Discoverability of 3rd party alexa skills

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At its AWS re:Invent conference last week, Amazon announced two new monetization updates for Alexa skill developers: in-skill purchases and the ability to make payments via Amazon Pay.

In-skill purchases will enable developers to sell premium content or digital subscriptions within their skills, and the extension of Amazon Pay will allow third-party developers to accept Amazon Pay for in-skill purchases. Several skills — including Sports Jeopardy!, Match Game, and Heads Up — are already planning to adopt the in-app payment capability through Amazon’s developer preview, which will be available broadly in 2018.

The new tools will allow developers to generate revenue from voice apps, and ultimately pay off for Amazon. Monetization has been challenging for voice app developers across platforms, but Amazon has been making a concerted effort to enable developers to earn revenue, most notably through voice app subscriptions. While this model has helped Amazon emerge as an early leader with the most voice apps of any platform, the current solution is limited in scope. Implementing new monetization tools for Alexa skills bodes well for Amazon’s long-term success in the nascent voice assistant market:

  • It will likely encourage developers to focus on creating high-quality skills. The opportunity to make money via in-skill purchases will incentivize developers to improve the in-skill experience in order to retain users and increase usage. That’s because developers will need to add value to their skills to convince consumers to sign up for premium content.
  • It sets the foundation for mainstream adoption of Alexa skills. As developers make their skills more engaging in order to drive in-app revenue, consumers may find more value in Alexa over rival voice assistants, allowing Amazon to gain a Read More Here