Amazon reducing Appstore fees, subtly nudging devs to use AWS

"Nudge nudge, wink wink, check out AWS"

Amazon is lowering the fees that it takes from developers who made less than $1 million USD (roughly $1.2 million CAD) in the previous year.

This change will activate in Q4 of 2021 and takes the online retail giant’s cut down to 20 percent from 30 percent. New developers that sign up for the company’s Appstore will also get this benefit.

The other perk that comes with this change is that all eligible devs get Amazon Web Services credits worth 10 percent of their revenue. This is to push devs to try out Amazon’s cloud hosting and development tools.

The blog post hypes up this credit quite a bit which makes sense since Amazon stands to make more money off these devs if it can get them working with AWS. It also says that a survey found that 94 percent of mobile devs already use some form of cloud services.

The company’s FAQ also says:

  • If an eligible developer’s revenue exceeds $1 million in the current year, they will revert to the standard royalty rate and no longer receive AWS credits for the rest of that year.
  • If a developer’s revenue falls below $1 million in a future year, the developer will be eligible in the next calendar year.

This change follows Apple lowering the cut it takes from developers in December and Google also doing the same thing in March 2021. Notably, these companies dropped their fees to 15 percent. Apple lowered the cost for devs who make less than a million each year. Google, on the other hand, cut its fees on the first million that all developers make.

These moves all seem to be unfolding due to Apple’s current battle with Epic Games over the revenue share and Apple’s App Store rules. As more attention is drawn to the heavy-handed cuts that most tech giants take to host apps on their respective app marketplaces, it makes sense that companies are backing down a bit and lowering fees. What remains to be seen is if this will actually make a significant difference for the average developer.

Source: Amazon Appstore Blog