Amazon's clampdown on third-party Developers who leveraged the Alexa Skills as ways to make money from their creatives, initially was met with resistance as developers questioned the rationale behind the series of new policy changes on how advertising will be supported within Alexa’s voice-enabled apps.
While the world of third-party skills associated with group of apps were sold collectively to brands that needed to reach consumers through Amazon’s connected speakers, like the Echo, and other Alexa-powered devices.
Amazon in an effort to cushion the revenue crunch on developers have introduced the Alexa skills economy which though still in its infancy, make payments mandatory to developers of Alexa Skills.
The Alexa Skills economy comprises a small but fast-growing network of independent developers, marketing companies and Alexa tools makers, saddled with the task of creating voice-activated flash briefings, games and recipes through Alexa on Amazon's Echo speaker.
Though Alexa Skills market a few years ago was worth a meager by comparison of $500,000 to the now market cap of $50 million, comprising more than 25,000 skills, according to VoiceLabs. And Alexa remains an important business for Amazon, as its expanding the assistant into millions of internet-connected gadgets and into the workplace.
The Alexa economy is increasingly important to Amazon, yet most developer complains of flaws in the system as reasons that keep serious developers away from the program. And developers also take issue with the unpredictable payouts from the rewards program.
Amazon has also introduced two new ways for developers to make money by offering in-skill purchasing, and allowing some developers to sell premium content or digital subscriptions in their skills.
The company claims it has already paid millions of dollars to developers through the Alexa rewards program, and promises expanding it to more countries in 2018.