Samsung Launches Bixby Premiere Developer Program and Announces Three Developer Events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York
Samsung this morning announced the launch of the Bixby Premiere Developer Program. Developers must apply to be considered for the program and a key consideration is whether they have already launched a voice app and how it is rated. In fact, other than contact information, the only data points associated with the application process are whether you have launched a voice app, if the star rating from users is four stars or above, and providing a link to the voice app. It seems quite clear that the Premiere Developer Program is not focused solely on recruiting quality developers, but instead highly values previous voice app development experience. For developers that meet these criteria, Samsung is offering several perqs including:
“Premier Developers will have key placement on the new Bixby Marketplace to maximize exposure and monetization. Once you’re in, you’ll get first-class support to create a Capsule from beginning to end and a test device to make developing easy. As a bonus, you will get an insightful, webinar from me, Adam Cheyer on how to build your voice startup from the ground up.”
The webinar with Adam Cheyer is an interesting premium. Adam is famous among voice developers as a founder of Siri and Viv which were both successful enough to be acquired for over $200 million by Apple and Samsung respectively. Samsung and the Viv team, which is still operated as a separate division, appear to be interested in helping developers succeed not just technically on the platform, but also from a business standpoint.[You can listen to my interview with Adam about 25 years building voice assistants in Voicebot Podcast Episode 69.]
Placement in the Marketplace
In the world of Bixby, the Marketplace is expected to be similar to the Amazon Alexa skill store or Google Action directory. Many Alexa skill and Google Action developers saw how useful it was to be among the first offerings available to consumers and the benefits of long-term promotion by the platform. When there is little in the store or directory, it is much easier to drive voice app discovery and consumer trial. That means it is easier to build a user base and it appears Samsung is prepared to offer its Premier Developers premium marketplace positioning.
Voicebot sources say that the marketplace promotions will likely be limited to about 100 developers and launch dates might be scattered to offer the Bixby Capsules (i.e. voice apps) one or more days where they are featured exclusively in some way to promote consumer trial. This is a different type of program, but the benefits appear to be similar to promotions received by Alexa Champions in the Amazon voice ecosystem. In addition, Premiere Developers will get devices to use as part of the development process. You can apply for consideration in the Bixby Premier Developer program here.
Day-Long Developer Sessions Expected to Deliver Additional Perqs
Samsung has been relatively quiet since the official unveiling of Bixby 2.0 during the Samsung Developer Conference in November 2018. That has now changed. In addition to the new developer program, Samsung last week also announced it would host day-long Bixby developer sessions over three consecutive Saturdays in June. The events will be held in San Francisco (June 8th), Los Angeles (June 15th), and New York City (June 22nd). You can apply to reserve a spot at one of the events here.
Why might you want to attend one of these sessions? Well, you may want to go because you think Bixby will be successful due to the scale of Samsung’s smartphone, appliance, and television product lines. Or, you might want to go for some high-end swag. Voicebot was told that Samsung will be giving away some premium devices at the events and that may include televisions and smartphones.