In the second big pre-tablet announcement this week from Amazon, the company has announced plans to allow the creation of the Kindle version apps, which they are calling “active content,” later this year. For now they are just inviting interested parties to register for a limited beta of the Kindle Developer Kit, which will be available for download sometime next month.
Like Apple’s App Store model–and the new self-publishing Kindle royalty option announced yesterday–creators of active content will receive 70 percent of the revenue, minus delivery fees of 15 cents per megabyte. Small apps of less than 1 mb can be offered free, and their model provides for both one-time purchases as well as monthly subscriptions.
The announcement notes that “Handmark is building an active Zagat guide featuring their trusted ratings, reviews and more for restaurants in cities around the world, and Sonic Boom is building word games and puzzles,” and EA Mobile is releasing Kindle games a well. Amazon also recommends such ideas as “travel books that suggest activities based on real-time weather and current events and cookbooks that recommend menus based on size of party and allergies.”
It’s not clear yet whether the monthly-subscription program will provide a more economically enticing option for newspaper and magazine publishers who currently receive 30 percent of the revenue and must conform to Amazon’s formatting of their material. But some people speculating that text-based and text-driven apps are the most likely candidates for the program–at least as long as Kindle is limited to black-and-white displays with no touchscreen capabilities.
Beta info page