Amazon Appstore adds in-app purchasing, following Apple, Google

The online retail company says in-app purchasing can be easily integrated into apps available in the company's Appstore.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
In-app purchasing is now available in Amazon's Appstore.
In-app purchasing is now available in Amazon's Appstore. Apple

Developers now have a new way to monetize their applications in Amazon's Appstore.

The e-retail giant announced today that the Amazon Appstore now allows developers to integrate in-app purchasing. Amazon plans to take 30 percent of the revenue generated from each transaction, matching Apple's App Store revenue share.

Amazon's in-app purchasing platform takes advantage of the accounts Amazon customers have already set up both online and on their Kindle Fire. In addition, Amazon says that the in-app payments will support the one-click purchasing that its online customers are already familiar with.

"In-App Purchasing is simple to integrate and gives developers access to millions of Amazon customers who are already familiar with Amazon's 1-Click payment system," Amazon's Appstore director Aaron Rubenson said today in a statement. "Many of Amazon Appstore's customers have shopped with Amazon before and they trust Amazon's easy payment process, which leads to higher conversion of developers' in-app content and subscriptions."

Amazon's in-app purchasing was first discovered last week by Bloomberg, which came across a pilot program the company was running. Amazon did not confirm at the time that it would be launching in-app purchasing.

By bringing in-app purchases to the Appstore, Amazon has officially put itself on the same playing field as Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market. It might also help the company capitalize on what is expected to be a massive revenue opportunity.

A study released earlier this year by ABI Research predicted that total mobile application revenue could reach $46 billion by 2016, and a major component of that will be in-app purchases. That study followed another from IHS iSuppli back in January, which found that in-app purchasing revenue could soar to $5.6 billion by 2015.

"In 2012, it will become increasingly difficult for app stores and developers to justify charging an upfront fee for their products when faced with competition from a plethora of free content," IHS analyst Jack Kent said at the time. "Instead, the apps industry must fully embrace the freemium model and monetize content through in-app purchases."

Amazon's in-app purchasing is available now to all developers. The Appstore is currently available on the Kindle Fire, as well as a host of Android handsets.

This story has been updated throughout the morning.