76 Percent of New Alexa Skills Arrive in U.S., Germany Passes 5,000 Skills, Japan Over 1,000

Amazon announced at IFA that there are now over 50,000 unique Alexa skills globally. The logical questions remaining are how does that total break down regionally and what is the distribution of Alexa skill growth. It is important to understand that many Alexa skills show up in multiple country Alexa skill stores.

If you consider the date when Amazon first announced the 40,000 Alexa skill milestone and then the 50,000 milestone, it took about 121 days to add 10,000 new skills across all supported countries. That is a rate of about 82 new skills added globally each day. During a comparable period, the U.S. skill store was adding about 62 new skills per day. One way to interpret this data is that the U.S. Alexa skill store is driving 76% of growth or more specifically that is the ratio of new skills wind up getting published in the U.S. even if they originate elsewhere.

However, if you break down the past nine months, you see that the U.S. was adding an average of 53 Alexa skills per day while the U.K. was adding 52 and Germany just 8.6. Japan has added about 4.1 skills per day since it first launched. The data tell us that the U.S. and UK are the key drivers of global Alexa skill growth and given the common language, many new skills are arriving being jointly published in both markets.

Germany Passes 5,000 Alexa Skills, Japan Approaches 1,400

At the time Amazon make their 50,000 Alexa skill announcement, U.S. users had access to 38,790 and U.K. users 22,575. Germany recently passed the 5,000 Alexa skill mark and Japan has 1,371 after 11 months in market.

This matters in part because Alexa skills represent additional features that users can access. It makes the platform more valuable to users. However, it also represents a barometer to gauge developer and brand support of the platform. Among those 50,000 skills are 3,500 brands according to Amazon. Between March and September 2017, the U.S. Alexa skill store was expanding by 60 skills per day, but that rate slowed to 50 skills per day between that September and March 2018. Since that time, U.S. Alexa skill growth has returned to skill growth of over 60 per day. So, it reflects something of a recovery in terms of skill growth driven by developers committed to the platform.

Google doesn’t release information on the number of Actions built by third parties and they way the represent the data purposefully obscures capturing an accurate count. However, the base is lower because Google started later and has taken a different approach to the market. Despite that lower base, Google Home market share is growing quickly and that is likely to results in an acceleration of third-party developer support.


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