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Amazon's new F2P Android marketplace pays devs based on time played

UPDATE New app Amazon Underground works like the extant Amazon shopping app while also including a slew of premium/F2P mobile games and apps that are, in Amazon's parlance, "actually free."

Amazon has launched a new marketplace app on Android today: Amazon Underground, which is designed to work like the extant Amazon shopping app while also including a slew of premium/F2P mobile games and apps that are, in Amazon's parlance, "actually free."

How that actually works is intriguing: Amazon says it can offer (typically premium) mobile apps like PhotoSuite 4 and Goat Simulator for free because it's worked out a scheme with the developers to pay them based on how many minutes people spend actually using their mobile apps and games. 

Update: As noted in the comments in this article, Amazon will be displaying intermittent interstitial ads on top of apps distributed via Underground. Full details can be found in the Amazon Underground developer guidelines.

The same goes for established free-to-play mobile games like Angry Birds Slingshot Stella and Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions that are downloaded via Underground; the developers are "waiving their normal in-app fees" in favor of taking part in Amazon's per-minute payment program.

Underground is pitched as "a long-term program rather than a one-off promotion," and developers curious to check it out will need to visit the Underground website on an Android device, as Google bars app distribution apps from Google Play.

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