Alexa In-Skill Purchasing for skill developers is now available in Canada

Staff Writer Apr 12, 2022
Alexa Skills

Amazon announced the release of the In-skill Purchasing (ISP) for Alexa skills published in Canada today. ISP enables Alexa skill developers to grow revenue by selling premium content such as virtual game products, subscriptions and unlocked features from directly within the skill. Developers from other locales around the world have used ISP to drive high offer-purchase rates in meaningful ways. 

“Revenue from ISPs has allowed us to hire five new salaried employees over the past year to reinvest into content creation, branding, and product expansion,” says Nick Schwab, CEO and founder of Sleep Jar.  These include sounds at HD audio quality, sounds without any gaps for as long as ten hours and giving customers the ability to mix and match their favorite sounds. We couldn't be more thrilled to enable our Canadian users to start enjoying these experiences !”

An incredible angle of options to grow revenue

Developers can offer a wide variety of ISPs to customers from within their skill. These include one-time purchases for entitlements that unlock access to features or content in your skill, subscriptions that offer access to premium features or content for a period of time, and consumables with a limited lifetime value. 

One-time purchases unlock access to features or content in a skill. Customers purchase the content once for an entitlement that does not expire. 

The Bard’s Tale Warlocks of Largefearn is a role playing game where customers explore the secluded settlement town of Largefearn, recruit companions, and solve the mystery of why citizens are disappearing . In this case, a one-time purchase priced at $4.99 ($4.00 for Prime members) allows customers to gain access to all levels. 

In-skill subscriptions enable developers to offer access to premium features or content for a pre-defined period of time. For example, the skill Big Sky, which delivers personalized weather information, offers a subscription ($1.25-$2.25/month or $1-$1.80/month for Prime Members) that enables customers to customize the experience even further with personalized weather alerts. Other examples of skills with subscription in-skill products include:

  • Escape the Room, with a subscription to permanently unlock a game room hint system ($3.99/month or $3.20/month for Prime Members).
  • Trivia Battle is a daily trivia game where players from the various provinces battle to get their province to the top of the smartness leader board. With a monthly subscription, customers are able to play five bonus questions every day, and also receive double points for every bonus question. ($2.99/month or $2.40/month for Prime Members).
  • Sleep Jar plays sleep sounds and ambient sounds to help you sleep, relax, meditate, relieve stress, or block out unwanted noise. With a premium subscription, customers have the ability to mix two sounds together, along with premium audio quality and enhanced looping - no sound gaps for 10 hours ($2.99/month or $2.40/month for Prime Members).
  • Bedtime Stories allows subscribers to unlock hundreds of Bedtime Stories and exclusive categories with new exclusive stories added every month ($12.48/month or $9.99/month for Prime Members).
  • Wheel of Fortune allows paid subscribers to gain access to unlimited puzzles ($8.99/month or $7.20/month for Prime Members).
  • Feel the Pressure is a game skill that tests customers knowledge across many topics. The paid subscription supports multi-player, "skip this question" and "unlimited time" for single players, and provides hundreds of extra questions ($3.75/month or $3/month for Prime Members).

Consumables are expendable commodities that  customers can purchase repeatedly.  Consumables are often used to monetize game hints, extra lives, or special items for an adventure game. Knight Manager is a skill that allows customers to transform an amateur knight into a celebrated hero through daily adventures, duels and tournaments.  Consumers can purchase consumables such as a barrel of 500 diamonds, and a truckload of 1000 diamonds. With diamonds, you can buy new powerful skills, bonus features and titles at the shop, restore your knight's energy or complete upgrades immediately.

Developers can also leverage multiple types of in-skill products to diversify revenue streams, and increase the number of ways they interact with their consumers. 

Getting Started with In-Skill Purchasing

Before you start building with ISP, identify the use case for your skill. Decide which content you will offer to customers as free versus paid content, since a portion of your premium skill will always need to be free for customers. This free content is a perfect opportunity to capture the attention of customers, and convince them why they should purchase your premium content. 

After you have decided on the customer experience, you can use two ways to implement ISP in your skill:

  1. Use the ASK Developer Console, which offers a more guided experience and one single location to build and track your skill or,
  2. Use the ASK Command-Line Interface (CLI), to allow you to manage Alexa skills programmatically from the command line.

After you have decided how you want to implement ISP, follow the best practices to ensure your monetized skill delivers a seamless experience:

Promoting Your Skill to Drive Engagement

As soon as your monetized skill is available in the Alexa Skills Store, it´s time to spread the word. You can find actionable and impactful promotion strategies on our website. Learn more about how to build an engaging monetized skill that is eligible for Amazon promotion.

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