When Amazon Echo and Alexa launched in the UK, Ocado saw the opportunity to reach their customers in new ways. After months of rigorous user testing, the developers at Ocado Technology have created a skill that creates a seamless shopping experience via voice.[Read More]
We are delighted to announce that kid skills published in the UK and Germany are now eligible to earn Alexa Developer Rewards. Earlier this month, we announced that Alexa supports kid skills in the UK and Germany.[Read More]
We are happy to announce that lock control and query capabilities are now also available to developers building skills for the UK.[Read More]
Today, we are excited to announce that developers in the UK and Germany can now use speechcons to build more creative voice experiences with UK English and German words and phrases.[Read More]
With the Flash Briefing Skill API, you no longer need to build a voice interaction model to handle customer requests for the news. When you configure your compatible RSS feed and build skills that connect directly to Flash Briefing, customers will be able to easily access your content via the Alexa Flash Briefing, which delivers pre-recorded audio clips and text-to-speech (TTS) updates.
The availability of Flash Briefing skills in local languages means that you can now deliver truly localized content to customers via voice. Here are a few ideas to get started with Flash Briefing skills:
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and its largest producer of low-carbon electricity. It produces around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations.
Bhavesh Limani is a project manager at Blue Lab, EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator near Brighton in the UK. Launched in 2015, Blue Lab monitors emerging technologies that help shape EDF Energy’s customer experience. One of its primary focus areas is the connected home, including how customers can manage their energy accounts and energy consumption.
When Amazon Echo launched in the United States, it grabbed Blue Lab’s attention. In collaboration with EDF Energy’s R&D UK Centre, the Blue Lab team obtained two Echo units in late 2015. It then began to explore linking voice technology to energy account functionality. Blue Lab wanted to be ready whenever Amazon released Echo and Alexa in the UK.
When Amazon started shipping Echo to UK customers on 28th September, EDF Energy was one of the first UK-specific skills made available to UK customers.
Over the last few years, EDF Energy has worked to give customers more direct access and control of their energy accounts. They first created an online sales and service portal, followed by smartphone apps for iOS and Android users.
“Our customers expect digital solutions now,” says Stuart Roberts, Head of Digital Operations at EDF Energy. “We used Alexa as an opportunity to develop a voice channel to extend the online account management experience to voice.”
As the EDF Energy project team refined their proof of concept, they identified four use cases to meet core customer needs and provide a stand-out experience:
The EDF Energy team established an initial voice user interface (VUI) framework and collaborated with Amazon to refine the VUI. Investing time up front was key to minimizing changes and risks later in development.
“I would say most of our voice interface was well-developed from our first cycle,” says Bhavesh. “The Amazon team was absolutely brilliant in helping us to evaluate the various options.”[Read More]
The Amazon Mobile Ad Network is growing in Europe, adding two more countries soon after announcing its expansion to the UK with ad content now being delivered in Germany and France. In addition, the Amazon Mobile Ads API has been updated to support the Android advertising ID introduced in Google Play Services version 4.0.
You can use mobile ads to monetize your apps and games in more ways, now that the Amazon Mobile Ad Network is available in Germany and France. Including those from the UK, Amazon fills ad requests from Europe’s top three advertising countries, as well as the US. A strong eCPM and high-quality ads characterize the Amazon Mobile Ad Network, and these carry over to all supported countries. Amazon sets a high bar for banners, rich media, and interstitials, generally leading to better conversion and higher revenue.
Google recently announced the creation of a new Android advertising ID. Under Google’s updated ad policy, beginning August 1st, all updates and new apps uploaded to the Google Play Store must use this ID for advertising purposes (when available on a device) in lieu of other device identifiers. The Amazon Mobile Ads API provides support for the Android advertising ID, so incorporating it into new projects or transitioning existing apps is straightforward.
Note that effective July 1st, the rights and obligations of our European affiliate, Amazon E.U. S.à.r.l., under the Amazon Mobile Ad Network Publisher Agreement were assigned to a different European affiliate of ours, Amazon Europe Core S.à.r.l. Please ensure that future communications regarding the Amazon Mobile Ad Network are addressed to the following address, and that any VAT invoices relating to the Amazon Mobile Ad Network reflect the proper VAT registration number for Amazon Europe Core S.à.r.l., as noted below:
Amazon Europe Core S.à.r.l. 5 Rue Plaetis, L-2338 Luxembourg, Luxembourg VAT Registration Number: LU 26375245
Please also make sure you amend EC Sales Lists if you file these. We updated the Publisher Agreement to reflect the change above, effective immediately. For a summary of what’s different, refer to Changes to Mobile Ad Network Publisher Agreement.
