Three days ago, Flurry hit the wires with a piece of research that said, amongst other things, that Amazon.com's (AMZN) Appstore generated much more revenue per user per app, and, in the middle of their blog entry, that Amazon.com's AppStore generated more revenue for developers. I believe the first statement to be misleading, and the second, downright false.
Why the first statement is misleading
Flurry's research claims that for each $1.00 in revenue per active user in Apple's (AAPL) iTunes App Store, the Amazon.com Appstore generates $0.89 and the Google (GOOG) Play App Store generates $0.23. This is misleading.
It's misleading, because the statistics in question are arrived at taking into account the entire universe of users for each store. And while Apple's store is comparable to Android, because all (nearly all) users get access to said stores when they buy their devices, these two are not comparable to Amazon.com's store. Why not? Because Amazon.com's store users, except for the Kindle fire users, are self-selected. These are users that had to make a time investment to get the store into their devices - motivated users, which installed the store to buy stuff. It is thus not a surprise that on average, they'll buy more stuff.
In short, to see how misleading this turns out to be, just imagine you were doing a study on who plans to take an haircut within a given timeframe. For 2 of the players for 2 different hairdressers, you questioned former customers at random times and places. For the third player, you questioned persons in the hairdresser's waiting room. This was what was done here, and again, it's misleading.
That said, I too believe that Apple's and Amazon's payment methods are better and more convenient than Google's. But still, the study was intrinsically flawed.
Why the second statement is false
There's a phrase in Flurry's blog entry regarding this study, though, that's downright false. I quote:
Amazon's bet to fork Android in order to put consumers into their own shopping experience on Kindle Fire appears to be paying off. Showing its commerce strength, Amazon already delivers more than three times the revenue in its app store compared to what Google generates for developers.
This is simply not true, and it's not true by a mile. A simple web search proves as much. Apple's iTunes App Store had around 10-14 billion app downloads during 2011, is up to 25 billion+ downloads right now, and carries almost 600k apps.
Google's Play App Store is up to 10 billion downloads, is doing 1 billion downloads per month, and has more than 400k apps in the store.
And Amazon, that was supposedly already generating 3 times as much revenue in its store (which is patently false)? Well, Amazon's AppStore has 31k apps and did … 3.1 million downloads in the past year. That's million and year, not billion and month. This is enough to dispel any notion that Amazon.com's AppStore can in any way be generating more dollars for the developers. Sure, it might be generating a bit more per user per app, but not in aggregate - indeed, it's orders of magnitude smaller in that regard (and that's before the ill-reputed -- for developers -- "free app of the day").
Although this report by Flurry was certainly well-meaning, it was both misleading and false at times. I agree with the basic conclusion that Google needs to do better regarding the payment ease, but other than that I needed to set facts straight.
Disclosure: I am short AMZN.