Amazon has launched the Mobile Associates API. The API enables developers to monetize apps by offering physical and digital goods for sale through the Amazon marketplace and various Android stores. App owners can earn up to 6% in advertising fees for sales made through an owner's app. With the Mobile Associates API, Amazon aims to present a new way of monetizing apps by offering contextually relevant products for sale within any given app.
Mike George, vice president of Amazon Appstore, Games and Cloud Drive, commented:
"Developers now have the ability to create an even deeper connection between their app and the products customers value and purchase through Amazon.com. ... Imagine a developer of a nutrition and fitness app can now offer customers the ability to purchase vitamins, supplements and fitness gear within the app, directly from Amazon.com. It offers the customer a more relevant experience and provides the developer with a new source of revenue."
The API is currently available for Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Android phones and tablets. Android developers can integrate the API as long as the app is available through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program. Developers from a handful of states cannot currently utilize the API because these states are not part of Amazon's Mobile App Distribution Program. For more information on requirements, visit the Mobile Associates site.
The API returns calls in a JSON data format. After initializing the app, developers can select what products to sell, or Amazon can run a search using the Amazon Product Advertising API. After basic setup is complete, apps can leverage Amazon's one-click purchase technology and Amazon handles all the back-end functions necessary to complete the transaction and deliver the product.
Amazon has already recruited a handful of developers to integrate the API. Days of Wonder and Alt12 Apps are two of the earlier adopters and have sung praises to the new API. Developers like Alt12 have already enjoyed great performance from the Product Advertising API, and the Mobile Associates API is an obvious next step.