As part of their ongoing effort to take over the world and establish a global dictatorship ruling with an iron fist of low prices and convenience, Amazon is offering US residents free access to their unlimited online storage for a year. Many outside the US have cause to rejoice as well, however, because the company just started rolling out their play-paid-apps-for-free service Amazon Underground to 16 new countries and territories in Europe, including Italy and Spain.
You should know that that free access to Amazon Cloud Drive does come with a catch, however. You have to download an app first. A free one. A free one that you would normally have to pay for, like Monument Valley or Jetpack Joyride. Also, the offer only lasts until December 11, 2015, so you need to act fast.
Right? It sounds insane. What’s really going on here is that Amazon really wants you to give Amazon Underground a try. They want it so badly that they’re willing to hand you an online storage service that normally runs $60 per year for free.
Amazon has been pushing Underground hard as of late. The service is certainly an intriguing one. It’s basically an app store that lets you freely download apps and games that would normally cost you money. On some of these, even in-app purchases are free, which is pretty damn cool.
You might be thinking, “How them boys making any money with that?”
Well, from all appearances, they don’t seem to be. Even though Underground is pretty ad-heavy, there’s still no way the app store is a profitable endeavor for Amazon. Developers, however, are actually making some money. We think. For every minute a user spends using an app, Amazon pays the developer $0.002. Naturally, for devs to make any real cash from this deal, a lot of people need to be spending a lot of time playing their apps.
From Amazon’s perspective, this is kind of a complicated dilemma. They want to establish Underground as a mainstream app store that offers a completely different approach to app shopping. To pull this off, they need a lot of high-quality apps. To get the apps, they have to demonstrate to the developers that the Underground userbase is large enough to make it worthwhile. To attract users, they need apps. It’s a classic dilemma familiar to anyone fresh out of college trying to get an “entry level job” that requires two years of related experience.
So what’s Amazon’s solution? Well, they’re making Underground look as attractive as possible to cultivate the userbase. They’re expanding the number of regions where it’s available and attaching offers like free online storage to encourage people to use it.
Seems like a pretty solid strategy, especially since Amazon Underground really is a seriously under-appreciated part of the Android landscape. Users get the apps and games they want without paying, developers get paid, and Amazon increases its already-staggering brand recognition.
To take Amazon up on their offer of free Amazon Cloud storage or give Amazon Underground a spin, click the button below.