Amazon said its Appstore Developer Select (ADS) app promotion programme had a significant impact on downloads and sales of qualifying apps in the run-up to Christmas.

Data from December showed visits to details pages for ADS apps grew twice as quickly as the Appstore average, while sales of the qualifying apps grew three times more quickly.

The app promotion programme was launched in October last year as part of Amazon’s push to attract more developers to its Appstore and Kindle Fire tablet range. It aimed at increasing developer revenue by improving visibility of apps and increasing incentives for consumers to part with their cash.

Thousands of apps were included in the first app merchandising and ad campaigns, which started on 21 November and lasted two weeks.

The promotion included special placement on the Amazon Appstore homepage and Kindle Fire devices, free mobile ad impressions on the Amazon Appstore homepage, and millions of Amazon Coins given to first-time buyers of paid apps or in-app items.

Game developer Vector Unit reported a 10-fold increase in downloads for its ADS-qualifying ‘Beach Buggy Blitz’ game before Christmas, rising to a 40-fold increase at one point.

Reliance Games said the Amazon Coins rewards in particular “proved to move the needle and help us increase downloads”.

To qualify for the programme, apps must be compatible with designated Amazon devices and render at the highest resolution supported by those devices. In addition they must use official Amazon APIs if they support in-app purchasing or ads, and games integrating at least one element from the Gamecircle social platform.

Other efforts by Amazon to attract developers include a testing service for Android developers wanting to bring their app to the e-commerce giant’s Appstore and Kindle Fire tablet range, and the introduction of the GameCircle social platform and Whispersync backup technology for iOS.