Alexa Skill Blueprints Can Now Be Published to Alexa Skill Store in US, Amazon Rolls out New Blueprints for Flash Briefings, Bloggers, Universities, Religious Organizations
Amazon announced this morning in a blog post that Alexa Skill Blueprints can now be published to the U.S. Alexa skill store. Skill Blueprints were launched in the U.S. in April 2018 and could only be used by the account holders that created them up until today. The update enables Skill Blueprints to be published as a publicly available Alexa skill. There are today over 58,000 Alexa skills in the U.S. skill store and this move by Amazon will make it even easier to add more. It means that people can now launch fully functional Alexa skills even if they have no coding knowledge. The blog post stated:
“Now, anyone can publish skills created using Alexa Skill Blueprints to the Alexa Skills Store in the US for customers to discover, use, and even review. We’re also excited to announce new Skill Blueprints built specifically for content creators, bloggers, and organizations so they can reach anyone with an Alexa-enabled device—with no coding required…”
New Blueprints for Bloggers, Educators, Universities, and Religious Organizations
In addition to enabling Blueprints to become publicly accessible, Amazon also announced several new Blueprints for users. One of the most intriguing is the new Flash Briefing capability: “You can add your recorded audio feed URL to the Skill Blueprint directly, upload recorded audio files, and even record live audio directly within the Blueprints Portal.” Amazon is also offering the ability to upload live or recorded audio to a Skill Blueprint which targets “University and Spiritual Talks.” Both of these solutions look very similar to Witlingo’s recently announced Castlingo solution. A key difference being that Castlingo allows you to record directly into a mobile app. However, Skill Blueprints are sure to cut into that product’s heretofore unique positioning.
Another interesting Skill Blueprint targets Bloggers. There is a new Amazon AI Plugin for WordPress that integrates with Amazon’s Polly, a synthetic speech service. The plugin enables publishers to create audio versions of their written posts and automatically generate an RSS feed that you can embed into an Alexa Skill Blueprint. Users can still publish personal Blueprints for their own use, but after adding content can now select whether it will remain a personal skill or become public.
Blueprints Change Should Address Decelerating Alexa Skill Creation in the U.S.
The ease of creating new Alexa skills using Blueprints should help accelerate Alexa skill production in the U.S. During 2018, developers were adding an average of 85 new Alexa skills per day and that number accelerated to 181 in November and December. Since January 1, 2019, the rate has been only 39 per day. If Amazon promotes the new Blueprint-to-Alexa-skill feature heavily over the next month, you can expect that new skill average to rise again as non-developers become new skill publishers.