When Amazon Underground launched in 2015, it was an experiment which gave users free access to apps and paid developers based on the amount of time their apps were used, with the whole house of cards funded by adverts.
It was basically a test to see if the concept of in-app adverts worked at scale, and now it is shutting down.
AFTV News report that the service will start shutting down this summer:
All support for the Underground appstore will end in 2019. Until then, current Fire tablet customers will continue to have access to both their previously installed apps, as well as the Underground appstore itself. Access to the Underground appstore on non-Fire tablets, i.e., Android phones and tablets, will end this summer, but those customers will also be able to continue using any Underground apps they’ve previously installed.
Developers will continue to be paid for all Underground app use. They can even continue to publish updates to their existing apps until 2019, but no new apps will be accepted into the underground appstore after May 31st.
I’m not surprised.
This was an interesting idea but Amazon never made it clear how Amazon Underground was a better option than the free-with-ads apps found in virtually every app store.
I would not be surprised if adoption peaked in the first few months and declined ever since. I know I never opened an AU app after the first couple months; how about you?