Plus, the Timing of Deliveries section.
Amazon, Apple et al are becoming new middle men of the digital marketplace. Want to sell content online? If you want mass market exposure we'll have 30-70% of the revenue from the sweat of your brow and you better thank us for the privilege.
I wonder how long until they band together and form a lobby group called the Digital Content Providers Association of America.
What are you going to do with that pile of books in your cellar if there's no bookshop to sell them for you? Open your own single-book store?
If you build a store, you should certainly get a healthy cut of what you sell through your store.
The issue here isn't whether Amazon deserves a cut, it's whether their incentives are aligned with the developers who use their platform. Amazon's control over pricing allows it to make decisions beneficial to the platform as a whole but potentially harmful to the individual developer.
Incentives are never going to be perfectly aligned, but letting the developer control pricing would make them a lot more aligned than they are now.
Under these terms you any developer that uses Amazon marketplace is stupid. They might make slightly more money in the sort term but you are giving up huge long term gains.
PS: I am seriously considering boycotting Amazon over this.
But then, I've spent probably 30 bucks and counting on the Cydia store.
The ruling means you can't be sued for jailbreaking. It doesn't give you a constitutional right to an unlocked phone, and it doesn't oblige Apple or AT&T or Google or HTC or whomever to support a jailbroken device. It certainly doesn't impair their ability to use technical measures (aka, fixing bugs) to impair your ability to jailbreak.
Since no one had ever been sued for jailbreaking (and similar policy was not applied to, for instance, the PS3), the practical effect of the copyright ruling was close to nil.
I think Amazon is better at optimizing pricing than most game developers are, so I expect this to improve revenue for both Amazon and the game developers. But only time will tell for sure. Panicking is not the right response.
Amazon and [to a much greater extent] Wal-Mart play these games with physical goods too. It's just you never get to read the terms and big distributors don't complain publicly.
If their break-even price is, say, $8, then they might want to sell it for list $9.99. But then Amazon wants it for $5 wholesale (half list), which would be a loss per book. To sell it to Amazon for at least $9 (a $1 profit), they have to set the list price at $18. But now that's too high for how they want to price it on their own www.publishersite.com online store, and they aren't allowed to discount it back down to the $9.99 they actually want to charge.
So you have a weird situation where as a condition of selling on Amazon, they aren't allowed to sell outside Amazon for a reasonable markup above cost!
IGDA says the Amazon terms limit you to the lowest price "available or previously available on any Similar Service" — it's the "previously available" that's the sticking point.
Tweetbot is having a $2.00 introductory sale on the iOS App Store, where the price will eventually go up. If Tapbots were foolish enough to do an Amazon version, they'd be constrained to offer that price forever. Absurd.
Even if this clause did apply only to Android recompilations and not to ports, I trust you'll concede it is not status quo ante with Apple's already-appalling pricing terms.
For many of the discounted apps, those that depend on the purchase revenue (vs. ad-based) and that might be fad, or temporarily popular, this could effectively kill them off in the name of helping Amazon.
Then the argument is there that the minimum list price on Google's store doesn't apply, because the Google Edition and the Amazon Edition are two different apps.
No reason why a game specific store shouldn't exist. If the user goes the distance to install the Amazon store, chances are they will install another.
It's a total misunderstanding of the market, and it does quite a poor job of selling games (at least from a customer's perspective), which is the thing you really want in an app store.
It's relatively new on Android, but a number of iOS apps are raking it in this way and giving away the app for free...
Also, why would anyone consider this a "loophole"?
If the NYT sells an app with bundled one-year subscription, Apple gets 30%; if the NYT sells (well, sold) an app and a separate one-year subscription, Apple gets nothing. If the original app is sufficiently useless, this "in-app purchase" is clearly just a way of not paying Apple.
(Apple is not free of blame in that particular fiasco, and they take quite a large cut. But taking an equal cut in either case is not necessarily unreasonable.)
The complaint is in regards to Amazon controlling the cost of the app rather than the developer controlling the cost of the app. That's all. Gacba was simply saying that if you don't want Amazon controlling the cost of your app, then make it free and sell in-app purchases. Since Amazon doesn't control how much you sell your in-app purchases for, they lose total control over the cost of your app and the developer gains the control back.
FAIL. Call me back when you get your mind right.
If you dare give your app away for a day or allow another marketplace to do so, and sell your app via Amazon now or at any time in the future, you must permanently reduce your minimum list price at Amazon to $0.00 meaning that from this point they could give your app away for free as often as they like and give you nothing (0.2x0.00 == 0.7x0.00 == 0.00).
