Amazon announced news on Thursday (May 3) of the availability of in-skill purchasing for Alexa skills in the U.S. While the service was announced back in November of 2017, it was only available to a handful of voice app developers before today.
In a blog post, Jeff Blankenburg said developers can now make money by selling digital content that enhances an Alexa skill, such as game products, interactive stores and new features. In-skill purchasing supports one-time purchases to unlock access to features and content in a skill and subscriptions that offer access to premium features or content for a predetermined amount of time. The executive noted that Skills will continue to be free for customers, enabling them to assess the quality of the skill and understand the product or service before purchasing it via a voice command.
“When developers build delightful skills with compelling content, customers win,” wrote Blankenburg in the blog post. “If you offer premium content, a customer can now ask to shop, buy or agree to purchase suggestions made by your skill. Customers pay using Amazon’s simple voice purchasing flow using the payment options associated with their Amazon account. You define your premium offering and price, and we handle the voice-first purchasing flow. We also provide self-service tools to manage your in-skill products and optimize their sales performance over time.”
Blankenburg said Amazon ensures that every in-skill purchase brings value to Amazon Prime members, like a discounted price, exclusive content or early access. Developers set the list price for the in-skill product and will get 70 percent of the list price before Amazon offers a discount to Prime customers.
In addition to in-skill purchases, Amazon said developers can make money via Alexa Developer Rewards. Skills in eligible categories are automatically considered for the program each month, with Amazon notifying developers if their skill qualifies.