Retailer Amazon has developed a new business model that allows it to offer a number of Android apps to users for free.
Amazon Underground is the name of the initiative, which is delivered via a dedicated Android app. It claims to offer over $10k worth of apps, all of which are completely free in their entirety to users.
Many apps and games that are marked as ‘free' turn out not to be completely free. They use in-app payments to charge you for special items or to unlock levels,” Amazon said.
In Underground, you will find 100 per cent free version of popular premium titles like OfficeSuite Professional 8, Goat Simulator and PhotoSuite 4 and popular titles with in-app purchases like Frozen Free Fall, Star Wars Rebels: Recon Mission, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, Looney Tunes Dash and many more.
We've made this possible by working out a new business model with app and game developers: we're paying them a certain amount on a per-minute played basis in exchange for them waiving their normal in-app fees. To be clear, we're the ones picking up those per minute charges so for you it's simply free. Just look for apps and games marked with an ‘Actually Free' banner.”
The retailer insists that Underground is a long-term plans and not s short term promotion.
As Google won't allow the direct downloading of apps via the Underground app itself, users have to acquire the games through Amazon's stores and jump through a few hoops to get it installed on their devices. Will the temptation of ‘Actually Free' games be enough to persuade enough people to adopt this approach? That's certainly what Amazon is hoping.