Essentially this means you can't give an exclusive offer to anyone other than Amazon, including via your own site if I'm understanding correctly, without also giving Amazon the option of the same offer (meaning is isn't much of an exclusive) and not just now: they have the option of running the offer when-ever and how often they like now and at any time in the future.
"Furthermore, Amazon dictates that developers cannot set their list price above the lowest list price "available or previously available on any Similar Service." In other words, if you want to sell your content anywhere else, you cannot prevent Amazon from slashing the price of your game by setting a high list price. And if you ever conduct even a temporary price promotion in another market, you must permanently lower your list price in Amazon's market."
This seems to imply that if you offer your app in a free-app-a-day promotion, you're required to offer it for free permanently to Amazon, although there's no way that can be correct
[Edit: it seems I misunderstood the parent comment. I'm referring here to free-app-a-day promotions like this http://www.freeappaday.com/. I wan't aware Amazon offered something similar
I was saying it looked like if a developer promoted their app on a site like this, point 9 make it look like they'd be forced to offer it for free, forever, on the Amazon store]
If the _list_ price on the similar service doesn't change, but there is a temporary promotion on the similar service, this condition would seem to _not_ apply.
There might be some chance of Amazon doing something like this, but it is important to point out that even in this case the developers of those 100 apps will on average be making more money. Amazon is trying to optimize prices to maximize their own profit and in doing so they also increase it for the developer. Lets look at an example...
Say that Amazon sells n copies of a game per day at the list price of $1. Then they make .3n dollars per day and the writer of the app makes .7n dollars. Now if they lower the price by 75% like the author suggests and sell m copies per day then the app writer makes .2m dollars and Amazon makes .05m dollars. Moneywise, this obviously only makes sense for Amazon to do if m > n6 because they would be losing money otherwise. If this condition is met then the app writer will make at least .2n6=1.2n that day and their profit increased by at least 71% if Amazon was smart about their decision.
As long as Amazon changes a price such that it increases their own gain then it also increases the gain of the developer. In the price range from .2/.7=.286 to 1.0 of the list price this is trivially true because your profits are directly proportional to theirs in that range. In that case you have a minimum increase in profit of 0% but will likely see something higher. In the range from 0.0 to 0.2 of the list price Amazon is losing money to pay you so I'm assuming that this isn't going to happen. In the range of .2 through .286 things get a little more complicated. Look at this plot (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Plot%5B100*%28%28.3%2F%...) which shows the absolute minimum percent increase in profit that the developer sees compared to list price given that Amazon isn't losing money on the decision. If Amazon thinks that it's a good idea to sell your app for 78% off then you're probably about to start making a lot more money than you would otherwise.
I understand that at first glance .2 of list price sounds scary, but as I've shown above the developer also makes an increased profit whenever Amazon does. This doesn't totally negate the proposition that Amazon might take a loss on your app to help sales elsewhere but they could just as easily take a loss elsewhere to help sales of your app. On average you'll still be making more money. I've assumed throughout this that Amazon knows how to adjust prices to maximize their own profits but I have a feeling that they're pretty good at this. They have a treasure trove of data on people's shopping habits that I can't even begin to comprehend and they're just trying to apply what they've learned to an app store.
tl;dr: The pricing policy actually increases your profits compared to a .7/.3 split at list price as long as Amazon is acting in a way that increases their own profits. It sounds scary at first but it's actually pretty cool that you can have a company as experienced at this stuff as Amazon optimize the price of your app so that you make as much profit as possible.
How this ultimately plays out for the developer is hard to predict because it depends on how the market develops. If the Amazon store becomes very successful and their audience shops there regardless of whether or not there is a discount then this effect will be small. The terms guarantee that users will only find discounts at Amazon and this will make them less likely to check other stores when they find an app at Amazon even if it's full price. If that's how customers behave then the optimization will stay more favorable for the developer.
The fact that they require price control, as a condition of doing business, tells me that Amazon expects this policy to hurt developers.
In my own case I am going with:
1. Android Market
..when Amazon changes the terms as it should be pricing only
at their market pricing at other markets should not bear on pricing at theirs..its a anti-trust potential violation via the collusion implications of anti-trust law..
Also, users have to enable Amazon's 1-click mobile purchasing. A 2nd huge hurdle.
Seems to me that the arguments of IGDA sound very close to the arguments of the RIAA and real numbers will show a very different outcome, specially for the smaller devs.
- Developer sets a minimum list price of $0.99 (fair)
- Amazon has an 80% off sale (fair)
- Developer later has an 80% sale on Android Market (fair)
- Amazon can now sell the app for 96% off, because the sale on Android Market resets the minimum list price (unfair)
The developer is punished for having a sale on a competing market by now allowing Amazon to sell the app for $0.04, forever.