Amazon’s latest apps move is very interesting: a hub for apps that are “actually free” including their in-app purchases, with Amazon paying developers for every minute of usage instead. It’s called Amazon Underground and launched yesterday as a standalone app for Android devices. The idea: people download apps (and particularly games), then when they would normally buy an in-app purchase,
Amazon makes it free and shows them how much money they’re saving – including $29.99 packs of virtual coins for games and the like. “We’re paying developers a certain amount on a per-minute-played basis in exchange for them waiving their normal in-app fees,” explained Amazon, with its developer site specifying the amount: $0.002 per minute of usage. A traditional streaming music subscription service would need 83 hours of usage under that system to reach its $9.99-a-month fee, so don’t expect to see the likes of Spotify here. Amazon, however, is using the Underground app as promotion for its other services, from shopping products to Instant Video shows.