Enter the Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing to Compete for Over $120,000 in Prizes
Ben Grossman Sep 10, 2019
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Alexa Skills Challenge
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We’re thrilled to announce the Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing with Devpost, an opportunity to invent the future of premium voice content with over $120k in prizes. Plus, challenge finalists will be invited to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle for an exclusive one-day summit on monetization opportunities. Start building skills with in-skill purchasing and enter the challenge by November 12th.

 

Invent the Future of Premium Voice Content

Customers have purchased over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices and there are hundreds of thousands of developers building voice experiences on Alexa. In-skill purchasing (ISP) lets you make money from your Alexa skills by selling premium digital content to enrich your customer’s experience, including anything from hints in a trivia skill to enhanced features in a weather reporting skill. In-skill purchasing is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. Developers who monetize their skills across these skill stores will be able to tap into a larger customer base, generating revenue to grow their global voice business. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban has said that if he were to start a business today, he’d build it around Alexa. It is still the early days of voice technology and voice entrepreneurs are getting in now to capitalize on Alexa’s reach.

 

What You're Competitng for

All eligible participants will receive a $50 Amazon gift card for submitting a brand new skill or updated skill with In-Skill Purchasing (Participants from outside of the US will receive cash equivalent value. See rules for details).

Finalist Prizes We will select 10 finalists who will each take home $5,000 and more. Four finalists will be selected for the best premium skills in each country that supports in-skill purchasing and receive $10,000, and six wildcard finalists will receive $5,000. Plus, all 10 finalists will be invited to Amazon’s headquarters for an exclusive finalist summit.

  • US Skill Store Finalist  - The best premium skill published in the US skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation & travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle
  • Germany Skill Store Finalist  - The best premium skill published in the German skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation & travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle
  • Japan Skill Store Finalist  - The best premium skill published in the Japanese skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation & travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle
  • UK Skill Store Finalist  - The best premium skill published in the UK skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation & travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle
  • Wildcard Finalists  - The 6 remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each, plus invitation & travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle
  • Grand Prize  - The winner for the overall best skill with In-Skill Purchasing will be chosen from the finalists and will receive $15,000 in addition to their finalist prize

 

What is the Alexa ISP Finalist Summit?

The Alexa ISP Finalist Summit is an invite-only workshop for challenge finalists where they will have the opportunity to learn in-depth how to build premium experiences on voice. The event will be held at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, with air travel and hotel covered for up to 2 team members in each finalist team. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the Alexa team, share their feedback, and spend time with experts learning how to take their skills and premium ideas forward. And of course, a tour of the Amazon headquarters campus. The summit will take place in January 2020 with further details announced during the challenge.

 

More Ways to Win: Bonus Prizes

In addition to the grand prize winner and 10 finalists, we will select 6 additional bonus prize winners. You could be eligible to win up to one bonus prize in each category.

Contest Bonus Prizes – Winners of these bonus prizes will receive $3,000 and need not be a finalist:

  • Bonus Prize - Best Premium Game Category experience (Premium game and/or entertainment skills certified in the Games category of the Skills Store)
  • Bonus Prize - Best Agency-Developed Premium Experience (Organizations such as traditional and digital advertising agencies, consultants, innovators, tool creators, global holding companies, and developer partners will be eligible for the Agency prize, but may also win other prizes.)
  • Bonus Prize - Best One-Time Purchase Product Experience (Provides access to premium content that never expires.)
  • Bonus Prize - Best Subscription Product experience (Allows customer to pay a flat monthly fee for access to all content, or for tiered access to content etc.)
  • Bonus Prize - Best Consumables Product experience (Provides access to premium content that can be purchased, depleted when used, and purchased again)
  • Bonus Prize - Best Multimodal experience with ISP (Provides an in-skill purchasing option for skills optimized for multiple devices like the Fire TV.)

 

How to Enter

Build a new Alexa Skill with in-skill purchasing or add in-skill purchasing to an existing skill. If an existing skill, submitters will be required to have integrated ISP during the submission period. Existing skills that already integrated ISP will NOT be eligible. Skills must be published in at least one of the Skill Stores that currently support ISP: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and/or Japan.

 

What are the Types of In-Skill Purchases?

  1. Consumable: Provides access to premium content that can be purchased, depleted when used, and purchased again. For example: A trivia skill offers a hint to a difficult question for a one-time fee.
  2. Subscription: Allows customers to pay a flat monthly fee for access to all content, or for tiered access to content. For example, a radio broadcaster allows access to all channels and content on Alexa for a flat monthly rate.
  3. One-time purchase: Provides access to premium content that never expires. For example, a trivia game offers additional themed packs of quizzes customers can re-play for a one-time fee.

 

What Makes a Great Premium Skill?

Quality premium skills add additional content to an already engaging experience:

  • Help customers get their money's worth. Encourage repeat usage of your skill. Give customers a reason to come back daily or weekly with fresh content or to unlock new content or rewards for continued use.
  • Offer a seamless customer experience. Customers can clearly distinguish between premium and free content, can easily discover and access the skill’s premium offerings, and the skill handles all possible outcomes of the purchase user flow
  • Provide a compelling free experience. The premium experience is meant to enhance the skill with more useful features or tools and to provide additional content. Before you add a premium experience to your skill, you first need to build an engaging skill that resonates with customers and keeps them coming back.

 

Resources to Help You Get started

Check out the following resources to learn about In-Skill Purchasing and prepare for the challenge.

  • Live Announcement Event: Join our upcoming live Twitch event on Thursday, September 12th at 11am PDT. We’ll share tips and best practices to help you kick-start your challenge submission.
  • Introductory Guide: You can also check out the following resources to learn more about in-skill purchasing and prepare for the challenge. For more help, check out the page Make Money through In-Skill Purchasing for more details.
  • Sample Skill Repository:
    • Premium Hello World Skill – A great beginner sample with a tutorial on building for with In-Skill Purchasing
    • Premium Fact Skill – A more robust, intermediate code sample that shows One Time Purchases, Subscriptions, and Consumables being used together in a fact skill

 

Join the Challenge Today

Round 1 begins now! Publish your ISP skill and submit your challenge entry to Devpost by November 12th. Submit sooner and take advantage of more time to get customer ratings and feedback from friends and family to improve your skill as needed. We’ll announce the finalist winners in December 2019.

We can’t wait to see what incredible premium experiences you build for Alexa customers around the world!