t as straightforward as selecting a price tier these days. Revenue today can come from ads, app downloads, in-app purchases, and even subscription.

Today, Amazon rolled out a totally new way to make money from your Android app – usage. That’s right, not downloads, but usage.

Amazon Underground

Amazon has several interesting requirements for inclusion in Underground. Here’s the gist:

  • The app must already exist and be available on an app store that isn’t Amazon’s (apps can’t be made specifically for Amazon Underground without special permission).
  • The app must already be generating revenue (as a paid or freemium app).
  • The app must be available for download on at least one non-amazon device.
  • You must create a free version of the app, but its gameplay/functionality can’t be different than the original app.

The complete set of requirements can be found here.

If you already have a qualified app jump over to Underground’s Revenue Estimator to see what publishing would mean for you.

85% of Android apps “just work” on Amazon

According to Amazon, 85% of Android apps “just work” when submitted to the Amazon Appstore. That means that the apps you already published on Google Play should “just work” and potentially provide you with additional revenue, especially with Underground.

Amazon has a free testing service you can use to see if your apps will “just work”. Give it a try.

FYI – Last summer we looked into how many developers actually cross-publish their apps and noticed less than 6% of Android developers post to both Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Amazon is certainly trying to change that with Underground.

What’s the catch?

Amazon has been a bit ahead of Google and Apple with developer tools since their Appstore went live. The main problem is that their user-base, developer-base, and also app-base are tiny in comparison to their competitors. Unlike Apple, Amazon apps are built on Android, which means they can “share” their user-base.

To us this looks a lot like an attempt by Amazon to attract users with free games. It’s a breath of fresh air for users who are getting tired of in-app purchases, and it provides a great incentive for developers to make more engaging apps and games.

if this works (and is sustainable for Amazon) it’d be a win-win for the entire ecosystem.

Talking Trends: Serialized Content and Rewarded Ads, With Adam Ben-David of Supersonic

Talking Trends is a new series of short interviews where we’ll be chatting with our fellow industry folk about the trends and opportunities they’re seeing in the app economy, and how the solutions they’re building empower app makers.

For the first installment of this series, we talked with Adam Ben-David, Head of Publisher Operations at Supersonic. Supersonic helps developers monetize their apps and advertisers to acquire new users effectively. Adam shares his views on the challenges of the market and why he thinks serialized content might be the key to success in the app stores.

Why was Supersonic created?

Supersonic was born with an overarching agenda to help developers grow their businesses. Every facet of the company and team member is passionately focused on this goal. It’s woven into our DNA.

The power and reach of mobile is disruptive. It has paved the way for developers to reach global audiences at the click of a button. But as the landscape becomes increasingly competitive and cluttered, managing growth becomes an issue for many. We believe the mobile community would be nothing without the developers that support it. We do our part by empowering them with the tools to help maximize and sustain revenue. Through Supersonic’s Supply Side Platform and Ad Mediation platform, developers are boosting their advertising and user acquisition efforts across all their applications — generating fresh, new monetization opportunities.

We work with some of the largest app publishers in the industry, but even our smallest indie developers report success and growth. This is exactly why we were created.

What challenges keep you up at night?

We are constantly thinking of new ways to help our partners build bigger and better products. May it be new and engaging ad formats or deeper insight into acquiring quality users, we consistently push the envelope in making the developer’s life a much easier one.

At Supersonic, we like to look at the app development process as you would a diamond. A well cut diamond has multiple faces – each equal in importance and reliant on one another to form a full stone. Monetization is just one face of that diamond. User acquisition another. What really keeps us up at night is challenging ourselves to become a contributing factor to the rest of the developer’s life cycle.

How does Supersonic utilize data to empower developers?

Supersonic’s Mediation Platform collects and optimizes data across hundreds of demand sources, helping our users monetize more intelligently. Real-time ad network analysis and automated reports allow developers to be informed of their campaigns while reaching maximum fill and revenue.

Developers even empower us with data. We analyze then optimize first-party information collected through our developer base and plug it back into our platform. This allows us to create better user-targeting schemes that result in higher engagement and acquisition.

Lastly, what trends occurring right now in the app store ecosystem are most exciting to you, and how do you think they will pan out?

We’re currently seeing a rise of serialized content in the app store. Developers realize the loyalty that comes from users who are engaged through a consistent brand. A familiar and consistent design encourages users to look for similar titles, keeping them active within their sub app store ecosystem. The Angry Bird Series does this well.

We’re also experiencing huge adoption of rewarded ads in F2P apps. Rewarded ads offer end users premium content in exchange for viewing an ad in full length. These formats are re-energizing the F2P model. As IAPs decline, developers look for novel ways to generate revenue while exchanging digital goods for users to explore deeper app content. Many of our developers report increased user retention and LTV after the introduction of rewarded video ads.

Thanks to Adam for providing us with insights. Supersonic is one of the 20+ ad networks we’re integrated with. See the full list here.

