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make money with alexa skill

How to Make Money with Alexa Skills?

Do you know that you can make money with Alexa’s Skills? Read on this article to learn how you can make money with Alexa Skills.

Voice technology is rapidly changing the way people interact with each other and with machines all over the world. Voice control is the next huge intervention in the world of technology and business, supported by the increasing love of customers for voice-controlled devices.

As of 2018, one in every five adults in the US has a voice-enabled smart speaker technology in their possession. Amazon has been the frontrunner of the voice-assistant technology with its signature offering, Alexa. With over 70% of smart speaker market share in the US, Amazon Alexa shows promising potential for the long-term. The functionality of Alexa depends on the effectiveness of Alexa skills, which are third-party capabilities by third-party vendors. Did you know that you can make money with Alexa’s skill? 

Enroll Now: AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty Training Course

Alexa skills are definitely improving the functionalities of Amazon Alexa by considerable boundaries. However, you can also capitalize on the monetary benefits by learning how to make money with Alexa skill. The following discussion would point out different ways in which you can gain monetary returns through Alexa skills.

The discussion would also point out information regarding the types of Alexa skills categories suitable for monetization. In addition, the discussion would also reflect slightly on the estimated monetary gains from Alexa skills. 

Methods to Make Money with Alexa Skills

Users could make money with Alexa skill directly without any third-party intervention. Users can sell digital products to customers or get rewards for building popular skills in categories eligible for rewards. In addition, users could also offer physical goods and services to customers with Alexa skills to earn money. The three notable ways to make money with Alexa skills are as follows.

  • Alexa Developer Rewards
  • Amazon Pay for selling physical goods and services
  • In-skill purchasing of premium digital content

A closer look at each of these methods can help you find out more about ways for earning with Alexa skills. 

1. Alexa Developer Rewards

Eligible Alexa skills categories:

The Alexa Developer Rewards program provides rewards for creating the most popular and well-accepted voice experiences through Alexa skills. The program entitles the following skill categories for direct payments to make money with Alexa skill. 

  • Education and reference
  • Health and fitness
  • Lifestyle
  • Food and drink
  • Kids
  • Productivity
  • Music and audio
  • Games, trivia, and accessories

Every month, Amazon selects top Alexa skills for rewarding. The top-performing custom skills in different eligible categories on the basis of customer engagement are suitable for the rewards. Alexa developers don’t have to submit an application for the Alexa Developer Rewards program. Developers will receive an email notification if their skill qualifies for rewards. Alexa skill developers could also leverage the opportunities for increasing the level of user engagement with skills.

Some of the notable opportunities involve learning about new features and using them to build more skills. Developers could improve their skills alongside ensuring their availability in countries where Alexa Developer Rewards is applicable. 

If you want to learn how to make money with Alexa skill through the Alexa Developer Rewards program, you need additional information! For example, you need to know about the countries where published Alexa skills are eligible for the Alexa Developer Rewards.At the time of writing this guide, developers could earn Alexa Developer Rewards for Alexa skills published in the following countries –

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan

How does the Alexa Developer Rewards Program Work?

As evident by now, the Amazon Alexa team selects skills for the Alexa Developer Rewards on the basis of customer engagement. The team considers various factors for estimating customer engagement for a particular skill. The factors include minutes of usage, recurring customers, customer ratings, new customers, and many more. Amazon Alexa team finds out the top-performing custom Alexa skills suitable for rewards. The amount rewarded for top Alexa skills in this program also depends on the estimated level of customer engagement.

If an Alexa skill qualifies as the highest engaging skill in the US, UK, and Spain, the developer receives rewards for each region.

The email notification by the Alexa team generally arrives by the middle of the following month after the qualification of a particular skill. The email notification contains information about the amount of payment according to skills per region. Developers could be able to make money with Alexa skill and see it in their bank accounts without delays. Just keep your payment and tax information on the Amazon Alexa Developer Portal updated, and you can receive the reward paid by the end of the month. 

The interesting thing about the Alexa Developer Rewards program is that Amazon has already doled out millions of dollars for top paid Alexa skills. Generally, the winners published their skills in the US, UK, Germany, India, Japan, and Canada. Interestingly, some of the skills started off just for casual entertainment purposes and turned out to be cash-machines for creators. While some Alexa skill developers have earned over $30,000 in six months, few have reached the $100,000 mark already. 

Preparing for the AWS Alexa Skill Builder Specialty certification exam? Follow the comprehensive guide for the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty certification preparation and get ready to pass the exam.

Tips to Improve the Chances of Earning Alexa Developer Rewards

So, how can you make money with Alexa’s skill through the Alexa Developer Rewards program? The key to creating an Alexa skill with the potential for considerable earnings is helpful and interactive user experiences. Such experiences have a higher potential of bringing back users. In addition, users could also share such skills with their friends. Therefore, developers could increase their chances of earning rewards through the Alexa Developer Rewards program by focusing on the following factors.

  • Improvement of in-skill experience
  • Availability of the skill for customers all over the world
  • Updating the Alexa skill with fresh content
  • Developers could also try enlisting their skills in less competitive categories for increasing their chances of earning rewards.

Skill developers should also follow another precedent for improving their chances of making money with Alexa skill. Constant monitoring of customer reviews in the Alexa Skills Store alongside customer engagement data in the Amazon Alexa Developer Portal are recommended best practices. Developers could learn about the performance of their skills and the possibilities of earning a reward. Developers could also access the “Metrics” link for each skill in the Alexa Skills Kit section for finding information regarding customers and sessions. 

