Starting in May, Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire customers will be able to purchase apps, games, and other media with a new virtual currency -- Amazon Coins -- in an effort to drive more sales from the Amazon Appstore.

Kindle Fire owners will continue to have the option to pay by credit card. But by diversifying the array of payment options with Amazon Coins, Amazon hopes to drive traffic, downloads, and increase monetization. 

Amazon Appstore developers will continue to earn their standard 70% revenue share. Although no special integration is needed to accept Amazon Coins, Amazon says that apps must be submitted and approved by April 25 to ensure that developers are able to accept Coins purchases when they start in May. 

To make the deal sweeter for customers and developers to participate, Amazon will give customers tens of millions of dollars' worth of free Amazon Coins to spend in the Appstore.

In its press release, Amazon quoted Keith Shepherd, CEO of Imangi Studios, as saying, "We've already found that the average revenue per user on Amazon is higher than other Android platforms. We're very excited about the monetization opportunity with Amazon's new virtual currency."


This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.