Don't want to pay Apple a 30 percent share of your revenue? Create a Web app, then, which is what Amazon.com just did in creating an HTML5-based MP3 web store designed specifically for iPhones and iPod touches. No native app download required, it works through Apple's Safari browser, and offers 22 million tracks via a specially formatted mobile website.
On Thursday, Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music announced the new Web store in a press release:
Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices. For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that -- now they can access Amazon’s huge catalog of music, features like personalized recommendations, deals like albums for $5, songs for $0.69, and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere.
Once an MP3 is purchased via the Web app, it is automatically saved to customers' Amazon Cloud Player libraries. There, it can be downloaded or played instantly from any iDevice, Android phone or tablet (including the Kindle Fire), Roku, Sonos home entertainment system, or any web browser.
While not as seamless as using iTunes on an iDevice, it still allows users to buy music from their phones and tablets. Also, those wanting to download or play back music on their iDevices will have to make sure they have the Amazon Cloud Player installed.
Why not make a native app? There is Apple's 30 percent cut, of course. Prior to 2011, developers could avoid the 30 percent cut by sending customers to clicking on a link in the native app to a Web-based interface. That was banned by the 2011 changes, as of course it was costing Apple 30 percent every time it happened.
Since then some companies -- and not just Amazon.com -- have moved to Web apps, which not only remove the 30 percent requirement, but also eliminates the need for App Store approval.