Competitor Intelligence: Amazon launches coins virtual currency

May 13, 2013
Profitero
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Profitero

Amazon’s new digital currency, the Amazon Coin, is now live in the US and on launch, the web giant announced that it would put $5 worth of the currency – equivalent to 500 Coins – into all Kindle Fire users’ accounts to use on apps and in-app purchases. Amazon says this is the equivalent to ‘tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Amazon Coins.

Amazon has launched its Coins currency as a way for developers to make more money by making it easier for shoppers to buy apps and games. The etailer hopes Coins will make it more convenient for customers to pay for items because they can buy and store Coins in their Amazon appstore accounts. Meanwhile, app developers will get 70% of the money when customers buy with Amazon Coins, an incentive it hopes will bring more developers on board.

Speaking at the launch, Mike George, Vice President of Apps and Games at Amazon said, “Today we are giving Kindle Fire owners $5 worth of Coins to spend on new apps and games, or to purchase in-app items. And with discounts of up to 10% when you buy Coins, this is a great way for customers to save money when they buy apps, games and in-app items.”

Amazon Coins joins a range of virtual currencies offered by other larger sites, including Microsoft’s Points for Xbox and Facebook Credits. Whilst the etailer only currently accepts Coins for apps, games and in-app purchases, Amazon has plans to extend beyond that by continuing to add more ways to earn and spend Coins on a wider range of content and activities.Could Amazon’s long term goal be to extend Coins to all purchases on Amazon.com? Only time will tell.

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