Amazon recently introduced Underground, an Android app that offers users 100% free versions of popular apps that are traditionally paid or freemium. In order to achieve this, Amazon created a new monetization model where they pay developers directly based on the amount of time their app is used, in exchange for waiving their normal download or in-app fees, as detailed in a recent Wired article. It remains to be seen how this model will work in the long-term, but for gambling and sports betting app providers, this service represents a new channel for Android users to download their apps, as well as a source of best practice for obtaining apps outside of the App Store route.
Current state of play
Up until now, the download process has been a particular pain point for Android users of gambling and sports betting apps. Due to the current exclusion of these apps from the Google Play Store, users have to amend the settings on their device to allow apps to be downloaded from untrusted sources. For example, with your typical sports betting app, an Android user must go directly to the provider’s website to download the file and then agree to the security warnings to install the app. Very few people want to deal with the hassle of changing security settings and installing an app to access content.
How does Amazon improve on this customer experience?
Well, for starters, it fits in with the traditional Amazon shopping experience. Users simply go to amazon.com/underground from their Android phone to download the app. From there, it is painless to install the app and once users open it, they are presented with the Amazon store backdrop and search facility. The user then signs in to their Amazon account to get started straight away. For the moment, Underground is limited to the USA, UK, Germany and France, but it will be widened in the future to other regions.
In the pipeline is another player, according to VentureBeat, that will similarly provide an App Store alternative for gambling and sports betting app developers – Betcade has unveiled its own Android-based app store for real-money gambling. This is due to be launched in the UK in April 2016. Betcade’s founder is CEO David Chang. He was the former chief marketing officer and head of industry relations at Gamblit Gaming, a software development company focused on new technology for land-based and mobile gaming experiences.
‘“People overwhelmingly prefer mobile apps over the browser experience: The time spent in apps now surpasses the time spent in browsers. However, there is currently no efficient mechanism in place for discovery or distribution for real money apps the way that there is for every other app category,” said Chang in a statement. “Betcade will also streamline the download, install, and updating of apps and remove payment friction resulting in an improved user experience.”
While Apple may allow gambling and sports betting apps to be distributed in the App Store, it effectively hides them from their audience, by not providing rankings or permitting any promotion within the store. Betcade plans to offer a good user experience with rankings, promotions, curation, and payment processing.
Both of these new Android appstore alternatives will hugely level out the playing field for gambling and sports betting apps who are unable to trade on their brand name alone. The user experience will also be greatly improved with the number of taps reduced from file download to initial app launch.
At xtremepush, we believe the user experience is instrumental to the success of your gambling or sports betting app. With our powerful mobile marketing automation technology, you can now accurately measure attribution, analytics, engagement and ROI using one cloud-based platform . If you would like to find out how we can help your mobile business succeed, please contact us directly and we would be happy to provide a free consultation.
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