Amazon Announces 80,000 Alexa Skills Worldwide and Jeff Bezos Earnings Release Quote Focuses Solely on Alexa Momentum
- Amazon Alexa skill count surpassed 80,000 worldwide
- There are 28,000 Alexa compatible devices from 4,500 brands (Alexa can interact with them)
- Devices with Alexa built-in (they have their own microphone and Alexa onboard) doubled to 150
- More than 1 million customers registered to pre-order Echo Auto
- The Amazon Music library has expanded to 50 million songs
- Billions of new facts were added to Alexa’s knowledge base
- Alexa engineers improved comprehension of user requests by 20%
- Oh, and Amazon generated $72 billion in the fourth quarter and $233 billion for the year
Amazon just closed its biggest quarter and year in history with more than $72 billion in quarterly revenue and $233 billion for all of 2018. However, CEO Jeff Bezos’ quote focused on one topic only: Alexa. Here is the full quote from Bezos so you can judge for yourself:
“Alexa was very busy during her holiday season. Echo Dot was the best-selling item across all products on Amazon globally, and customers purchased millions more devices from the Echo family compared to last year. The number of research scientists working on Alexa has more than doubled in the past year, and the results of the team’s hard work are clear. In 2018, we improved Alexa’s ability to understand requests and answer questions by more than 20% through advances in machine learning, we added billions of facts making Alexa more knowledgeable than ever, developers doubled the number of Alexa skills to over 80,000, and customers spoke to Alexa tens of billions more times in 2018 compared to 2017. We’re energized by and grateful for the response, and you can count on us to keep working hard to bring even more invention to customers.”
There are no other quotes from Bezos or any other company spokesperson. One hundred and forty-two words comprised the entire commentary and it is 100% focused on Alexa. Amazon.com and AWS had incredible growth, but Alexa captured the entire commentary. This is the second annual earnings release in a row where the only quote included referred exclusively to Alexa. How big of a priority do you think Jeff Bezos places on Alexa in terms of company strategy? Can you imagine Sundar Pichai or Tim Cook devoting their entire quote in an earnings release to Google Assistant or Siri? Neither can I. If you had any doubt where Alexa stands in the Amazon CEO’s priority list, you have just received your answer.
80,000 Alexa Skills, Plus Some Things We Already Knew
The only real news from an Alexa standpoint in today’s earnings announcement is the revelation that Amazon now has over 80,000 unique Alexa skills worldwide. Voicebot has reported previously that many Alexa skills are duplicated across countries and languages and Amazon regularly reports only those that are unique worldwide. In the U.S., the number of unique Alexa skills today is 57,960. That reflects the addition of 1,210 new skills during January 2019 for 2.1% growth or 39 per day, down considerably from the 85 new skills per day launched during 2018. Even with this slower pace, Alexa skills should easily surpass 100,000 in 2019.
Other data points from the announcement stressed that Echo Dot was the top-selling device worldwide over the holiday shopping season, one million consumers pre-ordered Echo Auto, there are now 28,000 Alexa compatible devices from 4,500 brands, and 150 products with Alexa built in. But, none of these were new announcements. The quote from Bezos and other data were a summary of 2018 which is what you expect from an earnings release or annual report. You just normally expect the CEO to discuss multiple products and business lines instead of focusing solely on one. Amazon has over 10,000 employees working on Alexa, the smart speakers have sold well worldwide, and Jeff Bezos clearly intends to press for even more progress in 2019.