I’ve been in the Amazon App market ecosystem for over a year now and have watched it expand to many new markets all over the world. Generously, they waived the $99 fee for having apps in their market and their process for app submission, while not the most efficient it was relatively easy to navigate. The focus of this article, and the frustration I have with Amazon at the moment only appeared a few months later and has me disgusted.
The app cost split is similar to all other major app stores with the publisher receiving 70% of payouts. What they don’t tell you as a foreign developer, I am unsure of whether this is the case for American based developers, you will get TAXED BY THE IRS an additional 30% of your part of the costs ON TOP of the initial 30/70 split. This means that to earn an initial payout of $100, Amazon needs to collect almost $200 from your store.
I have a few questions about this:
1. Why does amazon require tax to be collected from foreign individuals? The business structure can be designed to avoid these taxes as is demonstrated by Google, Airpush, Admob, Getjar, applovin, adfonic and Slideme just to name a few. With these companies a paypal address is all that is needed, or filling out the correct form (W-7 i think…)
2. Why do foreign devs need to get paid by cheque and not through using paypal, checkout or another payment alternative? The use of cheques to deliver payments is very outdated.
3. Why are the markets completely kept separate? This means currently at any time Amazon gets into a situation where they have collected up to $100 in each of the now 5 local markets they sell to. This is a disgusting situation to put the developer in, especially when the previous situation is also in play and tax is collected from each of those markets. This means that Amazon at one time can have up to $1000 of unpaid market income for each developer it owns.
Suddenly them waiving the $99 yearly membership fee seems more like an assuage of their guilty conscience.
Will I stay with them? As long as I can maintain positive flow.
Will I put further effort into the Amazon ecosystem? It’s not really worth my effort for such a reduced return.