We’re excited to announce two new voice-first monetization opportunities that are part of our vision to help you build a profitable business on Alexa. You now have more ways to earn money with your Alexa skills through in-skill purchasing and Amazon Pay. These features are currently available in developer preview, and will be available broadly in 2018. You can apply today to participate in the developer preview.
Our Vision for Voice-First Purchases
Purchasing experiences should be clear, concise, and trustworthy for customers—from discovery to purchase details. We will provide self-service APIs to help you make money while you build voice-first experiences that are consistent with Alexa’s helpful personality. It’s early days still, but our approach to Alexa monetization will always be based in four foundational principles:
- Create purchasing experiences that are voice-first
- Encourage and reward high-quality, engaging skills that delight customers
- Deliver simple and self-service APIs for core transactional capabilities that are familiar to you and contextually relevant to the customer in a voice-first world
- Maintain customer trust as our top priority
Make Money with Alexa Today
Many developers already make money on Alexa by participating in the Alexa Developer Rewards, selling connected devices, or connecting skills to existing business models using account linking (for example, booking a ride or ordering food).
When you build delightful, useful, and habitual skills, customers win. We created the Alexa Developer Rewards program to pay you for the most engaging eligible skills on Alexa in seven key categories. The feedback we’ve heard from the community has been incredibly positive. Since the program launched in May, we have paid millions of dollars to developers in 22 countries who have skills live in the US, UK, and Germany. And we’ll be expanding the program eligibility to skills in Japan, India, and Canada in 2018.
To reduce costs for your skill, you can also apply for AWS promotional credits for Alexa, which make it free to build and host most Alexa skills. Publish a skill and you can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit. If you incur AWS usage charges for your skill, you can receive an additional $100 AWS promotional credit per month. If you haven’t built an Alexa skill yet, start now.
New Voice-First Monetization Opportunities
Today, we are introducing two new voice-first monetization opportunities:
Alexa In-Skill Purchasing: In-skill purchases allow you to sell premium content or digital subscriptions within your skills. For example, customers can now subscribe to Double Jeopardy! to get extra clues each weekday, and will soon be able to purchase additional themed decks for Heads Up! from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. To start, we will have two types of in-skill purchasing: one-time purchases and subscriptions. Our goal is to give you opportunities to earn money by adding premium content to your skills. In some cases, you will also be able to offer this premium content at a discount or for free to Amazon Prime members as a benefit of their membership. You will get paid regardless of the customer’s Prime membership status.
Amazon Pay for Alexa skills: We are now offering Amazon Pay so that customers can easily pay for goods and services in your skill using the information already in their Amazon account—without needing to remember their username and password. We have seen great improvements in purchase conversion with Amazon Pay, and the whole experience is built voice-first. For example, customers can now order ahead from TGI Friday’s, and will soon be able to purchase movie tickets from the Atom skill.
How Companies Are Using These Capabilities
We invited a few companies to participate in the early developer preview for in-skill purchasing and Amazon Pay. Here’s how they are using these capabilities:
- Jeopardy! now includes a subscription option called Double Jeopardy! that doubles the amount of playable content in the Jeopardy! skill by offering extra clues each weekday. Teen Jeopardy! and Sports Jeopardy! will soon offer monthly packs of clues for even greater challenges.
- Heads Up! (coming soon) from The Ellen DeGeneres Show will offer in-skill purchases of more content for the fun and hilarious game that Ellen plays on her show. Players try to guess the word before the timer runs out. They can get started with a few free decks and then purchase more themed decks to keep the game going.
- Ultimate HISTORY Quiz (coming soon) from HISTORY will offer in-skill purchases to give history buffs more ways to test their knowledge from the experts who bring history to life. Each day players can test their knowledge across a range of historical subjects with the Free Daily Three. For the ultimate challenge each month, they can purchase two new themed question packs.
- Match Game (coming soon) from FremantleMedia will let players attempt to match the stars by filling in the blank each day in an Audience Match and Head-to-Head round of the classic game show. Bonus packs are available for purchase and let customers play past versions of the show, and go head-to-head with legendary celebrity guests.
- TGI Friday’s uses Amazon Pay to allow customers to order ahead to select stores using their voice. So next time customers are craving BBQ ribs, they can just ask Alexa.
- Atom Tickets (coming soon) will use Amazon Pay to help customers to easily purchase movie tickets, and head over to the theater.
Next year, charities such as the American Heart Association, RED, ASPCA, and more will be able to use Amazon Pay to fulfill donations through Alexa.
You can apply to participate in the developer preview programs for in-skill purchasing and Amazon Pay today.
Build a New Skill, Earn Developer Perks
Bring your big idea to life with Alexa and earn perks through our tiered rewards system. US developers, publish a skill before the end of the year, and receive an Alexa developer hoodie. If 100 customers use your skill in its first 30 days in the Alexa Skills Store, you can also apply to receive a free Echo Dot to help you make Alexa even smarter. If you need inspiration, consider creating a holiday-themed skill to get into the holiday spirit. If you're not in the US, check out our promotions in the UK, Germany, and India. Learn more about our promotion and start building today.