While there has been a massive rush to create 3rd party skills for the Amazon Echo, most have either been toy applications of extensions of other services, because until recently there was no way for applications to pay for themselves.
Amazon has changed the rules recently, and today we have news of the first for-pay skill on Amazon’s voice assistant platform.
The first application to benefit has been the Jeopardy! skill above, captured by Voicebot.ai on the Amazon Echo Show.
Paying $1.99 per month gives users 6 extra clues per day and the ability to play the previous day’s games that have been missed, features previously missing from the new free version.
The subscription option offers these new features and provides an illustration of how Alexa skill monetization can work for other developers as well.
Amazon is blazing a trail here with Jeopardy! and in a statement said they will notify developers when the tool becomes more broadly available.
Interestingly the new features are available free to Prime members, with others being prompted to sign up for Prime Membership at $10.99 per month to avoid the other subscription free. The move is interesting, as I am sure there are not many people with Amazon Echo products who do not also have Prime.
The arrival of a simple monetization feature will likely draw in big-name developers with original titles which would help cement Amazon’s role as the leading voice digital assistant platform, with the company able to offer monetization options, reach and engagement, a combination not available on any other platform.
If successful we may see Echo-only original content or content creators posting content on Amazon’s service directly, useful to Amazon after Google pulled YouTube from the Echo Show.