Most important of all, developers could also earn with Alexa skills by applying for AWS promotional credit. After approval of the application, developers are eligible for receiving $100 monthly for one year. However, the AWS promotional credit is applicable only for AWS usage charges for the skill. Looking at the positive side, developers could build, and host top paid Alexa skills without additional investments. 

The downside of the Alexa Developer Rewards program is that there is no certainty. Furthermore, you can also find issues with complaints regarding the lack of transparency and unpredictable rewards in the Alexa Developer Rewards program. However, you don’t have to worry! Your skill can compete with other skills for rewards alongside looking for other opportunities to earn rewards with Alexa skills.

The working of Alexa depends depends on the skill models it follows. Let’s know about different Alexa Skill Models to understand the working of Alexa.

2. In-Skill Purchases

The facility of In-Skill purchasing is also another promising way to make money with Alexa skill. The facility of in-skill purchasing came into existence with a developer preview program in November 2017. In-skill purchasing is not different than the in-app purchases you make on a mobile application on your smartphones. In-skill purchasing helps in selling premium content and digital subscriptions through the Alexa skill. The premium content in an Alexa skill for in-skill purchasing can include the following.

  • Add-on content such as consumables, subscriptions or one-time purchases of engaging stories
  • Virtual game products such as custom characters, expansion packs or special powers and equipment
  • Unlocking features and functionalities on online services such as multiple accounts

The basic tenet of in-skill purchasing is that the additional content and offerings should not alter the core Alexa skill experience. Another important concern, in this case, is to refrain from monetization of content that was free earlier. For example, Sony sells a subscription for extra clues each weekday for the Double Jeopardy! Skill. User gets free daily content and engage with the skill and can opt for the additional content when the daily content runs out. 

Alexa developers can improve their chances to earn with Alexa skills through in-skill purchasing alongside exerting control over the sales. Alexa developers have to define the premium offering and price. In addition, they also have to set up tax forms for payment and submit the in-skill purchase for Amazon certification. Amazon also provides necessary tools for the management of in-skill products, measurement of skill usage and earnings, and optimization of sales performance over a period of time.

With the in-skill purchasing model, Alexa developers could get 70% of the list price of premium offerings in the skill. Developers could try out the following pointers to make money with Alexa skill easily through in-skill purchasing. 

  • Adding value to quality skills
  • Persuading users to sign up for premium offerings in the skill
  • Time, place and frequency of prompting users for an upsell

The in-skill purchasing model is applicable for skills published in the following countries only – 

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan

Also Check: Google home vs Amazon Alexa: Which One is Better?

3. Amazon Pay

The Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills model is also one of the reliable ways to make money with Alexa skill. The Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills gained general availability in 2018. Prior to this program, Amazon did not permit the sale of physical products by third-party skill developers within Alexa skills.

As a result, customers had to exit the skill before making an order on Amazon through Alexa. However, Amazon Pay brings a subtle difference! Amazon Pay enables Amazon account holders to use payment methods associated already with their accounts. Account-holders could use it for making donations or paying for goods and services.

Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills helps users to achieve these functions through a custom skill of a company. Users don’t have to enter their username, shipping address, password, or credit card information with Amazon Pay. Users should provide permission to the skill for using Amazon Pay as the default payment method. As a result, the skill can retrieve details regarding the payment of users from their Amazon account. 

Brands and individual merchants could sell different types of products such as flower delivery, print magazine subscriptions, food, and more. The best thing is that users don’t have to leave the voice experience for making a purchase.

Merchants can make money with Alexa skill by registering with Amazon Pay to enable Amazon Pay within specific Alexa skill. Amazon Pay provides effective integration with the existing CRM and order management solutions. As a result, merchants have effective control over the management of their sales. 

How Much Can You Get?

Although Amazon has not disclosed any particular number regarding Alexa skills payouts, we can clearly notice the potential to make money with Alexa skill. All of the above-mentioned models offer varied opportunities for Alexa skills developers to earn money.

The choice of the route to earn money with Alexa skills is completely up to the developer. While new skill developers could strive for the Alexa Developer Rewards program, experienced developers could go for the in-skill purchasing route!         

Learn about the Monetization of Alexa Skills

You can also learn about the intricacies of earning money with Alexa skills from different sources. Amazon provides many on-demand webinars without any cost for learning more about monetization of Alexa skills.

The information in these webinars can help developers in building high-quality skills, monetize them, and successfully go through the Alexa skill certification process. Amazon also provides free, one-day events, in partnership with Intel, for new and experienced Alexa developers worldwide. 

Whether you are a Alexa Developer or not, it is so easy to create Alexa Skill. Let’s find how to build a custom amazon alexa skill.

Bottom Line

At present, Amazon is clearly focusing on the expansion of its Alexa customer base. Amazon imposes strict restrictions on the inclusion of advertisements in Alexa skills presently for providing an engaging customer experience to users. As a result, Alexa could turn out to be a worthy competitor to Google and other digital advertising firms. Furthermore, the Q&A feature on Alexa is also an innovative drive of Amazon towards voice advertising.

Therefore, we can clearly notice that promising opportunities to make money with Alexa skills are emerging with every passing second. As the smart speaker market gains dominance gradually, Amazon would also continue to develop and test new ways of making money from Alexa skills. So, Alexa skill developers can easily expect bright times ahead of them!

If you are aspired to build a career with Amazon Alexa as an Alexa Skill Builder, validate your skills with the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty certification exam. Start your preparation with the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty training course and get ready for the certification exam.

About Sujith Kumar

Cloud Products Associate by Profession with in-depth knowledge in AWS.
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