With in-skill purchasing, you can build a business on Alexa and make money with your skills. The first step in creating a premium experience is to find a reasonable use case, that brings value to your customers. In this blog post, we have summarized some use cases from US, German and British developers to inspire you and show that a premium experience can be adopted in various scenarios (by Developer company name in alphabetic order).
Developer: Daniel Mittendorf, digivoice.io
Skill: Mein Haustier
In this game, players are responsible for their own digital pet. As the owner, they need to nurture it, entertain and also take care of their sleep balance. The free customer experience lets players choose between a dog or a cat. They can enjoy the full game without purchasing something. However, the premium experience offers two more pets, a unicorn and a dragon (one-time purchase), and the option to buy coins (consumables) in order to buy goods in the store. In this game, the purchases are optional, customers can also earn the coins by playing games.
Developer: Doppio Games
Skill: The Vortex
In “The Vortex”, players can purchase a consumable called multi-gel—an in-game currency that customers use to make their robots complete tasks faster. New players start with a set amount of multi-gel and are awarded additional units for returning to play again. Purchasing additional packs of multi-gel is, however, completely optional.
Developer: Krögoor Entertainment
Skill category: Games
Here you run your own lemonade shop, a business simulation game. The skill offers two premium experiences: consumables to purchase umbrellas to protect the stand against thunderstorms and one-time purchases to unlock advertising tools to promote your stand.
Developer: Joel Wilson, Matchbox.io
Skill: Question of the Day
Skill category: Games
When you invoke Question of the Day, Alexa asks you a question from a variety of categories, such as History, General Knowledge, Movies, and Geography. It then provides a list of four possible answers for the player to choose from. Players can buy “game packs” that contain several questions on a single topic of the player’s choice. For real trivia fans, Wilson offers a membership to the Question of the Day Trivia Club, which is a monthly subscription that comes with a free seven-day trial. The subscription gives players three daily bonus questions, unlimited access to all current and future game packs, and the ability to compete on local, state, and national leader boards.
Developer: Musicplode Media
Skill: Beat the Intro
Beat the Intro tests Alexa users music knowledge with a variety of free gameplay rounds. The skill also offers players a monthly subscription with unlimited play and a library of categorized music packs to extend their gameplay and customize the game experience with music categories of their choice. To show customers the value of the premium content, Beat the Intro offers a free 14-day trial that customers can cancel any time. If they opt to purchase Beat the Intro Unlimited (subscription) customers can play an unlimited number of rounds and select music from a particular decade or genre. Today, Brown and Deakin are seeing a 45% offer-to-purchase conversion rate and a 4-star rating in the Alexa Skills Store.
Developer: Sony Pictures Television
Skill category: Games
Both games are well-known entertainment classics. In Jeopardy!, SPT decided to add a familiar feature from the show—a round of Double Jeopardy! - as premium content. Customers can purchase a monthly subscription that allows them to access the premium feature. Subscribers also get to play Catch Up, which lets them play clues from days they missed. In contrast to Jeopardy!’s monthly subscription, WWTBAM utilizes a consumables model for offering in-skill products. When players run out of lifelines, they are offered a chance to purchase an additional lifeline so that they can continue the game. Once the customer uses the additional lifeline, they have the option to purchase more.
Developer: Gal Shenar, Stoked Skills
With Escape the Room and Escape the Airplane, which are voice-first variations of popular “escape rooms” around the world, the skills detect if players get stuck on a puzzle and then offer “hint” packs for purchase (One-time purchase). For Escape the Airplane, Shenar is seeing conversion rates as high as 34%. And 8% of Escape the Room players who are offered the premium content have opted in to purchase the packs.
Developer: Nidhi Agarwal, Voice Games
Skill: Would You Rather for Family
Would You Rather offers players a variety of products that unlock access to themed special edition question packs, such as Christmas, Winter, Superheroes, and many more—even a football edition for the Super Bowl. Each special edition pack contains questions pertaining to that specific theme. Players can buy any edition as a one-time purchase, or they can opt for a consumable purchase—a seven-day pass that allows unlimited play of all editions—perfect for family get-togethers. In her other games such as Trivia Battle and Fact or Fib, Agarwal offers a variety of in-skill products as monthly subscriptions, one-time purchases, and consumables.
Developer: Max Child and James Wilsterman, Volley
Skill: Yes Sire
Use Case: In Yes Sire, Volley offers in-skill purchases by selling expansion packs to provide additional scenarios and questions in the adventure story (one-time purchase). This premium content yields revenue that Volley can reinvest in building their business with Alexa.
Developer: Nick Schwab, Invoked Apps
Skills: Rain Sounds (and other Ambient Sounds)
Skill category: Music & Audio
Nick Schwab´s collection of ambient sound skills plays sounds to help you sleep, relax, meditate, relieve stress, or block out unwanted noise. Subscribers unlock the ability to listen to two sounds simultaneously, such as overlaying rain sounds with ocean waves. In addition to instant access to over 800 unique sound combinations, subscribers also experience extended sound loops for more seamless playback—a feature often requested by customers who are light sleepers.
Developer: Jeff Bolton, Voice Apps
Skill: Sleep and Relaxation Sounds
Category: Music & Audio
The free version of this skill allows customers to select from over 125 ambient sounds—from thunderstorms to whales and wind chimes—to help them relax and sleep peacefully. Bolton enhanced the skill to offer customers an annual subscription. The in-skill purchase unlocks exclusive features and content, including premium versions of all sounds, 75 additional sounds, the ability to combine different sounds, sleep stories, and guided sleep and meditation features.
Skill: Hypno Therapist
Once enabled, new users can use six therapies for free, such as “Sleep Now” or "Appreciate Yourself,” and familiarize themselves with how the Hypno Therapist skill works. To enable further engagement with the skill, Hypno Therapist offers 70 additional and more advanced therapies for purchase. Hypno Therapist offers two types of in-skill products. The first is a consumable bundle for ten sessions of any hypnotherapy the customer chooses. The second in-skill product, therefore, is a monthly subscription with unlimited access to all therapies, plus new ones as they are introduced. Hypno Therapist offers six hypnotherapy sessions for free and a library of over 70 additional therapies available for purchase. Niininen and Thain are seeing an average offer-to-purchase conversion rate of 58% and a 4-star rating for the skill.
Developer: Steven Arkanovich, Philosophical Creations
Skill: Big Sky
Skill category: News
Big Sky is delivering personalized weather information with just the amount of detail the customer asks for. With in-skill purchasing Steven offers his customers the opportunity to personalize the experience even further by offering a monthly subscription that unlocks premium features to let customers personalize their experience even further. Customers opting to purchase the monthly subscription can set up additional addresses, each with its own nickname, such as “Mom’s House” or “The Beach.” That way, customers can ask Alexa for weather information, without having to spell out the whole address. The subscription also unlocks a number of other premium features, including customized weather alerts. Severe weather alerts are available in the basic experience, but subscribers can enable five different kinds of weather alerts and set the time of day they want to hear each one. The customer response to the subscription has been positive—50% of Big Sky customers opt to purchase the premium experience when offered.
With ISP, you can sell premium content to enrich your Alexa skill experience. ISP supports one-time purchases that offer access to one type of premium content for the life of the skill, subscriptions that offer access to all premium content for a period of time, and consumables that offer access to one specific premium content that is depleted upon use. You define your premium offering and price, and we handle the voice-first purchasing flow. Download our introductory guide to learn more.