Adam Ben-David is the Head of Publisher Operations at Supersonic where he helps developers utilize Supersonic’s monetization tools to build and grow their app businesses.

Introducing the appFigures iPhone App


I’m very excited to announce that appFigures for iPhone is available on the App Store right now!

For the past several months we’ve been hard at work building an entirely new analytics experience that’s designed for mobile from the ground up. Our new iPhone app is centered around visualizing important figures at a glance for when you’re on the go, while also allowing to drill-down and learn more about your data with ease.

Here are some features we think you’ll love:

  • View your combined revenue from app sales, in-app purchases, and ads.
  • Easily read all your reviews, translated to your language.
  • See quick totals for your entire app catalog or just a single app.
  • Pivot any dataset by date, product, country, store, and more for easy comparisons.
  • Report sharing, offline mode, and more.


There are many more handcrafted features for you to explore so head over and download it now. The app is available for free to all appFigures members, free or paid.

As always, we’d love to know what you think. So email us, tweet @appfigures, or send us feedback right from the app.

Coming Soon: appFigures Content Pack for Microsoft Power BI

Earlier this week Microsoft officially announced Power BI, a suite of custom dashboards that allows users to plug in data from a variety of sources and visualize it with different types of charts and maps.

We’re excited to announce that we’re working tightly with Microsoft to release a Power BI content pack for appFigures.

A couple of months ago, we announced a similar integration with Adobe, and we are planning to integrate with even more service providers in the future because making data accessible is a very important part of our philosophy.

Philosophy aside, when we first got a demo of the Power BI platform a few months ago we were very impressed. Microsoft is known for building enterprise software, full of buttons and ribbons and clutter, but Power BI seems to disobey the legacy and instead provide a smooth experience that offers as much flexibility as it does functionality.

In addition to flexible dashboards, Power BI also offers a natural language search which translates written questions into instant insights. It’s pretty nifty.

We’re currently working with Microsoft to finalize the integration and polish the out-of-the-box experience, and expect the new content pack to be available this summer. If you’re a Power BI user (or feel like signing up for Power BI now – it’s free) and want to help us beta test the integration before it goes live please get in touch.

More Daily Reports for iOS/Mac Apps and iBooks

For years iTunes Connect had a limited number of daily reports it made available. First it was 7, then 14, and as of last week 30. And although Apple also provides weekly, monthly and yearly reports, looking at more coarse data just isn’t the same. Well, it looks like someone at Apple was happy last week, because that limit has been increased to a whopping 365 days. That’s 365 daily sales reports for apps and also for iBooks.

Small but important note: it looks like although the limit is 365 days, as of right now the earliest date we can go back to is November 10th, 2014 (only 176 days).

We’re in the process of importing every available report, so everyone who signed up after 11/10/14 will be able to go back further than 30 days in daily view.

Importing historic reports should not change your all-time totals. Those totals take into account all available report sets.

If you are on a paid plan this will all happen automatically. If you are not, we highly recommend syncing all of your linked iTunes Connect accounts to get all of that historic data. No rush though, you can now take your time.

Now Tracking Amazon App Ranks From 10 New Countries

Amazon countries

Amazon’s Appstore has been a small but growing contender in the app store race. In 2014 the store nearly doubled its size. When we started tracking the Amazon Appstore it was only available in the U.S, but since Amazon has expanded to a few more countries. Today we’re rolling out hourly rank tracking for the Amazon Appstore from 10 new countries.

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Spain

You can now see the ranks for any app in the Amazon Appstore in the U.S. or any of the new countries, or check out the top apps in any category.

Coming Soon: appFigures Data in Your Adobe Analytics Dashboard

appFigures + Adobe

Earlier today Adobe announced that appFigures will soon be providing app store data to Adobe Analytics. That’s huge news for us and the timing couldn’t be any better, as next week we’ll be turning six!

We work hard to make app store analytics accessible, so when Adobe reached out to us a few months ago we were very excited to extend the data we’re already providing beyond the walls of appFigures. We know that the more data you have the better decisions you can make, and that’s the key to success.

We like working with Adobe for many reasons, but one that is very important to us is their approach to handling sensitive data, which is very similar to ours – your private data is yours, not ours. That’s why we don’t sell or share it with anyone.

Adobe’s Analytics Dashboards provides a variety of marketing metrics, and coming soon, those metrics will include a variety of app store metrics, including: detailed app downloads and revenue, hourly ranks, and app ratings. The integration, which we’re working to release later in April, will be available as a free add-on to all enterprise and publisher accounts.

We’re planning to start testing the integration later this month. If you’re using Adobe Analytics and would like to help with testing please get in touch.

House of Cards Stacks the Deck for Monument Valley’s Success Across Major App Stores

This past weekend marked the return of Netflix’s popular original series, House of Cards for a third season. Having previously established the main character’s interest in video games, the newly appointed President turns to the popular app, Monument Valley to decompress.

