Does it pay for video publishers to develop apps specifically for the new Amazon Kindle Fire? Some early evidence says yes.
MeFeedia, which aggregates video from 30,000 publishers, saw a tripling in installs on Android platforms as soon as it released a Kindle-Fire native app optimized for the 7-inch screen a few weeks ago. As a result of the tweaks, that app has ranked in the top 100 in Amazon’s app store in the entertainment category since its release, up from its prior ranking of 1,500 when the app was available for the Android platform, but not yet tailored for the Kindle Fire.
The jump comes from the interest the Kindle Fire has sparked in video usage. But the rise also demonstrates the importance of a strong user experience. When a product is developed natively for a particular platform, it can offer a better experience and in turn greater usage, said Frank Sinton, CEO of MeFeedia. He added that the MeFeedia app has received some positive reviews in the press and good word of mouth, which has also boosted usage. The early experience on the Kindle Fire underscores a few lessons for video app creators, Sinton said. They are:
- Build the app specifically for the Kindle Fire dimensions and form factor.
- Don't expect flash video to "just work,” he said. “For video, HTML5 video within the native app works best over Flash video.”
- Video engagement metrics should be on par with the iPad. “If not, you have a problem with your app,” Sinton said.
Though the MeFeedia results are not necessarily indicative of all video publishers, they may offer some directional insights.
A just-released Retrevo study says that the growth of the Kindle Fire and the Nook tablet may legitimize the form factor for those devices. “Before the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet came along there were plenty of 7-inch tablets and by our calculation more than one third of the tablets currently on the market are 7-inch versions. Despite the large number of 7-inch tablets, it took the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet to make the 7-inch tablet attractive,” Retrevo said.