Understand Paid Skills

With paid skills, you can build a custom skill that generates revenue by requiring customers to make an up-front purchase to access the skill. Customers can purchase your skill in the Alexa Skills Store or by asking Alexa to buy the skill. Customers pay for skills by using the payment options associated with their Amazon account. You can also offer a free trial so that customers can preview the skill content for a limited time before purchasing.

If you want to sell premium content in a free skill, see Understand In-Skill Purchasing.

What's a paid skill?

Skills that use the custom voice interaction model can earn money by charging to access the skill. You determine what part of your skill to provide for free and what part requires a purchase. You can offer access to your skill with an up-front purchase or a purchase after a free-trial period.

You can offer your paid skill with one of the following payment models:

  • One-time purchase – Unlock access to the skill itself or to premium-skill content. A one-time purchase doesn't expire.

  • Subscription – Offer access to your skill or premium skill content for a period of time, charged on a recurring basis until the customer cancels the subscription. If you offer a free trial, after the trial period ends, access converts to a paid subscription.

To start the purchase, your skill invokes the Amazon purchase flow. Here, Alexa guides the customer through the purchase by using the payment options associated with their Amazon account. After the purchase completes, Alexa hands control back to your skill.

What does the voice purchase flow look like?

The following sample utterance shows the handover from the paid skill to the Amazon purchase flow and hand back to the skill after the customer purchase.

User: Alexa, open Quick Trivia.
Quick Trivia: Welcome to Quick Trivia! This fun-filled game offers 10 trivia categories. You can choose between easy, medium, and hard questions. Want to learn more?
User: Yes
Alexa: Quick Trivia is a challenging trivia game for all levels. It costs one dollar and ninety-nine cents plus tax. Would you like to buy it?
User: Yes
Alexa: Great! I emailed the receipt to you.
Quick Trivia: Bring on the trivia! Choose the category you want to play. You can say a category or select a category on the screen.

For details, see Design the Purchase and Cancel Flows.

How you create a paid skill

You can make your custom skill a paid skill when you create the skill. The following steps show the process to create and publish a paid skill:

  1. Configure purchase details in the developer console.
  2. Update your voice interaction model to include custom intents to support user requests to purchase your skill, cancel a subscription, and ask for a refund. If you plan to offer some skill content as free, update your voice interaction model to include custom intents to suggest paid access to premium content.
  3. Implement the purchase and cancellation flows in your skill.
  4. Test your skill.
  5. Certify and publish your skill.
  6. Analyze purchase metrics and view your earnings.

For details, see Steps to Implement Paid Skills.

When you publish your paid skill to the Alexa Skills Store, you get paid for skill purchases according to the terms and policies established by the Amazon Developer Services Agreement.

Where can I offer paid skills?

You can offer paid skills in the following languages and locales:

  • Languages – English (US), Spanish (US)
  • Locales – en_US

You can offer paid skills in the following marketplaces.

Marketplace Supported countries and regions Default locale

amazon.com

US

en_US