What happened to Amazon Underground?

Amazon Underground was originally launched on August 26, 2015, as a small App store that offered free access to applications, games, and other items. It was made available on the Google play store, where users downloaded the application and surfed to enjoy its “free” benefits and downloads of applications that have been monetized on other platforms like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It was also available for Fire Tablets. Here we are going to see What happened to Amazon Underground?

What happened to Amazon Underground?

Amazon is an American-based multinational organisation founded on July 5, 1994, by Jeff Bezos. It is one of the Big Tech companies in the United States which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. Also, it is one of the most valuable companies in the world alongside Microsoft, Google, Meta Platforms, etc.

Amazon has developed some apps over the years, such as Amazon Video prime, Kindle Unlimited, Audible, etc. The company did not announce Amazon Underground as a one-off promotional package; instead, it was an application built to stay, but the case appears to be entirely different now. The App is no longer available for downloads or uses anywhere.  use

Why was it developed, and how was it monetized? 

This application was developed to help both developers benefit from the program. Developers would pitch their applications for approval in the miniature store and generate revenues from the amount of time users spend on the applications. 

So, developers were invariably compelled to make user-friendly and engaging applications that excluded in-app purchases or subscriptions to attract more users and more revenue. It was monetized via ads $0002 per minute of use. The ads were displayed when the users first opened the application and in subsequent openings.

Amazon Underground wasn’t entirely free but free to a decent sense. Most applications and games were downloaded at zero costs, but some were paid for at a one-off price limited to $1-$2.

What were the mandatory requirements for developers?

The application had a clear-cut aim and critical requirements for developers. Some of which are:

  1. The Application must be monetized through in-app purchases or paid access on other platforms like the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
  2. The application submitted to Amazon Underground must not contain in-app purchases. 
  3. The gameplay or features of an app must have a remarkable difference in its quality being better or similar to the original one on Apple Store or Play Store.
  4. When submitting an app, it must be available for distribution on at least one non-Amazon mobile device. 
  5. They were also against apps that ran continuously in the background and supported live streams. 

Because of its “actually free” reputation, it increasingly gained popularity with many users — that upset Google and its policies that the application had to be banned on Google Play Store. However, the app was still available for android users from Amazon’s website because of android’s open policy software interface. 

It became very popular, majorly amongst children who didn’t need their parents’ money to access games that are premium-paid or expensive subscriptions on other platforms. 

Why was it closed?

The closure to new apps and submissions was announced in 2017 and implemented at the end of May. Later, it was completely shut down in 2019.

Although some of the apps downloaded before the app’s closure are still in use on older phones. Still, the application’s software is unavailable for intending users anywhere, and Amazon presently discloses no plans to bring Underground back. 

The reasons related to its closure are:

  1. It was compared to Google Play Store and criticised mainly for its small and limited offerings of various applications.
  2. Amazon created their store — although with different features from the Underground version — to accommodate more applications and probably generate more revenue. Upon the advent of this, the Underground was no longer needed. 
  3. It introduced a virtual currency, “Amazon Coins,” which could be earned in games or purchased with actual money to enable in-app purchases and subscriptions. 
  4. To cater to a more prominent need and gain more global acceptability.

What’s the point with the Amazon App store that just replaced Amazon Underground?

Amazon App store came with a cleaner and better user interface. With Amazon’s virtual currency, this new app store offers discounts that wouldn’t be found on other App stores like Android’s Google play store and iPhone’s Apple App store, although it’s not actually free as underground. 

It has a more extensive range of applications than the first version made accessible on the Play store and came with Amazon mobile phones. 


Amazon Underground was created in 2015 with actually free applications and games. 

It declared closing submissions at the end of may in 2017 and was finally closed down in 2019. It was replaced with an Amazon app store available for download for android devices and came with Amazon mobiles. 

What happened to Amazon Underground?

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