Amazon is hoping to continue the exponential growth of Alexa Skills available on its Echo speaker, with the company now offering cash incentives to some developers. There is one caveat, however, as the cash will only be offered to developers with the highest engagements in the US, UK and Germany.
The number of Alexa Skills available has grown to over 10,000 globally, although many of those are available exclusively in the US. Despite that amazing growth, some Alexa Skills have suffered from low usage, partially down to the fact that users simply forget that they’re ever installed, and the overall quality of skills has thus far been lacking. Amazon is hoping that this incentive helps create better quality skills.
Amazon has yet to detail exactly which apps it’ll be rewarding and how it plans on determining whether they’re eligible, but the company has explained that many different metrics could be used – including minutes the skill is used, number of new customers added, or some other method. Using those metrics Amazon then determines how much a developer is paid, although one developer has reportedly received $133.84 – without knowing exactly how that amount was calculated.
Currently Amazon is only rewarding those building games, trivia and accessories skills – although it could further expand that reach in the future. It’s unlikely that music apps will be added to the incentives program anytime soon, however.
Amazon isn’t the only company that has been incentivising developers with cold hard cash. Google is offering more than 20 prizes, including $10,000 and a trip to Google I/O 2018, for those developing apps that work with the Google Assistant. Meanwhile, Microsoft invested heavily in developers working on apps for Windows, with up to $100 being offered per app, up to a maximum of $2,000.