Just yesterday, Amazon reported that it would end its Underground Actually Free Program, a shopping application that offers free versions of applications, for example, Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions, Monument Valley, or Office Suite Pro 8 among many others for Android phone and Fire Tablet users.
In its announcement, Amazon said that as it launched the program in 2015, it was building its own Appstore, and chose to end the Underground program while it kept on expanding the Amazon Appstore. However, the support has not been ended abruptly. The company noticed that user access to the store will be there by mid-year and that it will end support for the application in 2019.
Fire Tablet users will have the capacity to use already installed applications from the program, but “access to the Underground store will not extend beyond currently supported devices.” While the company will no longer acknowledge new entries for the program as of May 31st, existing designers will have the capacity to keep on updating their applications through 2019, and make money.
“As of May 31st, 2017, Amazon will no longer accept new app and game submissions for the Underground Actually Free program. If you’re an existing Amazon Underground developer, you will continue to get paid for every minute customers spend in your Amazon Underground app as provided in our developer agreement. Similarly, you can continue to submit and publish updates to your existing Amazon Underground apps until 2019,” the post said.
The program was launched in August 2015 and furnished Android users with free applications paying designers royalties on a per-minute system. It turned out to be quite a success. The Amazon Appstore increased selection to offer more than 800,000 apps and games while expanding their footprint across Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Android devices in 236 countries and territories globally. In addition to broadening the reach of Appstore, it was successful in creating new monetization opportunities for developers.