The game doesn’t make its debut in the series until the fifth episode, but if anything can be inferred from the Season 2 premiere where over 670,000 people binge-watched the entire new season during the first weekend of its release on Netflix (a figure which accounted for 2% of total Netflix subscribers at the time), the show’s viewers are a devoted group.

We wondered if and how this engaged audience would affect the already popular game. We kept a close watch on ranks data from the weekend:

monument_valley_1 Note: The grey lines indicate subcategories for reference.

We can see that the effect of the feature during Episode 5 was immediate. Almost exactly 5 hours after the third season became available to watch, the game began to ascend the ranks at lightening speed. This ascent is much more abrupt in iOS than in Google Play where it makes steady leaps. Next, let’s take a look at the Top Paid Overall:


Again, we see a jump right around the time the binge-watchers would get to the app’s feature. This initial climb is consistent and sustained throughout the course of the weekend. Finally, we analyzed the data for the Top Grossing category:


Unlike most popular games with freemium models, Monument Valley is currently a paid app priced at $3.99, with an additional extension as an in-app purchase available for $1.99. The show advertised the game so well that a large number of people were willing to pay upfront to try it out, which is uncommon.

As we can see, such a prominent feature in a leading series proves to be the ultimate advertisement. At this point, the effect is even greater than that we recently looked at for apps that purchased Super Bowl ads – without the large price tag! It would appear as though this is a much more receptive audience.

New Integrations: Millennial Media, MoPub, Unity Ads, and More






Millennial Media



Unity Ads


Flurry Ads



Over the last year we’ve been working hard to add support for as many data sources as app developers use to monetize, so we can show you the most accurate bottom line. Today we’re happy to announce 11 new ad network integrations are available. This brings us to a total of 20 ad networks, covering a wide range of networks, from traditional to video, and everything in between. And the we’re nowhere near done!

To link your ad networks, go to Account settings → Linked accounts and click the Link account button. Reports from the newly linked account(s) will be available within a few minutes on the site and the API.

For a complete and up-to-date list, check out our Integrations page.

We’re actively working to add more integrations, so if you don’t see a network you’re using please let us know.

Did Super Bowl Ads Score App Store Success?

With an estimated 112 million viewers tuned in to the 49th Super Bowl on Sunday night, a lot of talk had nothing to do with the game or sport itself. Instead, there was a lot of hype over three different games — the kind you play on your phone, and that were advertised in between all that football.

The hefty price tag ($4.5 million for a 30-second slot) succeeded in getting people talking, but was it worth it?

We tracked the U.S. ranks for all the ads that ran during the game: Clash of Clans, Game of War and Heroes Charge over the weekend to see if the coveted Super Bowl ad slots translated into app store success.

Let’s start with what matters — revenue. Starting with a look at the Top Grossing chart for the U.S., we see that, unsurprisingly, this chart isn’t too exciting. Why are we not surprised? Well, mostly because all three apps are freemium games that monetize with in-app purchases. Unlike paid apps, monetizing with in-app purchases can take longer and has a long tail, so changes to this chart will be gradual and take time. Let’s take a look at a more important metric — downloads.

Heroes Charge was previously unranked, peaked at #86 in iOS Games Category

Things move quickly in the iOS App Store, so here we see more immediate results. These apps were reeling in a lot of new downloads (and increasing their chances of converting these users later with IAP’s). Game of War got the most downloads of the three in this category for iOS, even succeeding in pushing Clash of Clans down a few slots. However, Clash of Clans must have received a similar number of downloads, as it managed to bounce back. Finally, Heroes Charge made a brief climb, peaking at 86th in the Games category, which shows some success, even though it was not sticky, that it had previously been unable to achieve.

Game of War +95 ranks; Clash of Clans +18 ranks in iOS Top Overall

We see Game of War started moving a few days prior to the Super Bowl, which could be due to the larger ad campaign they recently launched. Commercials starring Kate Upton have been getting a lot of airtime as well as pre-game hype, which may have started to boost downloads prior to the game. Additionally, this ad took place during the first Quarter, which left the audience with a longer time after it aired to head to the app stores and give it a try.

Google Play isn’t as exciting for sure, but there’s still interesting information here. Although the two mega titles didn’t move much, the new player, Heroes Charge was able to break into the top charts, both in the Games category and Overall. So far it looks like it’s sticking. Given that the two leaders are…well, leaders, while they were still getting plenty of downloads (which caused them to continue the ascent up the ranks into Tuesday), these weren’t yet enough to push them up immediately following the game.

To answer our original question, Yes — buying a really expensive TV spot is a sure-fire to get your app a good amount of downloads and even put you on the map if you weren’t. Whether it’s the only way to achieve that is an entirely different question. If we learned one thing from this campaign it’s that when it comes to user acquisition, Kate Upton has a leg up on Liam Neeson.