The Bad Math of Being Amazon's Free App of the Day
Well, according to the developers of Pocket Casts, Shifty Jelly, Amazon has changed the rules. Instead of 20 percent, as Amazon originally promised, developers whose apps are featured for free get exactly zero percent. Apparently, Amazon feels the "advertising" and attention a free app gets is worth the cost to the developer.
So, did Pocket Casts see more sales than normal after the big free day? Not really; there was a small spike in sales for one day, then they went back to the pennies a day Shifty Jelly had seen beforehand. What's worse is that it's quite possible that all of the users that would want Pocket Casts got the app on the day it was free, essentially wiping out the potential customer base in one fell swoop.
Shifty Jelly says that the studio is abandoning the Amazon Appstore, because with rules like these, it's just too hard to be profitable. If Amazon.com wants to keep developers around, the company needs to stick to the original 20 percent on "free days" agreement. It also needs to fix some other issues, like the amount of time for an approval and mismatched versions between the Android Market and Amazon Appstore.