Alexa Developer Rewards Coming to France, Italy, and Spain
TechCrunch is reporting that Alexa Developer Rewards are coming to France, Italy, and Spain. This comes just a week after Amazon announced the program was launching in India. Developer Rewards is a program that provides cash payouts to developers for Alexa skills that are popular and driven user “engagement.” Amazon has never quite clarified how rewards are awarded or calculated. However, previous Voicebot reporting found that the top category position in any given month can earn as much as $5,000 and positions 2-5 over $1,000 each. The payouts descend down to a few dollars and some people speculate they are distributed to as many as 300 Alexa skills per category.
Developer rewards were first introduced in May 2017 and originally only included games in the U.S. The program was expanded to several categories in the U.S. a few months later and to Germany and the U.K. in May 2018. That rollout originally included seven categories while the India rollout added “Kids” to the program. The categories listed below are the areas where Amazon seems to be focused on encouraging more skill investment through the rewards program. Each of these likely made the list because they are considered strategic or have been shown to drive more consumer usage in the past, or both.
- Education & Reference
- Food & Drink
- Games, Trivia & Accessories
- Health & Fitness
- Music & Audio
Driving More Alexa Skill Growth
Voicebot reported in January that Alexa skills in France totaled less than 1,000 six months after Amazon Echo arrived in the country. Devices began arriving in both Italy and France in October so the scale of Alexa skill production is believed to be even lower. While India benefits from access to tens of thousands of Alexa skills originally developed for the U.S. and U.K. markets but now available in India, non-English languages can benefit even more from incentives to build more content for Alexa.
January 2019 data show that Germany, Japan, and France all trail each of the English-speaking countries by a large margin in terms of available Alexa skills. Canada and Australia both received their first Echo shipments more than a year after Germany and Japan but still managed to amass 3 to 10 times more Alexa skills than their non-English speaking peers. Cash payouts are a simple way to get developers to commit to learning the platform. The rewards create an incentive to learn the Alexa platform and that knowledge over time is likely to result in them favoring it over alternatives. So, the Alexa Developer Rewards program has two aims. First, more skills of higher quality offer more value to consumers. Second, while building these skills, Amazon may be enhancing developer commitment over the long term.
Update 10:27 AM EDT. Amazon has released a blog post confirming the Alexa Developer Rewards program expansion.