To take advantage of this new international expansion and support for Google’s Android advertising ID, you must integrate Amazon Mobile Ads API version 5.4.46 or above into your mobile app or game.
Since the launch of Amazon Coins in the US in May, customers have already spent hundreds of millions of Amazon Coins, representing real dollars to developers, who still received their 70% revenue share. Check out our August blog post to read more about some of the results from developers so far.
Today, we’re extending Amazon Coins to the UK and Germany as well. As a thank you to existing and new Kindle Fire owners in the UK and Germany, customers will get free Amazon Coins deposited directly into their accounts so they can experience how easy it is to shop with Coins. Customers will be able to use Amazon Coins to purchase apps, games, and a broad range of in-app items in the Amazon.co.uk Appstore, the Amazon.de App-Shop, and on Kindle Fire.
Amazon Coins are immediately available to customers who pre-ordered the new Kindle Fire HDX 7” and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9”. Both devices are now available in the UK and Germany. This is a great opportunity for you to take advantage of Amazon Coins and the perfect time to submit your apps for the holiday rush. In 2012, we saw a 50% increase in the number of app downloads during Thanksgiving week as compared to an average week. During ‘Digital Week’ 2012, the week after Christmas, customers purchased and downloaded 600% more apps than any other week during 2012.
We have already seen developers like Halfbrick, PepiPlay, and textPlus benefit from customers using their Amazon Coins to try out and explore new apps and games. For many Indie developers, Coins has accounted for the majority of their revenue since Coins launched in the US.
If your app is available for sale for Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore, there’s nothing else to do. So submit your apps today and take advantage of Amazon Coins. For more information on making your apps available on Kindle Fire devices, check out these links:
You may have seen the news that our store is expanding to nearly 200 countries. As we grow, we continue to focus on developer success around the world. We’ll be spotlighting developers from countries in which we operate here on our blog over the next few months. First, we take you to the UK, where just six months after the launch of the store on Kindle Fire in October 2012, British developers and publishers are already seeing some impressive results.
Kent-based P2 Games publishes titles based on popular children’s character licenses, including Peppa Pig (the UK’s leading pre-school franchise), Fireman Sam, and Bob the Builder. P2 Games was already successful before Kindle Fire launched in the UK, but saw sales quickly grow once the store launched in their home market.
Peter Sleeman, Director of P2 Games, spoke with us about the success they are experiencing on Amazon. As he notes, ‘’The popular children’s brands we build apps for were already well-represented on Amazon. For example, they sell Peppa Pig products across multiple product categories, such as Toys, Books, Video Games, and DVDs. It made sense to try to reach these same customers with our apps, particularly given the Kindle Fire is such a family-friendly device. Through our conversations with Amazon, we were aware of the demand for our apps, information gleaned from customers’ actively searching for Peppa Pig titles.’’
Although P2’s Peppa Pig Apps have already been downloaded more than one million times since launching in September 2010, they achieved some terrific results just months after the launch of our store in the UK.
Peter Sleeman continues, ‘’We launched our first Kindle Fire version in January 2013 and within a few weeks we saw sales on Amazon overtake Google Play by a factor of four or five times. Kindle Fire is now a legitimate contender, and although our apps have been out much longer on iOS formats, our current rate of sale is close to parity with iOS most days in the UK. The launch of our newest paid Android app, Peppa Pig Party Time, in March 2013 has followed in the footsteps of previous titles and is proving very successful. ’’
For P2 Games, these results have changed the way they develop for Android. Peter told us that, ‘’Our success on the Kindle Fire has been game-changing; our Android development efforts now lead with the Kindle Fire version. We’re really excited to have a number of our other key titles in development for release on Kindle Fire later this year.’’
Publishers like P2 Games tell us that one of the reasons they are turning to Amazon is because it monetizes so well. P2 Games is just one of thousands of UK-based developers and publishers that have already experienced the value of connecting with Amazon customers on mobile devices, and are reaping the rewards of distributing apps on Kindle Fire. Developers benefit when customers find the apps that interest them through behavioral recommendations and buy ‘friction free’ through 1-Click purchase.