Amazon to Get Less Alexa Skill Development Revenue Next Year

Amazon Alexa

Amazon on Tuesday (Dec. 14) announced that it will cut its commission from 30% to 20% on smart speakers and other Alexa-powered devices for skill developers who earn less than $1 million in revenue through Skill purchases, in-skill purchases and skill subscriptions. The change will take effect in the second quarter of 2022.

The company will also expand developer benefits to help third-party developers generate more traffic and increase their skills’ visibility. Apple, Google and Microsoft recently announced similar cuts to their commission on developer revenue.

Amazon had planned for a voice app catalog, but found few developers who were able to capitalize on Alexa’s broad swath across the American landscape.

Many developers have had trouble having their skills discovered, finding that most people used their speakers and screens for only the built-in functions, such as controlling smart home devices, playing music, making shopping lists, setting timers, listening to news, and getting updates on weather or sports scores. Amazon has struggled to make inroads with voice-based shopping, too.

Amazon also announced new benefits to increase developers’ potential revenue under the new program starting next year, giving developers “up to an additional 10%” in potential revenue. Benefits include incentive programs and personalized feedback to help developers optimize their skills and identify monetization opportunities.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched Paid Skills, where consumers pay upfront to access the add-on voice app; introduced Alexa Shopping Actions to allow developers to sell within their skills; expanded access to in-skill purchases to more international developers; and reduced the cost of hosting skills.

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