With over 1 billion downloads across web and mobile, Angry Birds is no doubt as big as they get.  But what is also fairly well known is Rovio’s ability to merchandise the brand very quickly.  Now Amazon is out to help developers do the same, with ‘merch’ by Amazon.

Amazon is not first on merchandising in-app items. In fact, we had a guest post from French company Fabzat some time ago.  Fabzat has a thing or two up their sleeve in terms of the items you can create, with cool 3D printing of characters and more. But Amazon is of course the biggest, and as a merchandising entity goes, something that would certainly provide a welcome revenue stream for many developers.

merch by Amazon

So exactly how important is merchandising?  Well, for the movie and TV industry, merchandising hit $51.3 billion in 2013. Compare this to a total estimated revenue for filmed entertainment of about $90 billion that year, merchandising is staggeringly important.  For Rovio, merchandising was about one quarter of the revenue for 2014.

So what is Amazon merch all about?  Well for starters, it is vastly different from Fabzat as it is not in-app. It relies on you as a developer creating artwork and selling t-shirts. And that’s kind of it. Yep, pretty simple, and you’ll still have to drive traffic to Amazon to sell it (which is what they want), but it can surely be a way to capitalize on cute characters and more. Still, we kind of believe in the Fabzat model more, where you capitalize on the interest in the game while the user is playing it, in order to get them to buy merchandise. Having Amazon jump on the bandwagon puts some muscle on the business model, and we look forward to following the development of this business model for developers.

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