Amazon Appstore Beats iOS, Google Play for Revenue

Remember that report from Flurry a few weeks back about iTunes being more profitable than Google Play or Amazon Appstore? That’s not what one app developer is reporting.

Earlier this week TinyCo, a developer with games in all 3 app stores, analyzed some data from one of their games and posted it on their blog. They found that the average user who got Tiny Village in the Amazon Appstore spent more than one who bought the app in iTunes – 1.8 times as much, in fact – as well as spending nearly 3 times as much as the average Google Play user.

They also found that Kindle Fire owners spent far more than iPad owners, but what’s most interesting is the reason for the difference in revenue. TinyCo stopped treating Android as a secondary platform:

We were once in the same situation that most developers find themselves in: 80-90% of our time and resource was focused on iOS leaving little for Android, our games worked perfectly on iOS but crashed on Android, and our Android version lacked many of the features found on iOS. Furthermore, with the complexity of Android’s device fragmentation, we needed to be spending even more time on our Android version than our iOS version in order to maintain the same game quality and performance, which we clearly were not doing.

As a result, we saw a huge revenue difference between the two platforms (similar to the numbers Flurry reported) and we realized that it would be almost impossible to give both platforms equal and adequate attention without a cross-platform engine. Finally about a year ago, we decided to take the Android pledge. We built Griffin and made Android a first-class citizen– and now, it’s starting to pay off.

While there’s no guarantee that other developers would see a similar revenue if they followed suit, this does raise questions about the belief that iTunes is a better value for developers. TinyCo’s data shows that, in at least this one case, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Android revenue was paltry until TinyCo put more resources into developing Android apps.